Journalist Salary

Journalists in the United States may have to scrimp and save; the median compensation is $38K per year. Geographic location and years of experience each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. For the most part, Journalists enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. While slightly more than a fifth report receiving no health benefits, a fair number do receive medical coverage, and just over a half have dental, as well. Women Journalists who took the survey just slightly outnumber men. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.

$24,151 - $71,166
(Median)
$24K
$38K
$71K
MEDIAN: $38,095
10%
50%
90%

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$9.89 - $25.62
(Median)
$9
$14
$26
MEDIAN: $14.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$24K$48K$72K
Salary
$24,151 - $71,166  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $7,796  
Profit Sharing
$1,023  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$23,092 - $70,648  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 660
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$17$34$51
Hourly Rate
$9.89 - $25.62  
   
Hourly Tips
$1.22  
Overtime
$9.83 - $50.92  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $7,796  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,023  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$23,092 - $70,648  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 149
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Job Description for Journalist

A journalist carries out research to create news articles. These news articles may be published online or in a newspaper or a magazine. In other cases, the journalist’s stories will be broadcast on television or radio. The journalist will be responsible for looking for articles that are relevant and will grip the audience’s attention.

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Journalist Tasks

  • Review and edit copy.
  • Report and write stories for newspapers, magazines, radio, television, or the internet.
  • Collect and interpret facts about news events through interviews, investigations, and observation.
  • Work with news editor and reporters to generate new content.

Common Career Paths for Journalist


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Journalists' salary tends to stay somewhat level for those who assume higher-end positions like News Journalist. Median pay for News Journalists is $34K.

Journalist Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Journalist


Journalists report using a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Research Analysis, Media / Public Relations, and Social Media Marketing are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 30 percent, 22 percent, and 18 percent, respectively. Those listing Social Media Optimization as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Photography and Reporting also typically command lower compensation. Those proficient in Editing are, more often than not, also skilled in Technical Writing.

Pay by Experience Level for Journalist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Journalists who reported more years of relevant experience also reported higher earnings. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $33K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $42K. On average, Journalists make $54K following one to two decades on the job. Journalists with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $62K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $36,741

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Surpassing the national average by 63 percent, Journalists in Washington receive some of the highest pay in the country. Journalists will also find cushy salaries in New York (+24 percent), San Francisco (+24 percent), San Diego (+22 percent), and Chicago (+16 percent). Location significantly influences compensation, with Charlotte Journalists earning much less — 32 percent less — than the national average. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Atlanta and Boston (17 percent lower and 15 percent lower, respectively).

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Experience Affects Journalist Salaries




National Average
$37,000


Skills That Affect Journalist Salaries

Research Analysis
up arrow 30%

Media / Public Relations
up arrow 22%

Social Media Marketing
up arrow 18%

writing
up arrow 6%


Editing
up arrow 4%

Video Editing
0%

National Average
$37,000

Writing Procedures & Documentation
up arrow 1%

Online Research
up arrow 9%

Reporting
up arrow 15%

Photography
up arrow 18%

Social Media Optimization
up arrow 23%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 74 votes.

Gender

Female
52 %
Male
48 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
49%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
12%
20 years or more
9%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 76%
dental benefits
Dental: 52%
medical benefits
Vision: 36%
dental benefits
None: 22%
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