Pay for Journalists in the United States is very modest at just $39K per year. Geography and career duration each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. One-fourth of professionals in this line of work do not receive benefits; however, a fair number report medical coverage and over one-half claim dental coverage as well. Most Journalists report high levels of job satisfaction. Men make up a slight majority of Journalists (50 percent) who responded to the survey. Women make up a slight majority of Journalists (50 percent) survey respondents. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.
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.Read More...
It may be a necessary process to pitch the story idea to management prior to the research being carried out. The journalist should look for leads by gathering tips and by looking at what other news outlets have published. Sometimes, the journalist may decide to carry out interviews to make the news stories more relevant. In this case, it will be necessary to look for people related to the story, such as eye witnesses or family members of the people involved. Securing an interview may be difficult, and it may require some persuasion for people to agree to be a part of an interview. In some jobs, the journalist may be required to come up with a minimum amount of articles within a certain period of time. Some journalists will also appear on television, in order to personally report the stories. Others may carry out videographer duties. Strong written and verbal communication skills are necessary to be able to write and present stories in a coherent and gripping manner.
A bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, or a similar field is often required. Some jobs will require experience, while others will offer entry-level or internship positions.
- Collect and interpret facts about news events through interviews, investigations, and observation.
- Work with news editor and reporters to generate new content.
- Review and edit copy.
- Report and write stories for newspapers, magazines, radio, television, or the internet.
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Popular Skills for Journalist
Survey takers working as Journalists report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, facility with Social Media Marketing and Media / Public Relations are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 38 percent and 18 percent, respectively. Those listing Photography as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Social Media Optimization and Adobe Photoshop also typically command lower compensation. Those familiar with Editing also tend to know Technical Writing.
Pay by Experience Level for Journalist
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For many Journalists, more experience generally translates to higher pay. The average beginner in this position makes around $35K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $42K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Journalists make a median salary of $51K. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't that much higher than less experienced individuals' earnings; the veterans make just $58K on average.
Pay Difference by Location
San Diego offers some of the highest pay in the country for Journalists, 60 percent above the national average. Journalists will also find cushy salaries in Washington (+59 percent), San Francisco (+32 percent), New York (+15 percent), and Miami (+13 percent). Location is a huge contributor to overall pay, with Journalists in Charlotte earning a whopping 32 percent below the national average. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Dallas (18 percent less) and Seattle (5 percent less).