Journalist Salary

Journalists in the United States are not likely to strike it rich; they only make around $40K per year on average. Geography and experience level each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Men are slightly outnumbered by their female counterparts who answered the questionnaire, who make up a slight majority at 55 percent. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — approximately one in four lack coverage. On the flip side, more than half have medical insurance and close to one-half receive dental plans. Work is enjoyable for Journalists, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$24,892 - $70,192
$25K
$40K
$70K
MEDIAN: $39,780
10%
50%
90%

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$9.85 - $23.96
$9
$14
$24
MEDIAN: $14.36
10%
50%
90%

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$0$70K
Salary $24,892 - $70,192
Bonus $292.77 - $10,000
Commission $4,038
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).
)
$22,990 - $67,354
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 8 Nov 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 498
Hourly Data $0$34
Hourly Rate $9.85 - $23.96
Hourly Tips $1.46
Overtime $5.10 - $34.97
Annual Data $0$67K
Bonus $292.77 - $10,000
Commission $4,038
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).
)
$22,990 - $67,354
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 8 Nov 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 147

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

  • 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.

Common Career Paths for Journalist


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Journalists who become Communications Specialists may see a small rise in pay. On average, Communications Specialists earn $45K per year.

Journalist Job Listings

Popular Skills for Journalist


Survey takers working as Journalists report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Media / Public Relations, Research Analysis, Social Media Marketing, and Video Editing are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 8 percent and 19 percent. Those listing Photography as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Social Media Optimization and Adobe Photoshop also typically command lower compensation. Most people familiar with Editing also know Technical Writing.

Pay by Experience Level for Journalist

Pay by Experience for a Journalist has a positive trend. An entry-level Journalist with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $35,000 based on 490 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Journalist with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $43,000 based on 177 salaries. An experienced Journalist which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $51,000 based on 119 salaries. A Journalist with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $54,000 based on 72 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $37,598

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

Surpassing the national average by 79 percent, Journalists in San Francisco receive some of the highest pay in the country. Journalists will also find cushy salaries in Washington (+60 percent), San Diego (+34 percent), New York (+29 percent), and Atlanta (+22 percent). Journalists in Charlotte earn salaries far below the national average by 33 percent, proving that geography overwhelmingly affects the pay scale for those in this field. Employers also pay below the national average in Dallas (16 percent lower) and Austin (14 percent lower).

Journalist Reviews

Q: What is it like working as a Journalist?

Journalist in Chattanooga:
"Hannah status 2017."
Pros: Helping people by being their voice.
Cons: Hours, the management, work culture, office conditions.

Journalist in Lufkin:
Pros: Duties, freedom to be creative, writing.
Cons: Favoritism, unequal pay.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Journalist

Gender

Female
55 %
Male
45 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 61 votes.
Less than 1 year
11%
1-4 years
52%
5-9 years
16%
10-19 years
12%
20 years or more
9%

Experience Affects Journalist Salaries

▲44%

▲35%

▲16%

National Average
$38,000

▼7%

Skills That Affect Journalist Salaries

Media / Public Relations
▲20%

Research Analysis
▲12%

Social Media Marketing
▲9%



National Average
$38,000


▼3%


Reporting
▼5%

▼10%

Product Photography
▼10%

Adobe Photoshop
▼18%

Social Media Optimization
▼21%

Photography
▼28%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 61 votes.

Gender

Female
55 %
Male
45 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
11%
1-4 years
52%
5-9 years
16%
10-19 years
12%
20 years or more
9%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 71%
dental benefits
Dental: 53%
vision benefits
Vision: 40%
no benefits
None: 27%