Journalist Salary Range

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Journalist Salary Range

The salary range of a journalist depends upon a lot of factors like the years of experience, educational qualification, size and location of the company, and the medium, etc. This article provides information on the salary of journalists based on experience and location.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of news analysts, reporters, and correspondents would decline by 13% over the period of 2012 to 2022.

Studies show that gradual decrease in the advertising revenue in radio, newspapers, and television negatively affect the employment growth for news analysts, correspondents, writers, bloggers, and reporters. However, expanding and emerging technology would help create jobs in this field through new media outlets.

Journalism, nowadays, is not limited to providing news to the masses, it is much more than that. Due to the rapid development in the field, it now includes a number of sub-categories. Due to the recent increase in the use of the Internet, people do not completely rely on the newspaper as they did earlier. Within a fraction of a second, the latest news is available on the Web. Thus, these days a journalist has to face many challenges. He/she should be web-savvy and continuously keep up with the latest events and affairs. While with most jobs, the salary depends on experience, location, and education, in the case of journalism, it also depends on the medium.

*All figures mentioned are in US Dollars.

Factors that Affect a Journalist’s Salary

A beginner at journalism can earn a good salary if he/she has completed his education from a reputed institute or university. The average annual salary of novice news journalists can be around $34,000 depending on the area, employer, and type of media. A list of the factors that govern the salary range for a journalist are given below.

  • Education
  • Type of Media
  • Work Experience
  • Location
  • Talent
  • Employer

Based on these factors, it is likely that the salary of a journalist varies largely. It can range from US $22,000 to US $120,000. He/she can be paid less or more depending on the quality of the content generated by him/her. The salary also depends on the company profile he/she is working in. Usually the salary offered to the journalists working in magazines and newspapers is more or less the same, while that of broadcast journalism can be a bit higher.

If one has a bachelor’s in arts or science from a good institute, he/she may be offered a decent salary, while those who possess a bachelor’s degree specially related to journalism can earn more. Students who have obtained a master’s degree in journalism can earn an additional $10,000 to $20,000 annually. Journalists working in broadcast media like Internet and television earn more as compared to others. The location also matters a lot, as larger cities have better career opportunities and also pay well. Lastly, the experience gained by a journalist also decides the salary range. A good work experience can offer a good salary.

The average salary of a journalist depending on the years of experience and the location is given below.

According to Experience

0-5 years $32,000
5 – 10 years $42,000
10 – 20 years $55,000
20 years and above $60,000

*The above figures are as per PayScale as of March 2015.

According to Location

Alabama $50,000
Alaska $36,000
Arizona $40,000
Arkansas $50,000
California $52,000
Colorado $43,000
Connecticut $56,000
Delaware $43,000
Florida $46,000
Georgia $56,000
Hawaii $30,000
Idaho $32,000
Illinois $56,000
Indiana $47,000
Iowa $48,000
Kansas $45,000
Kentucky $42,000
Louisiana $44,000
Maine $43,000
Maryland $50,000
Massachusetts $59,000
Michigan $49,000
Minnesota $43,000
Mississippi $51,000
Missouri $48,000
Montana $41,000
Nebraska $36,000
Nevada $37,000
New Hampshire $48,000
New Jersey $53,000
New Mexico $43,000
New York $59,000
North Carolina $47,000
North Dakota $43,000
Ohio $47,000
Oklahoma $45,000
Oregon $47,000
Pennsylvania $47,000
Rhode Island $45,000
South Carolina $48,000
South Dakota $37,000
Tennessee $45,000
Texas $47,000
Utah $38,000
Vermont $43,000
Virginia $49,000
Washington $51,000
West Virginia $46,000
Wisconsin $44,000
Wyoming $40,000

*The above figures are as per Indeed as of May 2015.

What is Required of a Journalist?

A journalist should be great at research skills, cross-checking the information, ability to generate information and good content, ask witty questions, and should have good understanding ability of the situation. There are different types of journalism, which include sports, news, celebrity, business, fashion, etc. Journalists belonging to each of these fields generate information related to their respective area.

A journalist can work in any type of mass media of his/her choice. Newspapers and magazines are some examples of print media, while television, web, and radio are broadcast media. Students aspiring to become journalists should find out their field of interest, and attain a journalism degree accordingly.

Fit the Bracket – Tips for Novice Journalists

There are a few obvious criteria to be fulfilled, if you are keen to flaunt your by-lines. Interest in reading, writing, and analyzing newsworthy stories is an invincible arena you are bound to be interested in. However, your behavioral conduct also decides how fat your wallet could get!

  • Patience; a virtue if innate, an asset, when inculcated. Practice patience in order to deal with bombastic egos and a frail sense of self-esteem. Dealing with difficult, sometimes nonsensical personalities is a part and parcel of one’s job.
  • Be prepared for healthy competition and the ability to handle situations in a calm-as-cow demeanor. If you go ballistic and get into tongue lashing, you are inviting pure trouble. Presence of mind and maintaining composure are virtues few avail of.
  • Be modest. Slinging mud on your face is not what I propose to explain. All I am saying is to make an honest effort to highlight your positives, without sounding like a braggart. Sell yourself where, and only when required.
  • Keep it Simple! Your attempt at making your portfolio, expressive and impressive, may not reap (m)any benefits. Remember, in this industry, a majority mean business. It is your work that counts and words that matter. If you are worth the effort of employment, you would receive what you wish for.
  • Your portfolio should be a succinct copy. A long-drawn draft would encourage the reader to switch-off his gray fuse a tad quicker than you had ever imagined. Required number of words that express your intention would be a sure hit on the nail.

So, it is clear from the above discussion that the salary range of a journalist depends on a number of factors. The figures given above are approximate and can change depending on the qualification and work experience.


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