The journalism industry includes a range of career options for individuals with unique skills and career aspirations. You may pursue a traditional journalism career, such as a print, radio, or television media job, or an adjacent career, such as a career in communications, digital media, or marketing. It's important to research your career options to ensure you select a path that aligns with your interests, experience, and skill set. In this article, we discuss potential careers to consider and average journalism salaries.
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18 well-paying journalism salaries
Journalism salaries may vary based on factors like experience, location, and qualifications. However, some well-paying journalism careers to consider include:
National average salary: $20,400 per year
Primary duties: a journalist identifies, investigates, and reports on events, topics, or individuals. They research facts, interview people, and interpret stories to present them to the public in an easily understandable format. Journalists often work under quick deadlines, and they may use publishing, programming, or social media skills to complete their job.
2. Copy editor
National average salary: $34,277 per year
Primary duties: a copy editor read written works before publishing to identify accuracy, clarity, and grammatical issues. They ensure publications present all information in a way audiences can easily understand, and they may edit copy for concerns like length, tone, or word choice. Copy editors often work with reporters to verify the accuracy of each story.
3. Grant writer
National average salary: $38,105 per year
Primary duties: a grant writer prepares proposals to complete the application process for financial grants. They research grant options for organizations or individuals based on specific requirements and write proposals to submit for approval to receive funding. Grant writers often work for charitable or nonprofit organizations, but others may work freelance to assist clients like museums or schools.
National average salary: $43,096 per year
Primary duties: a photojournalist uses photography to record events or specific moments to present them to the public. They use specialized technology, such as cameras, computers, and editing software, to prepare images to share with audiences online and in print media. Photojournalists often work as a team, and they frequently collaborate with reporters, writers, and editors. This ensures they accurately communicate stories through their images.
5. Staff writer
National average salary: $46,587 per year
Primary duties: a staff writer produces a variety of compelling content for traditional and online media organizations, such as articles, frequently asked questions, guides, manuals, overviews, and white papers. They research topics, fact-check information, monitor trends, pitch ideas for content, and help shape a brand identity. Staff writers may work on multiple projects simultaneously, and they often collaborate with professionals like content strategists, editors, print designers, and web designers .
National average salary: $48,032 per year
Primary duties: a web content specialist prepares online content for an organization. They typically develop plans for content and create blogs, articles, and other types of online content to promote the company's brand. Web content specialists may also assist organizations in managing and posting to their social media accounts.
National average salary: $48,817 per year
Primary duties: a social media specialist plans, executes, and manages an organization's social media strategy. This may include overseeing paid advertising campaigns, following best practices for content sharing across different channels, and building relationships with clients, investors, partners, and vendors. Social media specialists often collaborate with other internal team members to best plan budgets and schedule campaigns to support business goals.
National average salary: $49,486 per year
Primary duties: a copywriter writes innovative, persuasive content that resonates with readers by developing creative concepts and strategies. They may write advertising campaigns, blogs, brochures, and emails, and they're responsible for creating error-free copy for digital and print media consistent with the brand's tone and established style guide. Copywriters often work with a team of other creatives and work on multiple assignments simultaneously.
9. News editor
National average salary: $49,963 per year
Primary duties: a news editor oversees the publishing process for media outlets, news organizations, online media companies, or publishing firms. They may research and plan content to publish, develop in-house style guides, commission writers to produce content, write headlines, check content for style consistency, make editing decisions, draft press releases, and prepare and approve publication layouts. News editors may plan and implement communications strategies for online and offline publications.
10. News producer
National average salary: $50,546 per year
Primary duties: a news producer works in broadcasting. They're responsible for gathering news, interviewing people, writing news copy, approving news scripts, selecting stories, and developing interactive content for social media and the web. News producers film news videos, edit news audios, commission relevant graphics, and assist reporters and news anchors to ensure the timely delivery of the news.
11. Content manager
National average salary: $52,555 per year
Primary duties: a content manager develops content strategies for online and print media organizations. They collaborate with other creative professionals and marketing teams to develop an editorial calendar with engaging, impactful, and relevant content that follows industry trends and promotes the brand. Content managers may strive to improve the brand's market performance by creating test plans, identifying ways to improve processes and monitoring web analytics.
National average salary: $53,715 per year
Primary duties: A digital strategist creates digital promotional strategies by collaborating with marketing, social media, and content development professionals They monitor trends to help determine their organization's target audience to create and share appealing, engaging, and informative content to improve product and overall brand awareness. Digital strategists use SEO techniques to improve user engagement and maintain channels of communication with their organization's clients.
13. Content writer
National average salary: $53,835 per year
Primary duties: a content writer produces a variety of print content, such as advertisement copy, email newsletters, online articles, product pages, social media posts, video scripts, and website copy. They often research topics, develop content creation plans, follow established brand guidelines, and monitor marketing metrics. Content writers may take part in brainstorming sessions or creative briefings with content strategists, designers, editors, and similar professionals.
14. Freelance writer
National average salary: $54,299 per year
Primary duties: a freelance writer works on a contract basis for various organizations or companies in a variety of industries to write B2B and B2C content. They may write deliverables like articles, brochures, presentations, product data sheets, and social media posts, and they follow the established brand guidelines. Freelance writers often work independently, but they may pitch ideas to organizations, and most manage multiple projects simultaneously and meet strict deadlines.
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National average salary: $60,411 per year
Primary duties: a public relations specialist develops, implements and manages an organization's PR activities to improve its public brand profile. They may create internal communication materials, such as presentations, reports, talking points, and website content, or external communication materials, such as articles, blogs, fact sheets, op-eds, and press releases. Public relations specialists often communicate with their medica contacts to report on the organization's activities and monitor the effects of the coverage, and they may participate in industry-specific events, create social media campaigns, and speak at events.
National average salary: $67,682 per year
Primary duties: a communications manager plans, develops and implements communications programs and strategies for promotional and marketing purposes for companies, institutions, and organizations. They create innovative publicity ideas, produce content following strict deadlines, manage communications budgets, organize promotional events, and assist with fundraising efforts. Communications managers also often interact with employees, investors, and management to complete their duties.
National average salary: $70,339 per year
Primary duties: a product marketing manager develops marketing strategies for an organization to promote its products in audio, visual, and written media. They complete audience and market research to identify how to best position and market the product against its competitors, and they develop compelling stories to attract and motivate target audiences. Product marketing managers typically collaborate with marketing, product, and sales teams, and sometimes with external experts and social media influencers.
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National average salary: $74,015 per year
Primary duties: a broadcaster reports stories through a specific medium, such as radio or television, and many focus on a specialty, such as entertainment, news, or sports. They may research stories, interview people, write copy for stories, direct stories, assist with production design, complete voiceover work, or anchor a broadcast. Broadcasters may collaborate with other professionals to prepare their stories, and they often work under pressure to meet deadlines and deliver news to the public.
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing.