How to get the highest journalism salariesJan 31st, 2013 | By joegrimm | Category: News
Michigan State University
School of Journalism
A report that the average starting salary for journalism majors has risen to around $40,000 is generating some conversation this week.
The gist of the conversation is that $40,000 seems to be too high. I agree. But averages rarely tell the story. Something to consider:
These are journalism majors in all jobs, not just in journalism jobs. The University of Georgia’s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communication has a long history of studying communications employment and wages. Grady professor Tudor Vlad has said that flexibility in career choice goes a long way in helping wages. Grads might find that journalism degrees prepare them for higher paying jobs outside of journalism.
There are also several factors that make managers in newsrooms and other operations dig deeper:
* Northern states typically pay better than southern ones. One reason is living costs.
* Pay is higher in the city than in the country. Ditto the living costs.
* Beginners at newspapers are typically paid better than beginners at broadcast stations in the same town.
* Employers pay more for scarce talent. Today, that means web and mobile producers, designers and social media specialists. Good videographers can make more than photographers.
* Content area matters, too. Business reporters can command better pay than news reporters.
* Negotiating draws out higher offers. Bargain.
* Part of the salary calculus is how much the candidate made in a prior position. Negotiating at every step has a multiplier effect.
* Experience brings out higher offers, too. The person with three internships and campus media leadership can command a higher salary than the person with none. Get lots of experience.
* The sources of that experience matter. An academic and employment pedigree implies quality.
* The employer’s perception of the candidate’s potential can mean more money. Paint a career arc.
So, there we have it. An average rate for new journalism grads, or 10 strategies for beating the average.
Who wants to be average anyway?