How to Become a Journalist

Overview & Salaries

Median salary:

Expected growth from 2012-2020:

Specialization Options:
Correspondent, reporter, and analyst.

Recommended Degree:
The right degree for you depends on the industry and company you apply for. Usually a bachelors degree is required for most positions. Learn more by clicking our “Education Required” tab up top.

(all information above provided by the BLS)

Discover the Best Places to Become a Journalist

California presently has the greatest number of employment opportunities in the nation, with over 4,500 jobs currently being occupied in the field. The mean annual wage for journalists in California is $49,170. New York is not far behind, with 4,430 jobs being occupied by journalists, and a yearly average salary that is higher than California at $54,820.

There are approximately 58,500 broadcast news professionals with the following industries employing the greatest number:

Newspaper publishers 46%
Television broadcasting 20%
Radio broadcasting 6%

Employment & Salary Information by State for Journalists

Use our interactive map below containing data from the 2012 Bureau of Labor Statistics to find out which areas of the United States are currently experiencing the greatest amount of growth and job availability for graduates looking for a career in Journalism.

Employment and Information Data for Journalism

Why Journalism

Once television news expanded to cable outlets in the 1990’s, and news stations proliferated seemingly as fsat as the actual news, television quickly became the medium of choice. If that weren’t enough, the advent of the Internet a short time later brought in a whole new distribution channel and multimedia journalism took on an amazing dimension.

Lucky for the would-be journalist and writer, all these disciplines are interrelated. If you want to be a reporter, whether on TV, for a newspaper, or the Internet you’ll need to know how to write – even if you want to be a production assistant or producer.

Recommended Journalism Courses

  • History of Journalism
  • Features Writing
  • Editing
  • Copyediting
  • Investigative Reporting
  • Academic Writing
  • Tools, Not Rules: Rhetorical Grammar for Writers
  • Introduction to Broadcasting
  • Basic Television Production
  • Broadcast Operations & Mngmnt

Degrees for Journalism Careers

Many media outlets and publishers are looking for entry level employees with a bachelor’s degree in writing or journalism. However, there are no absolutes in these fields and often talent and experience can trump a degree. With that in mind many entry level and mid-career employees need guidance and mentoring. What better place than school.

A Certificate in Professional Writing is typically a three to six-course program designed to strengthens workplace written communication skills. It also can prepare students for a career as a professional writer.

Bachelor’s Degree
Many schools offer bachelor’s degree in both writing and journalism  Often there is overlap between these curriculum  Many online and print publications look for recent grads with writing and journalism majors.

Master’s Degree & MFA
When it comes to a master’s degree in the writing and journalism space, there are none more honored than the Master of Fine Arts in Writing and the famed J-school degree so many successful journalist have received.  Each degree is important in helping you hone in on your writing, analytical and creative skills that. Each skill can be transferred to the professional world.