No matter what industry you work in, there are different levels requiring different skills and abilities. The more skills, experience, and ability you bring to the table, the more you can request for income and benefits. But, when you are first starting in an industry, you can do your future self a lot of good if you research your options.
Even if you accept a lower pay rate, working at a firm gaining actual experience from the beginning is preferred to spending the first year being a gopher. It is worth the lower pay in the long run so long as you can meet your financial requirements. Consider more than the wage and “benefits” being offered. Look at the possibilities of mentors, real experience, connections with clients and coworkers, and upward growth available within that company as well.
Salaries and benefits are often based on supply and demand in particular locations and specialty areas. So those beginning in the PR world as entry-level or intern positions receive the lowest pay scale, but some locations still pay quite well because of a high demand for workers.
Even with that, the average income of a new PR Specialist is lower than many creative jobs, such as art directors and architects. However, if you have an affinity for PR work and are creative, your chances of moving up the ranks are good and probably achieved faster than in those other creative jobs. And if you are a woman, it’s a great field, fully 75% of the specialists and higher are women in the world of public relations.
How much does a PR make a year?
So what is the average Salary for an Entry Level Public Relations professional?
The annual average income nationwide in 2013 was approximately $55,000 for entry-level PR specialists. With social and digital media needs rising at rapid rates, PR specialists will be in greater demand moving forward. With the need for specialists rising, the salaries are also likely to increase. The BLS reports a $54,940 median annual wage for public relations specialists in 2013 with the best 10 percent making approximately $103K and the bottom 10 percent approximately $31K.
Currently, there are a few places in the nation with higher than average salaries for PR specialists. Washington DC tops the list at nearly $100K average annual salary. The large number of non-profits, politicians, and large companies looking for help moving forward their agendas mean PR Specialists in DC can demand higher salaries. And working in DC can provide some great learning opportunities along with high-level connections. In comparison Oakland, San Francisco, and Framingham, Massachusetts pay an average in the high $70K to low $80K. But don’t just look at the pay level, also factor in the cost of living in each area, so you get a true picture of what the salary means.
Work you’ll do
As a PR Specialist, your main purpose is enhancing clients’ reputations and market share by creating publicity to foster consumer confidence. Generating positive publicity is achieved by creating web-based and print communication materials such as presentations, story pitches, Q&A interviews, press releases, speeches, and video scripts for commercials. Getting these in front of the public and building relationships with journalists, opinion leaders, bloggers, and other media people will be most of what you do. Of course, you’ll also need to be on top of anything being said about your clients by other parties.
In the U.S. in 2015, Managers average $61K per year including up to $11K in bonuses and $10K in profit sharing proceeds near the top of the pay scale. The range stretches between $38K and $99K. And most PR Managers report feeling quite satisfied with their jobs. The standard benefits often include medical, dental and vision coverage, but different firms may offer even more.
PR Managers act as a liaison between their clients and consumers. Their areas of focus include media relations, community relations, contact with the investment community, and internal corporate communications. Part of their duties may include overseeing marketing plans and budgets, hiring help, fielding questions, coordinating input from the outside, and interviewing people. Public relations managers almost always review and coordinate all marketing programs assuring they promote the point of view of the client. PR Managers may work in other organizations than PR firms including public and private companies, government, and non-profit entities promoting a unified and positive external image. To do this job, you’ll need strong interpersonal skills, organizational skills, good communication strategies, and the ability to speak in front of groups with ease.
When PR Managers move up the ranks, their salaries can rise sharply moving to VP-level jobs. VPs of Public Relations & Corporate Communications averaged $131K per year in 2013. In 2015, the National average pay for Executive VPs is $170,000, for Sr. VPs $142,700, VPs $117,900, for Account Supervisors $78,300, for Sr. Account Executives $65,200, and Account Executives $53,100.
Joining the Public Relations professional may be just right for you. If you decide it is, you will find ways to be satisfied with your job every single day forward means that PR Specialists in DC are able to demand a higher than average salary.