Organizational Communication Jobs: Salary & Career Facts

Organizational communications professionals resolve communications problems for corporations, non-profit groups or healthcare facilities. Read on to learn more about job duties and employment options in this field, and find out what degree programs can prepare you for this career. Schools offering Organizational Communication degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Some Organizational Communications Jobs?

There are a variety of positions you could pursue if you have expertise in organizational communications. If you want to dedicate your career to research and teaching in the field, you could become a postsecondary communications teacher. For this, you could teach undergraduate and graduate courses in organizational communications, and conduct studies in a particular subfield for publication in a book or academic journal. Alternatively, you could put your organizational communications expertise into practice as a human resources manager. These professionals must be experts in communication across companies and organizations, since they are responsible for facilitating communications between employees and employers. They also oversee the hiring process. Another job that requires strong organizational communications skills is a position as a public relations specialist. They are responsible for synthesizing the opinions and plans of organizations for press releases. This means that they need to communicate effectively with workers at all levels, and then present an overall message in a clear form to the media.

The following table provides relevant information about organizational communications jobs:

Career Postsecondary Communications Teacher Human Resources Manager Public Relations Specialist
Degree Required Ph.D. or Master's Degree Bachelor's Degree Bachelor's Degree
Key Responsibilities Prepare and teach classes; conduct organizational communications research Facilitate communications between management and employees; plan and implement company goals; consult with employees about benefit programs and disputes Prepare press releases; give interviews to the media; ensure that all company activities are consistent with public relations efforts
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 10% 9% 6%
Mean Salary (2015) * $70,290 $117,080 $65,830

*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is Organizational Communications?

Organizational communications is a subfield of communications that focuses on communication in organizational settings, such as companies, nonprofits and government agencies. Because of the complexity of organizations, especially large institutions that comprise many employees, departments and outside collaborators, it can sometimes be difficult for messages to be relayed between all relevant parties. The field of organizational communications aims to find ways to improve interactions between all moving parts within an organization, in order to increase efficiency and support the overall goals of the organization.

Where Will I Work?

Your work environment will depend on the job you choose. If you become a postsecondary communications teacher and researcher, you will be employed by a college or university, and your time will be divided between classroom instruction and office work. Depending on your research area of interest, you might also spend time conducting research in the 'field'; that is, an organization from which you are obtaining data by observing or interviewing employees. As a human resources manager or public relations manager, you could work for companies or organizations in any industry. Most of your work would take place in an office environment.

What Educational Opportunities Are Available in Organizational Communication?

There are both undergraduate and graduate degree programs available in organizational communications. Bachelor's degree programs in organizational communications are highly interdisciplinary. Not only do students take standard communications courses in writing and rhetoric, but they also study business, marketing and management. Some schools also offer concentrations in particular topics within organizational communication, such as Latino media and communication. At some schools, it is possible to pursue organizational communication as a minor or as part of a five-year bachelor's/master's dual degree.

Graduate-level organizational communications programs tend to be more focused. If you earn a master's degree in organizational communications, your courses will help prepare you specifically for challenges you might face in a career as a human resources or public relations manager. For instance, you might study ways to overcome communication barriers, which would be helpful for human resources managers who are mediating disputes. You would also improve your presentation skills, which is essential for public relations managers.

If you aim to become a postsecondary communications teacher, you will likely need to earn a Ph.D. in the field. This would involve taking advanced courses and writing a research-based dissertation in a particular area of interest within the field. For example, you could specialize in organizational rhetoric, online collaborations, organizational networks or communications within international organizations, among other possibilities.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Organizational communication skills are relevant to almost any management position. For instance, as a nonprofit manager, you would oversee all operations within a nonprofit organization. In this job, you would need to communicate effectively with staff as you supervise their activities, as well as with external parties such as community members and potential donors. Nonprofit managers usually need to have a bachelor's degree. Alternatively, you could work as a school principal, where your job would be to coordinate the activities of teachers, students and other staff to keep the school running smoothly and provide the best possible education. Principals need to have a master's degree and hold a license to work in a public school.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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