What Is the Typical Salary of PR Majors?

Public relations (PR) is a growing and competitive field. PR majors can become PR specialists, and with experience, they can advance to management positions. Read on to find out how salaries for these professionals depend on education, experience, employer and location. Schools offering Public Relations degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Salary Information

According to the BLS, the median annual wage for salaried PR specialists was $60,000 as of May 2018. The lowest ten percent came in at $33,690 or less, and the top ten percent pulled in $112,310 or more.

In addition, PayScale.com reported that workers in relevant jobs with a Bachelor of Science in PR earned wages between $35,041 and $84,756 in May 2019. Entry-level PR specialists earned a median wage of $43,997 at that time.

Important Facts About This Occupation

On-the-Job Training None
Key Skills Interpersonal, organizational, speaking and writing skills
Work Environment Office setting, often with long work days
Similar Occupations Advertising and marketing managers, editors, event planners

Salary by Industry

The following is a list of industries (and average yearly earnings) that employed the bulk of PR specialists in May 2018, as reported by the BLS:

  • Advertising, public relations and related services: $79,500
  • Business, professional, labor, political and similar organizations: $72,620
  • Colleges, universities and professional schools: $60,740
  • Local government: $62,770
  • Company and enterprise management: $73,730

In contrast, the top-paying industries employed fewer workers. The federal executive branch had the highest average salary of $95,980.

Location

According to May 2018 BLS figures, Texas employed the highest number of PR specialists and offered average wages of $60,600 annually. Average wages for other states employing many PR specialists were $72,910 for California and $74,000 for New York.

The District of Columbia had the highest wage of any state in the country, and it offered these professionals an average wage of $107,490, reported the BLS in May 2018. Other states with top average pay were Virginia ($78,410), New Jersey ($75,670), and New York ($74,000). If you worked in states that included Alabama, Kentucky, Oklahoma and South Carolina, you would have earned the lowest average wages ranging from $50,580-$54,860.

Career Overview

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that public relations specialists are expected to have about average employment growth (9%) and fierce competition from 2016-2026, especially for entry-level positions (www.bls.gov). A number of factors can play a role in determining salaries of PR majors, such as education, experience, location and employer.

Those who combine degrees in public relations with a strong background in journalism and media in addition to experience are likely to see good job prospects. Advancement opportunities are available to those who pursue graduate degrees in PR or who belong to the Public Relations Society of America and have sought certification by the Universal Accreditation Board. They must also take part in the process of Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations, according to the BLS.

Advancement

With work experience, PR specialists can become PR and fundraising managers. The BLS expects 10% job growth for these professionals from 2016-2026, although there will be strong competition. As of May 2018, the median wage for PR and fundraising managers was $114,800, according to the BLS.

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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