Salary is a big factor when choosing a career. It is important for graduates of an online Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Communication degree program to know the amount of money they can expect to earn after graduation — and as their careers progress. The salary of a communication major depends on factors like the area of communications, the particular industry and experience.
Many Industries Need Communication Majors
Communications majors can expect to find work in almost any industry once they complete their degree programs. Some industries — such as advertising, marketing and public relations — focus entirely on communications. Other industries — such as insurance, hospitality or healthcare — need communications professionals to oversee social media management, marketing and other forms of communication. The variety of industries and positions communication majors can find work in is a unique strength of the field of study.
Salaries Are on the Rise
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the average projected starting salary of a communication major rose 4.8% from 2022 to 2023, increasing from $55,455 to $58,097. This was the largest increase of all the disciplines listed in the NACE’s Winter 2023 Salary Survey report. As a longer-term comparison, NACE’s salary survey from 2013 projected the average starting salary for communication majors that year to be $43,835 annually. Clearly, even at the starting salary level, pay for communication majors has risen considerably over the past decade.
Pay Varies by Field and Experience
As communication professionals move beyond entry-level positions into longer-term careers, both salary and job outlook can vary substantially based on the field, professional role and experience level.
For instance, public relations specialist positions will likely see job growth of about 8% between 2021 to 2031, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As of 2021, the median annual salary for these professionals was $62,800. In the same occupational track, the more advanced, senior role of public relations and fundraising managers will see similar job growth. But pay for these managerial-level professionals was $119,860 in 2021, a substantial wage increase compared to entry-level workers.
Similarly, communication majors may pursue numerous careers in marketing, with pay levels commensurate with experience, education and role. As entry- and mid-level positions, BLS reports that market research analysts and marketing specialists earned a median salary of $68,230 a year in 2022. In comparison, marketing managers made a median salary of over $140,000 that year.
Another communications career is a technical writer, whose responsibility is to write manuals or articles that clearly convey technical information. BLS predicts 6% growth for this field from 2021 to 2031. The median salary of a technical writer was $78,060 per year in 2021.
Communications Degree Programs Cover Many Aspects of Communications
People who earn a bachelor’s in communication degree such as Lamar University’s 100% online B.S. in Communication program will study an abundance of topics from a communications perspective. Major core coursework covers subjects like mass communication, media writing, advertising and public relations. In addition, students enrolled in the Communication Studies Track of Lamar’s communication bachelor’s degree program will take courses such as Political Communication, Pop Culture Theories and Corporate Training and Development.
Online programs are also convenient and flexible, allowing students to complete their studies wherever and whenever fits their schedule. This can be ideal for adults who have work and family obligations and do not have the freedom to attend classes on specific days at specific times.
A Bachelor’s Degree Is the Minimum Requirement for Communications Positions
Most careers in communications require at least a bachelor’s degree, from entry-level public relations jobs to top-level marketing manager positions. Communications programs prepare career-focused people to enter a variety of fields as knowledgeable and valued employees. The longer a communications graduate stays in their respective field, the more likely they are to see salary increases and opportunities for advancement.
Learn more about the Lamar University online B.S. in Communication program.