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The Year of the Public Relations Professional

If your thinking about a career change and have a passion for communication, it’s a great time to look at public relations. Earlier this month the U.S. News and World Report released its Best Jobs Report. The annual report highlights the best jobs and industries every year.

The Good

Public relations has historically been resistant to economic troubles. In the creative category, the U.S. News and World Report notes that the Public Relations Specialist holds the number one position as the best creative job of 2015. In terms of salary, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a median annual wage of $54,940 in 2013. This is a modest 1.42% growth from 2012. To put this figure in perspective the median annual wage was 52,090 in 2010.

New college graduates also have something to celebrate. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reports that graduates can see a higher starting salary of approximately $48,253 this year. This is a 10.1% increase from the previous year.

Beyond salary the profession as a whole continues to have solid growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts 27,400 new job openings before 2022. The highest concentration of new jobs will be in primarily metropolitan regions including  New York, California, Texas, the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania

“The U.S. job market is turning a corner as caution gives way to confidence,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. “Hiring in 2014 has been broad-based, including encouraging activity among small businesses and hard-hit sectors like manufacturing and construction. The amount of companies planning to hire in 2015 is up 12 percentage points over last year, setting the stage for a more competitive environment for recruiters that may lend itself to some movement in wages.” This positive outlook should be encouraging to job seekers and communication professionals looking for a new job.

The Bad

Just like every profession there are some exceptions and caveats. Salaries in public relations can vary considerably by industry. Although every industry needs public relations professionals, some industries offer higher annual wages. You might consider looking at the following industries:

  • Utilities $68,820
  • Manufacturing $66,100
  • Transportation and Warehousing $65,550
  • Mining $64,230
  • Management of Companies and Enterprises  $62,060

The Future

What is exciting is that every single industry needs public relations professionals. The data is clear and it should encourage current practitioners and individuals thinking about a career change.