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Salary

Average Salary: $35,600

Expected Lifetime Earnings: $1,486,000


Your headlines might be in large print, but the pay you get for it will likely be small potatoes. We kid—if they really pay you in potatoes, you should probably find work somewhere else.

The average journalist can expect to make around $35,000ish per year. To put that in perspective, a professional clown expects to make a thousand more dollars per year than you do (source). 

Clowning around aside, income in the mid-thirties may be fine for journalists in the 'burbs, but it ain't great if you live in a news mecca like San Francisco or New York City. Considering you're looking at an average rent of at least four figures in those places, you're going to have to really stretch your budget to stay afloat.

If you gain experience working for larger papers, you'll eventually start making more money, upwards of $55,000 yearly (source). Journalists for big city newspapers can even make somewhere between $1,500-$2,000 a week. But you gotta start somewhere, and those big cities will test your ability to live on less.

Blogging and other personal projects can help supplement a journalist's income—or even make up the majority of take home pay. Popular blogs are ranked by clicks, and the more clicks a website gets, the more and better ads they can use. 

These ads mean revenue, which means income, which means you get paid—as long as people keep clicking. That may be why the line between journalist and internet gossip hack has become so thin.

Long story short, those who are skilled enough can make a living as a journalist. Some people get lucky, and some people work hard their entire lives to make ends meet. Others barely make enough to keep the internet on—and to a journalist that's probably even more important than food.

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