If you’re passionate about writing, you may be aiming for a career in journalism once you graduate or complete your training.
Despite the many changes due to digitization, the journalism sector is still relatively stable. To those who love writing, this job is a vocation that requires passion, commitment, and a constant hunger for information, as well as an ongoing interest in people, media, and a diversity of publications. Any true journalist will confirm that this is the best job in the world.
So what can newcomers expect to earn? Today’s article takes a close look at entry-level salaries in the print, online, radio, and television sectors.
TV and radio presenters and reporters
So you want to be the new voice of a radio breakfast show, or the new face of a TV program? Starting salaries for radio and TV presenters are determined by many factors.
Your salary will depend on whether you are employed by a public or private broadcaster. The size of the station and the popularity of your program with its target audience will also be crucial factors, as well as the type of contract you are employed on: are you a regular employee or a freelance presenter?
The average starting salary for a radio presenter is around 2200 euro gross per month (steuerklasse.com), whilst TV presenters can expect to earn as much as 45,000 euro gross per year (focus.de).
Many presenters are paid a daily rate; the amount paid varies between broadcasters and will also depend on the program format. The daily rate for newbie radio presenters ranges from 80-200 euro per day (marketing-moderator.de). TV reporters can earn between 200-400 euro per day and a magazine program presenter can earn 400-600 euro per day. As a TV show presenter, your starting daily rate could be as much as 500-1000 euro (marketing-moderator.de).
Many broadcasters work with freelancers and pay them according to collective wage agreements provided by the DJV (German Federation of Journalists) . You can find the current rates of pay for private broadcasters here.
Starting out as an editor
Are you interested in a career as an editor ? Editorial positions can be found in all branches of journalism; whatever the medium—TV, radio, print, or online—editors are always required.
Despite the fall in circulation of print media in recent years, such publications are still regarded by society as familiar and trustworthy, and publishers continue to develop and expand these formats. If you are a talented writer with a well-established network, then your chances of finding work in this field are high.
Financially, it is certainly worth joining a publishing house that pays according to the collective wage agreement. Starting from May 1, 2019, in your first three years as an editor for a daily newspaper, you will earn a substantial salary of 3395 euro gross per month (DJV). For a magazine editor, the starting salary as of late 2019 will be 3466 euro per month (DJV).
Of course, you can also work as a freelance editor and prepare individual articles for different print publications. Your fee will be determined by your experience, your writing style, and your research skills. The amount you earn will depend on the type of article, the subject matter, and the strength of your negotiating skills. The DJV’s current fee table for text and image contributions can be found here.
However, as an editor, you don’t necessarily have to work in print media. TV and radio stations also need your expertise. Entry-level salaries for radio editors range from 30,000 to 50,000 euros gross per year (absolventa.de). In the TV sector, starting salaries range from around 34,500 to 53,000 euros gross (absolventa.de), depending on the channel and format.
New opportunities online
The online media sector is expanding rapidly and many print publishers now also have an online editorial team. Opportunities outside the media sector are also increasing as there is a growing demand for journalists in both large and small companies.
For graduates with a bachelor’s degree, the average starting salary for an online content manager in the field of marketing and communications is 31,000 euros gross per year (absolventa.de). A master’s graduate, however, could earn an additional 1000 to 1500 euro gross per month. Once you have gained some professional experience, your monthly salary could increase to as much as 4000 euro gross (karrieresprung.de).
There are many opportunities for both permanent and freelance employment in journalism and content management. As a TV or radio presenter, you will typically be paid at a daily rate and most presenters work for a broadcaster on a freelance basis.
Reporters and editors can earn good salaries right from the start and can be employed on a permanent or freelance basis. Starting out in the print sector is more difficult, but entry-level salaries are high. However, the digital trend means that many media companies and enterprises no longer focus solely on print, radio or TV. The online media sector now provides many exciting career opportunities for young graduates.
Starting salaries in game design
If games are your passion and you are about to graduate in Game Design, you probably want to know what you can expect to earn in this sector. Find out in our next article in the ‘Starting salaries’ series on April 26, 2019.
Are you unsure about your professional options after you graduate in Game Design? You’ll find inspiration for your future career in our article Game Design – You are the main character in your world.
*DJV collective wage agreements available in German only.