Jobs in Speech Communication: Career Options and Requirements

Degrees in speech communications typically cover office management, political science, and marketing topics. Find out about career options, job growth and salary info for speech communications graduates.

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Human resource specialists, lobbyists and public relations specialists are all professionals in the field of speech communications. They typically have a bachelor's degree in speech communication, although a master's degree may be required for advancement.

Essential Information

Students who study speech communication may enter a broad variety of fields including business, law, media, education and healthcare. Any career that requires extensive direct communication is a viable speech communication career choice. Speech communication majors often focus on a specialized area throughout their studies.

Career Human Resources Specialists Lobbyist Public Relations Specialists
Education Requirements Bachelor's for entry level; master's for advancement Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 5% -2% for all political scientists 6%
Median Annual Salary (2015)* $58,350 $99,730 for all political scientists $56,770

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Mass Communication Studies
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Career Options

A speech communication degree prepares the student for a career as a human resources specialists, lobbyist, or public relations specialists. Not all careers for speech communication majors require an advanced degree, but some graduates decide to expand their career options by completing a master's program. On the job training, internships, and additional field study helps with career advancement.

Human Resources Specialists

Human resources specialists, advise managers on policy issues and are the links between a company's executives and its employees. Accordingly, duties may include explaining benefits, training new hires and disciplining employees. A specialist working for smaller companies may perform a wide variety of duties from hiring new employees to resolving internal conflicts, while those employed by larger companies may be responsible for more specific tasks, like training or compensation management.

Job Requirements

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employees prefer candidates who have at least a bachelor's degree, although some require a master's degree. While undergraduate degrees in human resources are rare, the BLS notes that students may take courses in psychology, human behavior and business administration to prepare for their careers. Regardless of completed coursework, college graduates generally complete at least some on-the-job training, which may cover how to train new hires or explain benefits.

Human resources specialists looking to advance to upper management may enroll in a master's degree program. Coursework may delve into topics like conflict management and employee recruitment.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The BLS expected human resources specialists to see 5% growth in employment from 2014-2024. In 2015, human resources specialists earned $58,350 as a median annual salary.

Lobbyist

Lobbyists are employed in various types of organizations including large corporations, small community groups, public interest groups, unions and industry trade organizations. They communicate directly with legislators to influence them to pass or reject bills and laws in order to positively affect their clients. Solid communication abilities are essential for lobbyists in order to effectively state their cases.

Research is also an important aspect of lobbyists' jobs because they need to have evidence to support their cause and reasoning. They also need to stay up-to-date on current legislation. For example, lobbyists may track issues that are important to their clients. As such, these lobbyists may attend various committee meetings, hearings and panel discussions.

Job Requirements

Most lobbyists have a college degree in political science, journalism or a related field. While in college, students can obtain internships with various government bodies or with a lobbying firm. Students may also consider taking classes in the field in which they plan to work. For example, aspiring environmental lobbyists may consider taking courses in environmental science, in addition to courses on the political process.

Lobbyists must stay updated on current events, especially those that are important to their clients. Additionally, lobbyists need a thorough understanding of their clients' goods and services, company practices and organizational needs. Some lobbyists are former legislators, and may have a law degree. According to the Princeton Review, lobbyists must register with state and federal government.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The BLS groups lobbyists within the larger group of political scientists, who were expected to see employment opportunities decrease by 2% from 2014 until 2024. All political scientists earned a median salary of $99,730 as of 2015, the BLS noted.

Public Relations Specialist

Public relations professionals develop a positive public image of an organization or company. These professionals provide information to the media about their client, create promotional materials and communicate with the organizations' employees to maintain a strong public image. Some public relations specialists may arrange public appearances for company executives, while others may compose speeches for their clients.

Job Requirements

The BLS reports that public relations specialists often need bachelor degrees in a communication-related field. Coursework may include business administration, marketing and advertising. Students may also take classes to hone their communication and interpersonal skills, such as speech and creative writing. The BLS notes that internship opportunities help aspiring public relations specialists to gain experience and may enhance their job opportunities.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Public relations specialists earned a median salary of $56,770 as of 2015, according to the BLS. It also expected their employment opportunities to increase by 6% during the 2014-2024 decade.

Human resource specialist, lobbyist and public relations specialist are among the job options for those who study speech communication. Professionals in these fields need at least an undergraduate degree and speech communication is a primary component of their regular tasks. Median annual salaries in these fields range from about $57,000 to nearly $100,000

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