What Can You Do With a Public Relations Major?

Aug 07, 2019

A public relations major can open the door to diverse careers, including some public relations jobs. Learn more about different public relations professions and a bit about the degree program itself.

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  • 0:05 Career Options for PR Majors
  • 1:21 Median Salaries for PR Careers
  • 2:12 Job Outlook
  • 2:45 Coursework in a PR Program

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Public Relations Jobs

A bachelor's degree with a public relations major can lead to a variety of interesting jobs. Public relations professions generally have to do with communication and relaying information to the public. Below, we explore a few of these different public relations professions and a public relations degree in more detail.

Public Relations Manager

Public relations managers usually need at least a bachelor's degree in public relations or a related field, but some employers may prefer a master's degree in public relations or a related field. These professionals typically work full-time and may keep long work hours as they help create and manage the public image of their client(s). They may be responsible for:

  • Managing press releases
  • Figuring out how to reach target audiences
  • Assisting with advertising
  • Identifying social trends
  • Creating an image to respond to trends
  • Overseeing internal communications
  • Supervising staff

As of 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that all public relations and fundraising managers made a median salary of $114,800 per year. The BLS also reported a 10%, or faster than average, job outlook for these professionals from 2016 to 2026.

Public Relations Specialist

A bachelor's degree in public relations is usually the preferred education for public relations specialists. Public relations specialists are similar to public relations managers in that they help develop a positive public image for their clients. These professionals may:

  • Monitor social media
  • Answer questions from the media
  • Draft press releases
  • Determine if advertising is consistent with public image goals
  • Schedule interviews
  • Write speeches for their clients

The median salary for public relations specialists in 2018 was $60,000, per the BLS. Their job outlook was 9% for 2016 to 2026, which is as fast as the national average.

Technical Writer

Technical writers typically need a bachelor's degree, but it may be in English or another communications field, such as public relations. These writers must be able to communicate clearly as they write pieces for target audiences, usually concerning a particular product. They may create journal articles, instruction manuals, and other documents that contain technical information. This may require them to:

  • Research the product
  • Determine the best way to communicate with the target audience
  • Write content for the product
  • Make edits
  • Incorporate customer feedback
  • Maintain consistency of technical information across customer relations, marketing, and other departments

According to the BLS, the median salary for technical writers in 2018 was $71,850. From 2016 to 2026, the career has a job outlook of 11%, which is faster than average.

Public Relations Major

Public relations degree programs are available as Bachelor of Arts (BS) and Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees. Many of these degree programs are available in online formats for flexibility. In these programs students may take courses in topics like:

  • Writing for public relations
  • Public relations
  • Public relations strategy
  • Research in public relations
  • Public relations campaigns

As we have seen, there are many jobs in public relations that only require a bachelor's degree in the field, but there are master's degree programs in public relations available that could help advance one's career. Those in public relations looking to advance or expand their opportunities may also consider earning a master's in public speaking, business administration, communications, or another related field.

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