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Gauging Media Salaries

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Media salaries are known for being lower than salaries in other industries. Although media salaries start low, if you're passionate about launching a career in media, money shouldn't be the thing which keeps you from going after your dream job.

Nonetheless, if you’re considering a career in media, you need to ask yourself how much pay matters to you. This is obviously a personal question, and one that confronts everyone during a job search. When it comes to salary, here are some things to think about:

Surviving the Early Part

Entry level jobs in the media business are particularly low-paying. This is why you may need to make some sacrifices, especially when you’re starting out. But some segments of the industry tend to pay better than others -- magazines often pay better than newspapers and online usually better than both -- and you always need to consider what your end goal is. Look at salaries for people who have the job you ultimately want. If you’re working towards a position as an art director, you’re pay will probably be different than if you want to be a copy editor, ultimately. If you have the opportunity to make more money down the line, that may affect how much you make starting out.

Going After Your Passion

Most people don’t go into the media business to make money. People go into media because they’re passionate about what they do -- about delivering content in whatever facet they do it. And, for most people, making less money is a trade off. If you don’t fit that bill, then you may want to reconsider getting a job in media. People who succeed in this business, you’ll find, are driven not as much by their salary and more by their job itself.

Look Around to Get A Sense of Pay

Although people may not go into the media business to get rich, everyone cares about their salary. It’s important and has a huge impact on your life. But it’s hard to generalize about how much people get paid, or could get paid. So look around at various jobs, in different segments of the industry, to see what your options are. If you’re not dead set on one specific job, then you should do some research. See what people in different areas of the industry get paid, both starting out and later in their career.

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