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Communications Majors and Available Careers

One of the most popular majors for college students is communication, which can help train students to communicate thoughts and ideas visually, verbally or even through film. Whether you choose to earn a degree at the associate or the bachelor's level, graduates in the field of communication will have grasped key ideas and concepts such as public speaking, writing press releases, business writing and online communication.

Quick Facts: Communications Industry
Median Pay:   $63,925 per year | $31 per hour
Entry-Level Education:   Bachelor's degree
Work Experience:   Less than 5 years
Number of Jobs, 2014:   671,000

Communications Occupations:

  • Technical writers$69,030
  • Writers and authors$58,850
  • Interpreters and translators$43,590
  • Public relations specialists$55,680
  • Editors$54,890
  • Public relations and fundraising managers$101,510

There is no question that these skills can be used in countless industries, but there are also some careers that specifically require a communications degree. Discover what types of careers will be available to you after majoring in communications.

Editors

A significant portion of any communication degree will consist of learning how to craft well-written articles, headlines and summaries. Of course, along the way you will be able to hone your grammatical skills and learn more about what makes a particular sentence correct or appealing to the reader, customer or audience.

If your written skills happen to be your strongest ability, then becoming an editor may be a logical career choice for your future. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), editors typically require a bachelor's degree, and majoring in communications is the ideal way to prepare. You can also expect an annual salary of $53,880, which is well earned due to the tight deadlines and heavy workloads many editors deal with during their typical workday.

Public Relations Specialists

While there are many jobs for communications majors available, no single career better utilizes the skills covered in the curriculum than that of public relations specialist. These individuals represent individual clients such as celebrities or politicians, corporations or even charitable organizations.

Their work might include writing press releases for upcoming product releases or elections, hosting large parties to gain brand recognition or to raise money and to generally craft a specific image for the person or group they represent.

The BLS reports that public relations specialists will see a 12 percent growth in job outlook through 2022, which is one of the highest rates in the field. In addition, individuals with this career can expect to earn an impressive salary of $54,170 per year with just a bachelor's degree.

Technical Writers

One of the natural career choices for those who major in communication at the college level is writer or author. However, job growth for those employment opportunities is slow, and the BLS estimates that the number of jobs will increase just three percent over the next decade. In contrast, technical writers will see a 15 percent job growth in the same period of time.

Technical writers spend the majority of their time writing content, but the material is generally technical or electronic in nature. Writing in this industry might include manuals for large factory machines or safety guides for cars and other products. If you have a background in engineering, computer science or electronics, choosing a career in technical writing can help bring in a salary of just over $65,000 per year.

Interpreters and Translators

A major concern for many communication majors is that they won't be able to secure a career after graduation if the field is too saturated with graduates and therefore very competitive. One of the ways to alleviate that concern is to prepare for a career as an interpreter or translator, which is set to see astronomical growth at a rate of 46 percent through 2022.

Although these two types of careers may seem identical, interpreters translate spoken words and translators translate written text. To be successful in this field, having a communication degree is fantastic start. In addition, you will need to master at least two languages so that you can easily translate back and forth between them for clients.

Advertising and Promotions Executives

One thing a communication degree accomplishes is showing students how to convey an idea or desire to an audience. Through a short commercial or a single advertisement in a magazine, you should be able to convince readers and audience members that a specific product is desirable and worth their money.

It makes perfect sense, then, to learn that many communication majors go on to work in the industries of advertising, marketing and promotions. Part of the daily job might be to collaborate with designers, artists and writers to create a cohesive idea that communicates simply to a target audience or demographic. If earning potential is a prime motivator for you, a career in advertising or marketing could be a good fit, as the annual salary according to the BLS is over $115,000.

Majoring in communication is a smart way to prepare for a successful career. Focusing on your particular communication skills will allow you to choose a career that will best fit your personality and skill set.