How Much Does Public Relations School Cost?
Last Updated: February 01, 2022
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People who work in public relations help to shape the image of an individual, company, or government. This is done primarily through the dissemination of information, whether via speeches, social media, phone calls, writing, or sales or marketing material. If you're a strong communicator who enjoys creative problem-solving, networking, and keeping up with current events, public relations might be a good career choice.
Public Relations Career Considerations #
Working in public relations means, primarily, communicating with the public on behalf of an individual or organization. Public relations can, however, involve handling inter-agency relationships, such as relations between managers and employees. In either case, for the public relations specialist, their role is to create positive publicity for an employer or client. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this includes the following job duties:
- Write press releases and speeches
- Respond to media requests for information
- Devise strategies (fundraising, advertising, promotional programs) for communicating effectively with the public
- Develop and maintain a client's image and identity
- Set up speaking engagements/press conferences
Salary and Job Prospects #
Occupation data compiled by BLS puts the median annual salary of public relations specialists at $54,170. For public relations managers, the median salary is $95,450.
Between 2010 and 2020 public relations jobs are expected to grow by 21%, faster than the average for all other occupations. The strong projected growth of public relations specialists led U.S. News to rank the profession #51 on its 2013 list of Best Jobs.
BLS notes that public relations mangers and specialists typically need a bachelor's degree. A degree in public relations, however, isn't necessary. While some schools offer undergraduate degrees in public relations, students can prepare for a career in this field by studying journalism, communications, business, or English. An associate's (two-year) degree can be a stepping stone to a bachelor's degree.
A master degree in public relations or journalism may be needed for public relations management positions. According to BLS, 25% of public relations managers hold a master's degree. In some cases, a graduate certificate might satisfy this education requirement.
Work experience is required for public relations managers. For entry-level positions, on-the-job training is typically provided. A new hire may find himself or herself assigned in a research capacity to a client account under the supervision of more experienced colleagues.
Additional Resources #
To learn more about becoming a public relations specialist, check out the following links:
- A Career in Public Relations (The Wall Street Journal)
- Public Relations Specialist (U.S. News & World Report)
- Public Relations Managers and Specialists Occupational Outlook Handbook (BLS)
Public Relations School Costs #
The following costs are based on national averages only. Contact individual schools for the most accurate tuition information.
- Two-year schools cost $3,000 - $3,500 per year
- Four-year schools cost $8,700- $29,000 per year
- Master degree programs cost $7,600 - $26,000 per year
- The above costs are for tuition and fees only; books and supplies, room and board, and other student expenses are extra.
- Source: The College Board 2012 Trends in College Pricing
- Earning a graduate certificate usually entails completing 3 to 6 graduate-level courses in a number of interrelated disciplines. Graduate certificate programs start at $6,000 to $12,000 but some cost $15,000 to $25,000.
- Find out how you can pay for school at the U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid website.
Find Public Relations School Information #
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