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Journalism Teacher Job Description, Career as a Journalism Teacher, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Education and Training Varies – see below

Average Salary $49,000 per year

Job Outlook Fair

Basic Job Description

Journalism teachers are usually retired or working journalists who teach journalism college courses. Most of them decide to teach because their level of experience in the journalism field provides for a beneficial education for students who wish to pursue the career. Many of them also work for newspapers or TV stations, so they have resources available if they want to take students into a real newsroom to give them a hands-on experience. The experience of a good journalism teacher also provides insight on the real-life career of a journalist. They can often teach different writing and reporting techniques by bringing up past experiences of their own and explaining how things are done in the newsroom.

Education and Training Requirements

Journalism teachers almost always have a Bachelor’s degree in journalism. The majority of them have also worked in the journalism field for a number of years before becoming a teacher. If they intend to become a teacher, it is likely that they will get a Master’s degree and teaching certificate. Some universities do not require a Master’s degree, as someone who has enough experience through many years in the field may be just as good of a teacher.
Regardless of experience, many schools require a teacher to have a teaching certificate that is obtained by taking a state administered test through the board of education. Teaching certificates must also be renewed every several years to make sure their techniques and knowledge is current and up to date.

Getting the Job

To get a job as a journalism teacher, most schools, whether it be a high school or college, will want someone who has a significant number of years in the field. They also will choose teachers by their education, whether or not they worked in many branches of journalism such as print, TV or radio, and whether or not they are constantly keeping themselves up to date on how the field is growing and changing with technological advancements.

Journalism teachers need to be outgoing and passionate about their work. They should give students projects that involve interview techniques, different writing styles, and getting in front of a camera or on the radio. They will also plan class trips to newspaper offices, radio stations or TV stations to give students a chance to speak with professional journalists and reporters and see what day to day work is like for them.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

Journalism teachers may start their teaching career by teaching a class or after school program at a high school for students who are interested in writing. From there, they might decide they want to work with more serious students who have chosen journalism as their career path. Some may go to get their Master’s in journalism or teaching, while others may have enough previous experience to get hired in as a college journalism teacher right away.

If a journalism teacher wants to retire from working as a journalist and teach for a living, they may complete their education by going to school for a Doctorate degree so they can provide the best education on journalism as possible. This also helps their credentials, so it will be easier for them to get hired in at larger universities.

Employee outlook for journalism teachers is expected to stay steady over the next several years. Due to the decreasing demand for newspapers and other print journalism, teachers with experience in those fields may be needed less and less. Technology has also begun to play a rapidly increasing role in journalism, so teachers who are well educated on the internet technology aspect of journalism will be needed more. Someone who has not worked in web publishing or other internet related journalism practices may want to educate themselves on these aspects if they intend to teach for a long period of time.

Working Conditions and Environment

Journalism teachers spend most of their time in a classroom with students. Some may work in high schools and conduct journalism classes or just after school programs with interested students, while others may work in a university with students looking to obtain a Bachelor’s, Master’s or even Doctorate degree in journalism.

Some journalism teachers continue working as a journalist, so their time is split between working in a newsroom or station and working in the classroom. Many teachers combine the two by bringing students on class trips to different offices, or even hiring students to work as interns and get a better understanding of how the field works.

Journalism teachers need to be strict yet create a fun atmosphere for students, as journalism is intended to bring out creativity in students. They also need to be available for students to contact after class hours if they are looking for information or resources related to the field. Journalism teachers often love what they do because they spent many years working as a journalist, and therefore want their students to succeed in the same way and love the field they are working in. Journalists are used to working long or unusual hours, so teaching night classes or staying after class is something they should expect to do quite often.

Salary and Benefits

The average salary for a journalism teacher is about $49,000 per year. Teachers who work in large universities or who have a Doctorate degree have the potential to make significantly more than someone who doesn’t. The more a journalism teacher works for an institution, the more they will make. Teachers who dedicate more of their time to improving the journalism program the school offers can also expect to make more and gain more benefits in their teaching career.

Teachers have excellent benefits packages that are offered by the schools they work for. Teachers who work full-time receive health insurance plans and vacation and sick time. Teachers who work part time may not get these benefits, but all teachers have the benefit of weekends, holidays and summer vacation off work.

Where to Go for More Information

Journalism Education Association
Kansas State University
103 Kedzie Hall
Manhattan, KA 66506
(866) 532-5532

Society of Professional Journalists
Pulliam National Journalism Center
3909 N. Meridian
Indianapolis, IN 46208
(317) 927-8000

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesCommunication and the Arts