How much do you get paid working in PR?

How much do you get paid working in PR?

Salaries have fallen in the past year but PR remains a well-paid career.

Public relations is well-paid with lots of opportunity for progression for ambitious individuals.

Data from the CIPR and the PRCA sets out average remuneration. It covers roles in agency and in-house and describes regional differences.

The CIPR polls its members in its annual state of the profession survey. The PRCA engages the profession in an annual census.

The 2019 CIPR State of the Profession survey published in April 2019 polled 1,500 members. The 2019 PRCA PR Census (opens as a PDF) published in May 2019 polled 1,300 practitioners.

Unfortunately it's not possible to compare the two datasets.

The PRCA Census asks for salary information. The CIPR State of PR asks for total annual income including bonuses and dividends.

There’s also a flaw in the presentation of the data. The results are based on mean averages and not median data. A prevalence of low or high earners may skew either dataset.

These two issues aside the data tells a story of opportunity.

London and agencies leads the pack with the highest salaries. According to the PRCA the average salary in London is £46,138.

The average salary for a board director in an agency is £74,849. A director in an in-house team is paid an average of £68,973.

The average agency salary is £41,846 compared with £43,300 in-house.

There’s clear opportunity for progression. Agency salaries start at £22,374 compared with £24,807 in-house.

Salaries fall as practitioners move away from capital cities in the nations. The premium on salaries in London isn’t as great as might be expected.

The average industry salary is £42,700. Contracting is particularly lucrative with a typical freelancer earning £49,069.

Salaries have taken a dip in the past year according to the PRCA.

  • average salary across the industry is down 7.1% from £45,950

  • average salary at agencies is down 8.8% from £45,865

  • average in-house salary is down 6.0% from £46,078

  • average freelancer income is down 3.7% from £50,966

The CIPR claims a win for its member making a direct correlation between remuneration and professional standards. Its message is simple. Individuals with professional credentials earn more.

  • The CIPR members earn £2,963 more than non-members

  • Professional qualifications carry a premium of £3,800

  • Chartered Practitioner’s earn £18,000 higher average salaries

I’ve been exploring the income of PR practitioners for the next edition of Exploring Public Relations. Here’s a summary of the CIPR State of PR and PRCA Census data.

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