PR Entry level salary for NYC, SF, Chicago, etc?


I'm currently majoring in PR and communications, and I LOVE it. But, everyone is telling me that I won't make any money, and that I'll probably end up joining one of those coding bootcamps or w/e and switching jobs in a few years.

I really want to get an internship, move to like NYC or SF after graduating, finding a job, and proving everyone wrong. But am I totally crazy? Can people afford to live in these cities on a PR NYC salary? 

Any way, I'm just curious if anyone can share what their entry level pr salary was, where you live or lived, and whether you're happy.


Hi Rebecca! Entry-level PR role salaries -- especially at a PR agency -- are pretty low, but the PR salary growth trajectory is steep and can be achieved over a short period of time if you excel and hustle. Over a timeline of just four years... in my first role I made $30k (I could barely make rent in SF). The second $55k. The third $105k. It went on from there and now I have my own PR firm. From my experience, there really isn't a ceiling. It all depends on the type of PR/communications work you do, the industry (tech is higher than CPG, for example), how good you are at your job, and the types of opportunities you expose yourself to. If you're after a high salary, you have to put yourself out there and try to anticipate where the opportunities for upward mobility are vs. waiting for promotion after promotion. 

At an agency in a major metro, you can expect to start out ~$45k, but definitely check the numbers by googling as I'm sure things have changed. (In 2009, it was ~$30-35k). Entry-level in-house PR salaries are going to be higher, but I really can't stress enough the value of starting out at an agency. You can make a big jump in salary after a few years of paying dues and getting the skills you need at an agency. 

Let me know if this helps and if you want to discuss more. 

Wow! That is so cool that you're now running your own PR firm. I'll do my best to find an internship at an agency and follow your advice.

Thank you!