Public Relations & Advertising
Types of Degrees Public Relations & Advertising Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many public relations and advertising graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Public Relations & Advertising Majors Need to Know
O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to public relations and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.
Knowledge Areas for Public Relations Majors
Public Relations majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
- Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Skills for Public Relations Majors
When studying public relations, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Abilities for Public Relations Majors
As you progress with your public relations degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
What Can You Do With a Public Relations & Advertising Major?
Below is a list of occupations associated with public relations:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Advertising and Promotions Managers||5.4%||$117,130|
|Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers, and Athletes||4.7%||$66,040|
|Community Health Workers||17.9%||$39,540|
|Entertainers and Performers, Sports and Related Workers||8.2%||NA|
|Public Relations and Fundraising Managers||10.3%||$114,800|
|Public Relations Specialists||8.9%||$60,000|
Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Public Relations & Advertising?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of public relations majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||339|
|Hispanic or Latino||263|
Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Public Relations. About 13.7% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:
- South Korea
- Saudi Arabia
How Much Do Public Relations & Advertising Majors Make?
Master’s Degree Starting Salary
The median early-career salary of public relations and advertising students with a master’s degree is $46,800 a year according to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $40,750 (25th percentile) and $56,600 (75th percentile).
One thing to note here is that not all of these people may be working in careers related to public relations.
Salaries According to BLS
Average salaries range from $55,530 to $90,930 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to public relations. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Public Relations & Advertising
Some degrees associated with public relations may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.
Find out what the typical degree level is for public relations careers below.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|Less than a High School Diploma||1.6%|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||5.4%|
|Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)||0.6%|
|Some College Courses||8.1%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||10.9%|
|Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.||1.3%|
|Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level.||0.7%|
|First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession.||0.6%|
Online Public Relations & Advertising Programs
In 2018-2019, 549 schools offered a public relations program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||86||8|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||23||3|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||5||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||6||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in Public Relations & Advertising Worth It?
The median salary for a public relations grad is $69,480 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 74% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $591,600 after 20 years!
Top Ranking Lists for Public Relations & Advertising
Explore Major by State
District of Columbia
Majors Related to Public Relations & Advertising
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to public relations.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Communication & Media Studies||5,184|
|Radio, Television & Digital Communication||1,666|
|Communication & Journalism (Other)||636|
*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By Bill Koplitz under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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