Public Relations
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Overview
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Public relations is a program that focuses on the theories and methods for managing the media image of a business, organization, or individual and the communication process with stakeholders, constituencies, audiences, and the general public; and that prepares individuals to function as public relations assistants, technicians, and managers. includes instruction in public relations theory; related principles of advertising, marketing, and journalism; message/image design; image management; special event management; media relations; community relations; public affairs; and internal communications.
Careers for program graduates
Public relations majors work in these careers, which are sized by percentage of majors in the career (at least 1%) and colored by the predominant level of education.
Specialized ManagersMarketing ManagersPublic Relations SpecialistsCustomer Service Representativ...Wholesale and Manufacturing Sa...Elementary and Middle School S...Market Research Analysts and M...Labor Relations SpecialistsSales ManagersAdvertising Sales AgentsSecretaries and Administrative...Chief executives and legislato...Advertising and Promotions Man...First-Line Supervisors of Reta...Sales Representatives of Servi...Lawyers, and judges, magistrat...Retail SalespersonsFirst-Line Supervisors of Offi...Writers and AuthorsAccountants and AuditorsEducation and childcare admini...First-Line Supervisors of Non-...Project Management SpecialistsReal estate brokers and sales ...Management AnalystsFinancial ManagersGeneral and Operations Manager...
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Current Award Levels
Hover over the bars below to see how many people across the country completed a degree in public relations at each level last year.
02K4K6K0-1 Year Certificate1-2 Year CertificateAssociate's DegreeBachelor's DegreePostbaccalaureate CertMaster's Degree
SOURCES:
Race/origin of recent graduates
Here is an overview of race/origin for all public relations graduates from this last academic year. We found a higher percentage of international graduates in this program than in 52% of other programs.
Race/Origin
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Not Reported
International
Context: Percentage of Minority Graduates
Minority students comprise a lower percentage of graduates than in 72% of other programs.
Gender
Of all people with any degree in public relations earned in the last academic year, 80% were women.
Gender
Men
Women
Context: Percentage women
This is a higher percentage of women than 80% of other programs.
Salary
The Census Bureau provides salary data for people with bachelor's degrees in advertising and public relations, which includes public relations and 9 other programs.
Context: Median Salary
People with a degree in advertising and public relations have a median salary of $55,408.
Context: Benefit of a master's
About 18% of these bachelor's graduates also have a graduate degree, perhaps in a different field. Salaries improved by approximately 14% over those holding only the bachelor's degree for those with subsequent graduate degrees.
Employment
As with our salary data, this data applies to all who earned a bachelor's degree in advertising and public relations, which consists of 10 programs.
Context: Unemployment Rate
With an unemployment rate of 3.2%, this degree's majors who are in the workforce are less likely than the bachelor's graduates of 43% other fields to be employed.
Context: Self Employed Workers
About 7% of workers who earned a bachelor's in advertising and public relations are self-employed.
Top careers
Following are the most frequent jobs held by people who earned a bachelor's degree in Advertising and Public Relations (which combines 10 programs), perhaps followed by additional education in any field. There is a fun exploration of related degrees and careers under Explore Careers below.
Completions History

Interact with the options below to see whether this program is growing or declining in popularity and diversity.

Choose how to look at completions
Award level
Race/origin
Gender
Show percentages
Number of graduates
02,0004,0006,000200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018
Master's Degree
Postbaccalaureate Cert
Bachelor's Degree
Associate's Degree
1-2 Year Certificate
0-1 Year Certificate
Staring Salaries and College Debt by Award
How are students who recently completed a degree in Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication doing?

Below you'll see the distribution of the starting salaries and accumulated federal and private educational loans across schools that offer a program in the field public relations, advertising, and applied communication, which includes public relations.

Median starting salaries
$35K$47K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KMaster'sBachelor's
Median cumulative loan amount
$24K$41K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KMaster'sBachelor's
Salary and Employment for Majors
Percentage of advertising and public relations bachelor's graduates who are working

Technically, about 15.2% of advertising and public relations graduates are currently not working, but only 3.2% are classified as "unemployed." The remaining 12.0% are "not in the workforce," and we don't know whether people are out of the workforce for personal reasons or because they have been unable to find work for an extended period.

85%
Percentage working by type of employer
Government
Federal government
State government
Local government
Self-employed
Self Emp. Incoporated
Self Emp. Not Incorp.
Private not-for-profit
Private for-profit
total
Context: Unemployment rates

How does the unemployment rate for advertising and public relations majors compare to the rate for other majors?

3.2%0.0%1.0%2.0%3.0%4.0%
Typical salaries for advertising and public relations majors
Distribution: Salaries by Employer

Following is the full distribution of salaries for advertising and public relations majors, with a look at how the type of employer might affect that salary. This salary data includes people who may also have earned a graduate degree in any subject.

$53K$58K$49K$69K$40K$46K$64K$55K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250KPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitLocal governmentFederal governmentSelf Emp. Not Incorp.State governmentSelf Emp. IncoporatedOverall
Context: median salaries

How does the median (middle) salary for advertising and public relations majors compare to the median salaries for other college majors?

$55,408$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000
Gender and success for advertising and public relations majors

The donut shows the gender balance for all people with a bachelor's degree in advertising and public relations.

Gender
Men (36%)
Women (64%)
Context: Gender representation

There are more female advertising and public relations majors than most other degrees. This chart explores the percentages of men and women across majors.

64%36%0%20%40%60%80%100%WomenMen
Distribution: salaries by gender

Does your gender influence your salary? If salaries are balanced for men and women, the blue and pink bars should be about the same.

$64K$52K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250KWomenMen
Context: Salary inequity

For advertising and public relations graduates, men generally earn 22% more than women. This is high: 65% of programs have graduates with lower salary inequities.

22%22%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Insights from the ages of advertising and public relations bachelor's-holders
Salary by age

What entry-level pay should you expect in your first job, and is the mid-level pay significantly higher? Below we see salary distributions by age group for advertising and public relations graduates.

$65K$69K$49K$60K$64K$69K$33K$59K$70K$0$50K$100K$150K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
Workers with this degree
010K20K30K40K50K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
Is a bachelor's degree all you need?

Among all public relations completions reported last year, 98% were at the bachelor's level or higher, including 9% at the graduate level.

Most recent completions in public relations
0-1 Year Certificate
1-2 Year Certificate
2-4 Year Certificate
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Postbaccalaureate Cert
Master's Degree
Post-master's Cert
Professional Degree
Research Doctorate
Other Doctorate
Context: Graduate degrees in any field by undergraduate ACS degree

About 18% advertising and public relations majors chose to also earn a graduate degree (but we do not know the graduate field of study). The percentage of advertising and public relations majors also earned a graduate degree is near the middle in comparison to other fields.

18%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: advertising and public relations majors' salaries by education level

Explore the salary distribution of advertising and public relations majors by their highest degree earned. (Graduate degrees may be earned in any field.)

$54K$61K$82K$77K$0$50K$100K$150K$200KBachelor'sMaster'sDoctorateProfessional
Context: Percentage boost obtained with a graduate degree

How important is a graduate degree for earning a higher salary? We measured the percentage increase over the bachelor's salary that each higher degree achieved -- see how this increase compares to other majors.

14%43%53%0%20%40%60%80%Bachelor's to Master'sBachelor's to DoctorateBachelor's to Professional

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

This section's data applies people who earned a bachelor's degree in advertising and public relations

There's a wealth of information about diversity and employment by college major using data from the American Community Survey. The data for public relations is available for the larger advertising and public relations degree designation, which contains a total of 10 programs. The charts in this section only apply to people who earned a bachelor's degree in this program.

Explore Careers
Careers for advertising and public relations majors

Where do advertising and public relations majors work, and how well do those jobs pay? A ** before the job name tells you that the Department of Education recommends this job for people with a degree in public relations.

Other majors that are hired by the top ten advertising and public relations careers

Take a minute to interact with this sankey diagram. Follow the top ten jobs held by advertising and public relations graduates through to their most hired majors. Learn where it may easiest to find work, and explore other majors that might lead to the job that excites you the most. For many majors, the top ten jobs don't even include half of graduates!

Business Management and A...General BusinessAccountingPsychologyElectrical EngineeringPolitical Science and Gov...Mechanical EngineeringMarketingComputer ScienceFinanceCommunicationsEnglish Language and Lite...JournalismEconomicsAdvertising and Public Re...HistoryMass MediaCriminal Justice and Fire...BiologyElementary EducationGeneral EducationSpecial Needs EducationEarly Childhood EducationArt and Music EducationLanguage and Drama Educat...Liberal ArtsHuman Resources and Perso...SociologySpecialized ManagersMarketing ManagersPublic Relations SpecialistsCustomer ServiceRepresentativesWholesale andManufacturing SalesRepresentativesElementary and MiddleSchool School TeachersMarket Research Analystsand Marketing SpecialistsLabor Relations SpecialistsSales ManagersAdvertising Sales AgentsAll othersTop 10 CareersTop 10 degrees hired
What careers hire advertising and public relations majors as one of their top 10?

To the left of this diagram, see all careers that hire advertising and public relations majors as one of their top 10 majors, and on the right, see what proportion of openings for the jobs on the left are filled by advertising and public relations majors.

Advertising and Promotion...Public Relations Speciali...Specialized Media and Com...Public relations and fund...Meeting, Convention, and ...Artists and related worke...Advertising Sales AgentsAll other careersAdvertising and Public Re...All other degreesDegree in top 10 employedDegree
Where can I complete this program?
Explore schools that offer public relations degrees and certificates

Use this list to identify high-performing schools in convenient locations that offer this program. Select the orange scatter button to see typical starting salaries and student loans by school and award level for the broad program Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication. (Salary data is only available for large programs.)

Understanding the columns

The school list includes a few facts about each school that give you an idea of the educational quality each school might offer:

  • Student-Faculty Ratio: A small number of students per full-time instructor suggests individual attention for each student and an up-to-date curriculum.

  • Satisfaction Rate: A high percentage of returning first-year students should correlate with satisfaction (schools call this their retention rate).

  • Repayment Rate: A high repayment rate means most alumni earn enough to make progress repaying loans within 7 years of leaving.

We also show the total enrollment for the school as measured by full-time-equivalent (FTE) students enrolled annually.

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of
Explore public relations graduate program details

Many schools provide information to Peterson's about their graduate programs, and Ididio has licensed that data to share with you. The full list of schools is in the first table you encountered, and here we share the data that select universities have chosen to provide. You'll find more information about these programs on each school's page under "Programs Offered" -- select any table row to see this!

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Total applicants
Percentage Admitted
Assistantships
Available
Scholarships
Available
Tuition Waivers
Available
Explore similar programs

Public Relations is part of a larger collection of programs: Public relations, Advertising, and Applied Communications. Is there a different program that's close to Public Relations that might be a better match for your interests? You can use this table to see a little about the programs that fall under this umbrella. If you click on any of the table headers, that will sort the table by that column, or click on a row and see Ididio's profile for that program.