Magazine journalist

Magazine journalists research and write news articles and features for a wide variety of publications.

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter

to

£40,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 variable

You could work

evenings / weekends away from home

How to become a magazine journalist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly
  • specialist courses from training organisations

University

You may find it useful to have a degree in a subject like journalism or media. This will help you learn about the magazine industry and develop the skills you'll need as a journalist.

You could also do a postgraduate course in journalism. Some of these are accredited by the Professional Publishers Association.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grade 9 to 4 (A* to C) or above and 2 to 3 A levels
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More information

College

You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant qualifications include Level 3 Diploma in Journalism or Level 3 Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.

Some colleges offer the Level 3 Certificate in Foundation Journalism and courses in Shorthand, accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

More information

Apprenticeship

You can work towards this role by starting with an advanced apprenticeship as a junior journalist.

Entry requirements

Employers will set their own entry requirements.

More information

Volunteering and experience

Competition for jobs is strong, especially with the better-known magazines. You'll find it useful to have examples of your published work in a portfolio. You'll also need practical experience, which you could get by:

  • contacting magazines to ask for work experience
  • writing reviews of films, plays or products
  • volunteering to work on newsletters
  • writing your own blog and having an online presence

Direct application

You could apply directly for jobs, especially if you have knowledge of the specialist area the magazine covers.

You would need to build up a network of contacts as many journalist jobs are not advertised.

Other routes

You can study a range of professional qualifications in journalism, either online or part time at a training centre, accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

As a journalism student you can apply for student membership of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ). The NUJ also has information on bursaries that may be available.

Further information

You can find out more about working in publishing from the Professional Publishers Association and the National Union of Journalists.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of English language
  • knowledge of media production and communication
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • excellent written communication skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • persistence and determination
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • going to meetings to plan the content of the magazine
  • suggesting ideas for articles
  • interviewing and researching to collect information for articles
  • writing articles to suit the magazine’s style
  • keeping up-to-date with developments and trends in the magazine's subject area
  • working as a critic, reviewing things like films, food or concerts

Working environment

You could work in an office or from home.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

With experience you may be able to progress to an editing position or move into another area like newspaper journalism, radio or TV. 

You could go freelance and write for various publications, or become a staff writer.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Multimedia Journalism Apprentice - Swindon

  • Wage : £146.25 Weekly
  • Location: Swindon SN3 3RB

Level 3 Junior Journalist Apprentice - Bournmouth

  • Wage : £146.25 Weekly
  • Location: Bournemouth BH2 6HH

Courses In England

Level 3 in Media Journalism

  • Provider: Middlesbrough College
  • Start date: 09 September 2019
  • Location: Middlesbrough

UAL Level 3 Diploma/Extended Diploma in Creative Media Journalism and Creative Writing

  • Provider: HCUC
  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location: Uxbridge

JobsIn the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

Exam results helpline

Received your exam results? Speak to a careers adviser for advice on the options available to you.

Call 0800 100 900 from 8am to 10pm, 7 days a week.

Calls are free from landlines and most mobile numbers.

Follow us on Twitter for more support.

Skills assessment

Take an assessment to learn more about your skills and the careers that might suit you.

Get help using this service

Call 0800 100 900 or use webchat

8am to 10pm, 7 days a week

More ways to contact us

Is this page useful?

Yes No