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Magazine journalist

Alternative titles for this job include

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

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

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:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • 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), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

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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

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

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

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 use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You may:

  • go to meetings to plan the content of the magazine
  • suggest ideas for articles
  • interview and research to collect information for articles
  • fact check and proof read articles
  • write articles to suit the magazine's style
  • keep up-to-date with developments and trends in the magazine's subject area
  • work 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

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

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

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Editorial Apprentice

  • Wage: £15,000.00 Annually
  • Location: Not known

Junior Journalist Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £15,000.00 Annually
  • Location: London

Courses In England

Introduction to journalism

  • Provider: THE CITY LITERARY INSTITUTE
  • Start date: 01 November 2021
  • Location: Not known

Journalism Vocational 30 Credit

  • Provider: SIR GEORGE MONOUX COLLEGE
  • Start date: 05 September 2022
  • Location: London

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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