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Magazine journalist

Alternative titles for this job include Magazine reporter, staff writer

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

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter


£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 journalism courses


Magazine journalists can come from a wide variety of subject backgrounds. Particularly relevant degree subjects include:

  • English
  • journalism
  • media

Some courses are accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists.

You can do a postgraduate journalism course if your first degree is not in a related subject. Some of these are also accredited by the Professional Publishers Association.

The National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) has advice on bursaries and funding to encourage greater diversity in journalism.

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


You could take a college course like the Level 3 Certificate in Foundation Journalism.

It will give you some of the skills and knowledge you'll need to go on to do further journalism training. This could be through an apprenticeship or further study.

Entry requirements

Most people following this route have:

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

More Information


You can work towards this role through a journalist or a senior journalist higher apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

Employers will set their own entry requirements.

More Information


Competition for jobs is strong, especially with well-known magazines. Developing a network of contacts is essential. You'll find it useful to have examples of your published work in a portfolio.

To gain practical experience and get to know people in the industry you could:

  • contact magazines for information on work shadowing, internships and work experience
  • write reviews of films, plays or products
  • volunteer for a charity looking to develop their website or communications
  • write your own blog and build an online presence
  • create content for university media like student newspapers, society websites, student radio or TV

Direct Application

You could apply directly for jobs, especially if you have knowledge of the specialist area the magazine covers. For example, in healthcare, science or technical subjects.

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

Other Routes

You can study Level 5 and above professional qualifications in journalism which are accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ). Courses are available online or at a college or training centre.

The Level 5 Diploma in Journalism has practical magazine journalism optional units.

The NCTJ also offer online and short courses to help develop essential skills like:

  • shorthand
  • writing for the web
  • media law
  • feature writing

More Information

Career tips

It's useful to develop skills for creating online media content like:

  • search engine optimisation (SEO)
  • technical skills like HTML
  • using web design packages

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 magazine publishing and journalism from the:

What it takes

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

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of media production and communication
  • excellent written communication skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • 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 people or research 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.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

You could specialise in a particular field of magazine journalism such as:

  • trade or in-house publications
  • consumer magazines
  • specific features writing

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 permanent employee of a magazine 'house'.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Journalist Apprentice

  • Wage: £10,296.00 Annually
  • Location: Station Road, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

Courses In England

NCTJ L3 Cert in Journalism

  • Start date: 06 September 2024
  • Location: Warrington

Creative Media Production (Journalism) Foundation Diploma Level 3

  • Start date: 03 September 2024
  • Location: Salford

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