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Posted On: January 8, 2018 by Henry R. Steele

The following article discusses the career path of Communications Officer. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of Communications Officers.

Job Duties

Communications officers hold responsibility for the establishment and facilitation of both external and internal communication. Their goal is to create a positive brand image for the organization. They do this in a variety of different ways, including ensuring all company information, such as memos and newsletters, are disseminated properly. Furthermore, they often focus on writing public statements, maintaining a media contacts list, writing and monitoring website content, and public relations in general.

The role of communications officers is varied. They prepare public relations materials like brochures, work with media contacts, and conduct press conferences. In everything that they do, their aim is to make sure both internal and external parties are informed of the progress within the organization itself. They can take on this position in a huge variety of organizations, including large corporations, charities, research facilities, schools, and government organizations.

Other job duties communications officers of are:

  • To manage all communications, including telephone, radio, and other forms of media
  • To ensure all communication information is properly entered in the company’s database
  • To keep all information up to date
  • To put measures in place to improve corporate image and reputation

Where We Work

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 31,300 advertising, promotions, and marketing managers in 2016, and the communications officer is part of this professional group. The largest employers of these professionals were:

  • Advertising, public relations, and related services: 34%
  • Information: 12%
  • Management of companies and enterprises: 7%
  • Wholesale trade: 6%
  • Retail trade: 6%

How to Become

Usually, a bachelor’s degree in a field such as journalism or communication is required for this position.

Education Requirements

A communications officer is generally required to have a bachelor’s degree as a minimum. Usually, they have a major in areas such as marketing, communication, journalism, psychology, or advertising. Those who have taken classes in photography, art history, visual arts, communication technology and methods, sales, market research, consumer behavior, and marketing are in the highest demand.

Additionally, it is often advisable to have completed courses in areas such as statistics, mathematics, computer science, finance, economics, management, and business law. This is because these courses will enable a communications officer to best understand methods of driving traffic through communication online, an integral part of modern forms of communication.

Experience is also very important. Most communications officers have undergone an internship as part of their degree. They will then have taken up an entry level position, through which they can grow to the coordinator position.

Traits & Qualities

The most effective communications officers have the following traits to some degree or other:

  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, with an ability to adapt language to suit the audience
  • Being able to convince others to take certain actions
  • Computer skills

Minimum Education

Bachelor’s Degree

National Salary

The national average salary estimate for Communications Officer was $45,494. This number is estimated from over 149,724 employees, users past and present job advertisements from Indeed.com. This equates to an hourly salary of $23.69 and monthly of $3,791.

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$14,000

$121,000

Salary Distribution

Salary by State

The following section lists Communications Officer salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings through Indeed.com. For example, DC had the largest quoted salary of $73,378 while Tennessee had the smallest quoted salary of $21,331.

Alabama Idaho Missouri Oregon
Arizona Illinois Mississippi Pennsylvania
California Indiana Montana Tennessee
Colorado Kentucky North Carolina Texas
DC Louisiana New York Virginia
Florida Maryland Ohio Washington
Georgia Maine Oklahoma Wisconsin
Alabama$24,211 Rank: 24th
The average salary ranks 24th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like City of Gulf Shores, AL.

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$7.25

$21.40

Salary Distribution
Arizona$66,750 Rank: 4th
The average salary ranks 4th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Maricopa County, Maricopa County, AZ, and CITY OF BISBEE.

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$17,000

$149,000

Salary Distribution
California$70,164 Rank: 3rd
The average salary ranks 3rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like University of California Berkeley, CITY OF LOS ALTOS, County of San Mateo, and Orange County Transportation Authority.

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$16,000

$162,000

Salary Distribution
Colorado$33,580 Rank: 17th
The average salary ranks 17th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Denver Public Schools.

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$7.25

$38.10

Salary Distribution
DC$73,378 Rank: 1st
The average salary ranks 1st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Infinite Resources, Inc..

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$16,000

$171,000

Salary Distribution
Florida$45,834 Rank: 9th
The average salary ranks 9th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like University of South Florida, State of Florida, Pasco County, FL, and Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

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$14,000

$107,000

Salary Distribution
Georgia$33,906 Rank: 16th
The average salary ranks 16th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Wake Forest, Dept. of Community Supervision, Fulton County, GA, and University of Georgia.

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$14,000

$99,000

Salary Distribution
Idaho$35,136 Rank: 15th
The average salary ranks 15th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Kootenai County.

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$7.25

$39.60

Salary Distribution
Illinois$22,924 Rank: 27th
The average salary ranks 27th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Triton College.

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$7.25

$22.85

Salary Distribution
Indiana$30,720 Rank: 20th
The average salary ranks 20th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Floyd County Sheriff’s Department, Town of Plainfield, IN, and University of Notre Dame.

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$8.05

$24.25

Salary Distribution
Kentucky$49,482 Rank: 7th
The average salary ranks 7th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like University of Kentucky.

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$14,000

$111,000

Salary Distribution
Louisiana$30,192 Rank: 21st
The average salary ranks 21st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like State of Louisiana.

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$1,200

$6,400

Salary Distribution
Maryland$70,959 Rank: 2nd
The average salary ranks 2nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like National Security Agency, Prism Inc., and Integrated Strategic Communications Boutique.

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$15,000

$168,000

Salary Distribution
Maine$27,744 Rank: 22nd
The average salary ranks 22nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Securitas Security Services USA, Inc.

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$7.25

$21.90

Salary Distribution
Missouri$24,345 Rank: 23rd
The average salary ranks 23rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri State University, and Vernon County Sheriff’s Office.

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$7.25

$21.80

Salary Distribution
Mississippi$23,635 Rank: 25th
The average salary ranks 25th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like University of Mississippi.

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$7.25

$18.60

Salary Distribution
Montana$31,852 Rank: 19th
The average salary ranks 19th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Gallatin County 911.

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$8.35

$25.15

Salary Distribution
North Carolina$52,037 Rank: 6th
The average salary ranks 6th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like U.S. Marine Corps and City of Durham.

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$14,000

$121,000

Salary Distribution
New York$64,457 Rank: 5th
The average salary ranks 5th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like The Washington Market School.

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$14,000

$185,000

Salary Distribution
Ohio$42,890 Rank: 10th
The average salary ranks 10th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like HAMILTON COUNTY, OHIO.

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$14,000

$95,000

Salary Distribution
Oklahoma$23,481 Rank: 26th
The average salary ranks 26th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like State of Oklahoma, Delaware County Sheriff’s Office – Communication division, University of Central Oklahoma, and Cherokee Nation.

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$7.25

$22.80

Salary Distribution
Oregon$33,081 Rank: 18th
The average salary ranks 18th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Douglas County, OR, University of Oregon, and Pacific Patrol Services Inc..

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$8.65

$28.65

Salary Distribution
Pennsylvania$38,898 Rank: 12th
The average salary ranks 12th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Villanova University.

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$19,000

$59,000

Salary Distribution
Tennessee$21,331 Rank: 28th
The average salary ranks 28th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Knoxville and University of Tennessee.

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$7.25

$21.15

Salary Distribution
Texas$37,709 Rank: 13th
The average salary ranks 13th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like U.S. Army, TOWN OF FLOWER MOUND, City of Rowlett, and Hidalgo County, TX.

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$14,000

$91,000

Salary Distribution
Virginia$41,625 Rank: 11th
The average salary ranks 11th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like V-1 Analytical Solutions, Richmond, VA, U.S. Navy, and George Mason University.

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$14,000

$100,000

Salary Distribution
Washington$46,032 Rank: 8th
The average salary ranks 8th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Washington State Patrol, Washington State Government, State of Washington, and Valley Communications Center.

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$1,800

$6,700

Salary Distribution
Wisconsin$36,825 Rank: 14th
The average salary ranks 14th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Walworth County, WI.

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$9.70

$29.20

Salary Distribution

Top 20 National Employers

According to Indeed.com, the following states had employers looking to hire a Communications Officer. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.

Employer Name Location Average Salary

Learn More

Related Careers

Career Name Average Salary
Henry R. Steele
Henry R. Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.Follow on Twitter.com

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