What does a communications specialist do?
Communication specialists strive to help organizations establish effective communication between the entity and the public by developing and organizing programs. They provide advice on the communication strategies and policies of the organization and help implement new techniques. They handle a variety of functions including employee relations, public relations, conflict mediation, media communications, and political campaigns. Communications specialists create press releases, special reports, and articles. Communication specialists work for a variety of organizations such as major corporations, nonprofit associations, hospitals, and universities.
What kind of training does a communications specialist need?
Communications specialists typically need at least a bachelor degree in communications, journalism, public relations, or other related field. Many employers prefer applicants with some related work experience. Many aspiring communications specialists complete courses in business administration, information technology, journalism, and mass communications. Many also complete internships while pursuing their education to gain practical experience and establish valuable contacts. Many employers provide on the job training to new communications specialists. New specialists often shadow experienced employees to learn the required policies and procedures. They often begin completing simple tasks and move on to more advanced duties as they gain the necessary skills and experience. Many communications specialists obtain professional certification to remain competitive in the field. The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) offers the Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) designation. Communications specialists must complete regular continuing education to maintain their certifications, keep their skills up to date, and stay abreast with advancements in the field.
What are the prospects for a career as a communications specialist?
Employment of communications specialists is expected to grow much faster than average for all professions, increasing 24% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The growing population and increased need for communications experts will drive job growth.
Job prospects should be good with strong competition. Communications specialists with advanced training and extensive experience will have the best job opportunities.
How much do communications specialists make?
As of March 2010, communications specialists with less than 1 year experience earn average annual salaries between $30,506 and $41,348. Those with 1 to 4 years experience earn average annual salaries between $34,718 and $47,870 (2).
A career as a communications specialist is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in communications and performing a variety of tasks for their organization. Communications specialists must have a solid understanding of a variety of communications methods. Creativity, initiative, good problem solving, and good judgment are necessary characteristics. Communication specialists must be able to communicate in a clear and simple manner and be able to interact with a wide variety of people. They must be self-confident and be able to work under stress and pressure to meet specific deadlines.