reporter news reporter news journalist multimedia journalist digital journalist broadcast journalist staff writer feature writer
Print and publishing, marketing and advertising

Career outlook for journalist

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

Journalists investigate and gather information to report to the public. You'd need to get the facts and present them clearly, in a way that’s informative and interesting to your audience.  

You might be working to in a fast-paced environment, to tight deadlines. You’d need to make sure your reports are truthful and fair. You'd need to follow editorial standards, regulatory rules and the law. These could vary depending on where you work. 

As a journalist, you'd: 

  • investigate stories as they happen 
  • follow up potential sources of information 
  • make contacts with people who have information for stories 
  • interview people 
  • attend events such as press conferences, court hearings or council meetings 
  • take notes or record meetings and interviews 
  • use audio or video equipment when capturing stories 
  • come up with ideas for new stories and features 
  • communicate information to the public 

There are many routes journalists can follow and specialise in. You could be writing articles in a newspaper or broadcasting video reports on TV. You could also script and deliver news bulletins on the radio or create social media content. 

Some examples of the types of specialism you could follow include: 

  • broadcast journalism 
  • newspaper journalism 
  • magazine journalism 
  • digital journalism 

Regardless of the type of journalism, it's useful to have a variety of multimedia and digital skills.  

You could choose to specialise in a specific subject such as sport, politics or entertainment. Or you might work as a critic, for example, producing restaurant or theatre reviews.  

Working conditions


You'll need to be flexible about your working hours. You might be working long, irregular hours including evenings, weekends and public holidays. This could be to follow up stories, respond to breaking news and meet deadlines.


Depending on your role, you could work from a news desk in an office. You might also spend time out of the office, chasing up stories. You could do your work from home in some roles.


You'd travel to cover stories, carry out research and interview people. This could involve overnight stays away from home and sometimes overseas travel.

UK employment status





Self employed


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Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Cooperating
  • Listening
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Creative
  • Observation
  • Researching
  • Attention to detail
  • Taking initiative
  • Time management
  • Taking responsibility

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Our Skills Explorer tool will help you understand what skills you have and match them to jobs that might suit you.

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on


For some jobs, you'll be able to apply if you can show you have journalism experience. Many will ask for you to have a degree in journalism, or another qualification.  

You could do a Modern Apprenticeship in Creative Media. You could then choose to start applying for jobs, or you could study towards a degree. 

Read more about this apprenticeship on

Employers value courses accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ). You can find approved courses in Scotland on the NCTJ site. 

To apply for a degree course, you'll likely need either: 

  • four Highers at BBBC or above 
  • a Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Higher National Diploma (HND) in a related subject 

To apply for an HNC or HND course, you'd likely need either: 

  • a C in Higher English 
  • a National Qualification in Media 

Another route into journalism is a postgraduate qualification. If you have a degree in a different subject, you could apply for a Master's or other postgraduate course. 

If you already know what you want to do, you could apply for a specialism course. For example, you could do one that focuses on broadcast or digital journalism. You could also do one which focuses on a specific topic, such as sport or politics. 

Use our course search to find one that is right for you

Useful subjects

  • English 
  • social studies subjects such as media 
  • administrative subjects 
  • ICT subjects 
  • maths 
  • drama 
  • art and design 

Helpful to have

Having a portfolio of work to show is useful when applying for jobs and courses. This could be a selection of articles you've written or a show reel demonstrating your skills with examples of work. 

Qualifications and experience that show understanding of the industry, research and writing skills will also be helpful, such as: 

  • Skills for Work Creative Digital Media
  • Creative Industries