Your new journalism job: what do reporters, editors get paid?

What is writing, reporting and editing worth to you?

Everyone says he didn’t get into journalism to be rich – particularly not the print field – but rather it’s what he wants to do.

But when you really face the numbers it may seem even more daunting.

So what is reporting worth to you? I hope less than it was in 2001.

Someone starting out could look to make anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000, though the median salary for journalists in 2001 was approximately $44,000. (Via Mindy McAdams)

Working as an intern at the Philadelphia Business Journal, I made the equivalent of $16,000 a year. As a post-graduate intern covering state government this past summer in Harrisburg, Pa., I made what would be $25,000 during a full year.

Understand, though, the difference in cost of living. According to CNN Money’s salary calculator, I would need to make more than $30,000 to live in Philadelphia and maintain the same standard of living as I did in Harrisburg. That’s already well beyond the median salary for all newspaper reporters.

The only full-time gig in Philadelphia I seriously pursued offered a salary of just that: $30,000, though the position is going to remain unfilled because of budget cutbacks.

You need more than $190,000 to raise a child to age 18, according to estimates by Bankrate.com. Can you do that on that total?

How much can I make as a freelance journalist? I am in the process of figuring just that out, being two weeks into my freelance career. I’d set a goal of $30,000, considering I wouldn’t much want to dip below my standards as a post-graduate intern, but that seems daunting thus far.

Much more is to be discovered and learned, though, so keep all of this in mind.

My peers have found part-time work to develop a steady stream of money, though small, to compliment whatever freelance money they can earn. I’ve made a small step in that direction by blogging for BNET, a business-news subsidiary of CBS. I’m also selling my services, like I did recently with storytelling (hire me to tell your story!).

Maybe we ought to just look at these jobs.

Do those numbers shock you? Are you ready to find your own alternative revenue streams?

Photo from Stuff.co.nz. Graph from MindyMcAdams.