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Career and Education Opportunities for Reporters in Birmingham, Alabama

Reporters can find many career and educational opportunities in the Birmingham, Alabama area. There are currently 950 working reporters in Alabama; this should grow by 9% to about 1,030 working reporters in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for reporters are expected to shrink by about 7.6%. In general, reporters collect and analyze facts about newsworthy events by interview, investigation, or observation.

A person working as a reporter can expect to earn about $12 per hour or $25,460 per year on average in Alabama and about $16 hourly or $34,850 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Reporters earn less than people working in the category of Journalism generally in Alabama and less than people in the Journalism category nationally. People working as reporters can fill a number of jobs, such as: food critic, photographer, and weather anchor.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can study to be a reporter, among fifteen schools of higher education total in the Birmingham area. The most common level of education for reporters is a Bachelor's degree. It will take about four years to learn to be a reporter if you already have a high school diploma.


Reporter video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, reporters collect and analyze facts about newsworthy events by interview, investigation, or observation. They also report and write stories for newspaper, news magazine, or television.

Reporters inspect and evaluate notes taken about event aspects so as to isolate pertinent facts and details. They also decide on a story's emphasis and format, and organize material accordingly. Equally important, reporters have to arrange interviews with people who can furnish data related to a particular story. They are often called upon to research and analyze background data pertaining to stories so as to be able to furnish complete and accurate data. They are expected to check reference materials such as books and public records so as to obtain relevant facts. Finally, reporters inspect copy and correct errors in content and punctuation, following prescribed editorial style and formatting guidelines.

Every day, reporters are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment. It is also important that they speak clearly.

It is important for reporters to photograph or videotape news events, or request that a photographer be assigned to furnish such coverage. They are often called upon to design concepts and material for columns or commentaries by analyzing and interpreting news, current issues, and personal experiences. They also transmit news stories or reporting data from remote locations, using equipment such as satellite phones or modems. They are sometimes expected to write columns or reviews that interpret events or offer opinions. Somewhat less frequently, reporters are also expected to decide on a story's emphasis and format, and organize material accordingly.

Reporters sometimes are asked to consider issues with editors in order to determine priorities and positions. They also have to be able to conduct taped or filmed interviews or narratives and present live or recorded commentary via broadcast media. And finally, they sometimes have to research and analyze background data pertaining to stories so as to be able to furnish complete and accurate data.

Like many other jobs, reporters must be thorough and dependable and want to innovate to meet new challenges.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Editorial Specialist. Perform variety of editorial duties, such as laying out, indexing, and revising content of written materials, in preparation for final publication.
  • News Analyst. Analyze, interpret, and broadcast news received from various sources.
  • Public Address Announcer. Make announcements over loud speaker at sporting or other public events. May act as master of ceremonies or disc jockey at weddings, parties, or other gathering places.
  • Radio and Television Announcer. Talk on radio or television. May interview guests, act as master of ceremonies, read news flashes, identify station by giving call letters, or announce song title and artist.
  • Technical Writer. Write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions. May assist in layout work.
  • Writer. Create original written works.


Samford University - Birmingham, AL

Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, AL 35229-2240. Samford University is a small university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,469 students and an admission rate of 89%. Samford University has a bachelor's degree program in Journalism which graduated one student in 2008.


Certified Forensic Interviewer: The objective of this certification program is to create comprehensive, universally accepted professional standards combined with an objective measure of an interviewer's knowledge of those standards.

For more information, see the Center for Interviewer Standards and Assessment Ltd. website.


Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.