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Career and Education Opportunities for Public Relations Specialists in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

If you want to be a public relations specialist, the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 9,900 working public relations specialists in Pennsylvania; this should grow 12% to about 11,050 working public relations specialists in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for public relations specialists, which sees this job pool growing by about 24.0% over the next eight years. In general, public relations specialists engage in promoting or creating good will for individuals, groups, or organizations by writing or selecting favorable publicity material and releasing it through various communications media.

Public relations specialists earn about $24 per hour or $50,900 annually on average in Pennsylvania and about $24 per hour or $51,280 yearly on average nationally. Jobs in this field include: event promoter, community relations manager, and communications specialist.

The Pittsburgh area is home to eighty-three schools of higher education, including fifteen within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can get a degree as a public relations specialist. Given that the most common education level for public relations specialists is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become a public relations specialist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Public Relations Specialist

Public Relations Specialist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, public relations specialists engage in promoting or creating good will for individuals, groups, or organizations by writing or selecting favorable publicity material and releasing it through various communications media. They also may prepare and arrange displays, and make speeches.

Public relations specialists respond to requests for data from the media or designate another appropriate spokesperson or data source. They also arrange public appearances or exhibits for clients to increase product and service awareness and to promote goodwill. Equally important, public relations specialists have to talk with other managers to pinpoint trends and key group interests and concerns or to furnish advice on business decisions. They are often called upon to ready or edit organizational publications for internal and external audiences, including employee newsletters and stockholders' reports. Finally, public relations specialists talk with production and support personnel to produce or direct production of advertisements and promotions.

Every day, public relations specialists are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they speak clearly.

It is important for public relations specialists to establish and maintain cooperative relationships with representatives of community and public interest groups. They are often called upon to study the objectives, promotional policies and needs of organizations to optimize public relations strategies that will influence public opinion or promote concepts, products and services. They also confer with advertising agencies or staff to organize promotional campaigns in all types of media for products, organizations, or individuals. They are sometimes expected to formulate and direct development and communication of informational programs to maintain favorable public and stockholder perceptions of an organization's accomplishments and agenda. Somewhat less frequently, public relations specialists are also expected to purchase advertising space and time as used to promote client's product or agenda.

Public relations specialists sometimes are asked to formulate and conduct market and public opinion research to test products or decide on potential for product success, communicating results to client or management. They also have to be able to ready and deliver speeches to further public relations objectives and talk with production and support personnel to produce or direct production of advertisements and promotions. And finally, they sometimes have to ready or edit organizational publications for internal and external audiences, including employee newsletters and stockholders' reports.

Like many other jobs, public relations specialists must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Pittsburgh include:

  • Art Director. Formulate design concepts and presentation approaches, and direct workers engaged in art work, layout design, and copy writing for visual communications media, such as magazines, books, and packaging.
  • Copy Writer. Write advertising copy for use by publication or broadcast media to promote sale of goods and services.
  • Interpreter. Translate or interpret written, oral, or sign language text into another language for others.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Public Relations Specialist Training

California University of Pennsylvania - California, PA

California University of Pennsylvania, 250 University Ave, California, PA 15419-1394. California University of Pennsylvania is a medium sized university located in California, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,519 students and an admission rate of 61%. California University of Pennsylvania has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated forty-one students in 2008.

Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Greater Allegheny - McKeesport, PA

Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Greater Allegheny, 4000 University Dr, McKeesport, PA 15131-7644. Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Greater Allegheny is a small university located in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 783 students and an admission rate of 86%. Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Greater Allegheny has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated six students in 2008.

Chatham University - Pittsburgh, PA

Chatham University, Woodland Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15232. Chatham University is a small university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,133 students and an admission rate of 71%. Chatham University has 2 areas of study related to Public Relations Specialist. They are:

  • Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric, bachelor's degree.
  • Public Relations/Image Management, bachelor's degree.

Community College of Beaver County - Monaca, PA

Community College of Beaver County, One Campus Drive, Monaca, PA 15061-2588. Community College of Beaver County is a small college located in Monaca, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,695 students. Community College of Beaver County has an associate's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric.

Duquesne University - Pittsburgh, PA

Duquesne University, Administration Bldg 600 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15282. Duquesne University is a large university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,106 students and an admission rate of 76%. Duquesne University has 2 areas of study related to Public Relations Specialist. They are:

  • Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated four and twenty-one students respectively in 2008.
  • Public Relations/Image Management, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.

Seton Hill University - Greensburg, PA

Seton Hill University, Seton Hill Dr, Greensburg, PA 15601. Seton Hill University is a small university located in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,010 students and an admission rate of 63%. Seton Hill University has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric.

West Liberty State College - West Liberty, WV

West Liberty State College, Route 88, West Liberty, WV 26074. West Liberty State College is a small college located in West Liberty, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,508 students and an admission rate of 80%. West Liberty State College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated twelve students in 2008.

La Roche College - Pittsburgh, PA

La Roche College, 9000 Babcock Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15237-5898. La Roche College is a small college located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,425 students and an admission rate of 57%. La Roche College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated seven students in 2008.

Geneva College - Beaver Falls, PA

Geneva College, 3200 College Ave, Beaver Falls, PA 15010-3599. Geneva College is a small college located in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,931 students and an admission rate of 81%. Geneva College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric.

Carlow University - Pittsburgh, PA

Carlow University, 3333 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3165. Carlow University is a small university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,234 students and an admission rate of 60%. Carlow University has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric.

Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Beaver - Monaca, PA

Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Beaver, 100 University Dr, Monaca, PA 15061-2764. Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Beaver is a small university located in Monaca, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 793 students and an admission rate of 92%. Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Beaver has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated six students in 2008.

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh-Online Division - Pittsburgh, PA

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh-Online Division, 1400 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-4332. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh-Online Division is a medium sized school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,250 students and an admission rate of 53%. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh-Online Division has a bachelor's degree program in Public Relations/Image Management which graduated nine students in 2008.

Pennsylvania State University-Penn State New Kensington - Upper Burrell, PA

Pennsylvania State University-Penn State New Kensington, 3550 7th Street Road Rte 780, Upper Burrell, PA 15068-1765. Pennsylvania State University-Penn State New Kensington is a small university located in Upper Burrell, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 912 students and an admission rate of 86%. Pennsylvania State University-Penn State New Kensington has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated nine students in 2008.

Robert Morris University - Moon Township, PA

Robert Morris University, 6001 University Boulevard, Moon Township, PA 15108-1189. Robert Morris University is a small university located in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,767 students and an admission rate of 75%. Robert Morris University has a less than one year and a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated zero and one students respectively in 2008.

Bethany College - Bethany, WV

Bethany College, , Bethany, WV 26032. Bethany College is a small college located in Bethany, West Virginia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 825 students and an admission rate of 96%. Bethany College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated twenty-two students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Special Events Professional: The CSEP designation is the hallmark of professional achievement in the special events industry.

For more information, see the International Special Events Society website.

Certified Speaking Professional: The Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, conferred by the National Speakers Association and the International Federation for Professional Speakers, is the speaking profession's international measure of professional platform skill.

For more information, see the National Speakers Association website.

Accreditation in Public Relations: APR certification proves you have successfully demonstrated competency in the knowledge, skills and abilities required to practice public relations effectively in today's business arena.

For more information, see the Public Relations Society of America website.

Certified Recycling Systems Professional: Earning this certification shows your employer and your colleagues that you are committed to only the highest standards in our industry.

For more information, see the Solid Waste Association of North America website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.