Career and Education Opportunities for Public Relations Specialists in Austin, Texas
If you want to be a public relations specialist, the Austin, Texas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 15,930 jobs for public relations specialists in Texas and this is projected to grow 22% to about 19,360 jobs 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. Public relations specialists generally 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 $50,500 per year on average in Texas and about $24 hourly or $51,280 yearly on average nationally. Public relations specialists work in a variety of jobs, including: public relations officer, image consultant, and concert promoter.
There are thirty-five schools of higher education in the Austin area, including four within twenty-five miles of Austin where you can get a degree to start your career as a public relations specialist. Public relations specialists usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years studying to be a public relations specialist if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Public Relations Specialist
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 Austin 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
The University of Texas at Austin - Austin, TX
The University of Texas at Austin, , Austin, TX 78712. The University of Texas at Austin is a large university located in Austin, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 49,984 students and an admission rate of 44%. The University of Texas at Austin has 2 areas of study related to Public Relations Specialist. They are:
- Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric, bachelor's degree which graduated 311 students in 2008.
- Public Relations/Image Management, bachelor's degree which graduated 147 students in 2008.
Texas State University-San Marcos - San Marcos, TX
Texas State University-San Marcos, 601 University Dr, San Marcos, TX 78666. Texas State University-San Marcos is a large university located in San Marcos, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 29,125 students and an admission rate of 74%. Texas State University-San Marcos has a bachelor's degree program in Public Relations/Image Management.
Concordia University Texas - Austin, TX
Concordia University Texas, 11400 Concordia University Dr., Austin, TX 78726. Concordia University Texas is a small university located in Austin, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,147 students and an admission rate of 66%. Concordia University Texas has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated one student in 2008.
Southwestern University - Georgetown, TX
Southwestern University, 1001 University Ave, Georgetown, TX 78626. Southwestern University is a small university located in Georgetown, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,270 students and an admission rate of 65%. Southwestern University has 2 areas of study related to Public Relations Specialist. They are:
- Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
- Political Communication, bachelor's degree.
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: Austin, Texas
Austin is located in Travis County, Texas. It has a population of over 757,688, which has grown by 15.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Austin, 88, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Austin are valued at $139,500 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, 1,928 new homes were constructed in Austin, down from 3,155 the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Austin are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 40.4% of Austin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.7%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Austin is 6.5%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.
The percentage of Austin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 46.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Pilgrim Rest Primitive Baptist Church, Adam and Eve Garden Baptist Church and Pleasant Hill Baptist Church are all churches located in Austin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.
Austin is home to the Morris Williams Golf Course and the Sixth Street Historic District as well as Wild Basin Wilderness Park and Rudolph Gamblin Field. Shopping centers in the area include Capital Plaza Shopping Center, Capital Plaza Shopping Center and Lamar Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Austin can choose from Club Hotel by Doubletree Austin University Area, Austin Folk House and AmeriPark at Austin for temporary stays in the area.