Fashion journalists cover every aspect of the fashion industry. This can include glamorous assignments like covering major fashion shows but they may also need to undertake research and conduct interviews with people involved in the industry. There is no formal pay scale for fashion journalists in the UK. Salaries can vary widely depending on a number of factors such as experience, the publication they write for and whether they are employees or freelancers.
Many fashion journalists start their careers as interns, according to Cosmopolitan. Most internships are unpaid although some may cover certain expenses. According to Style Sample magazine, you have to expect "long hours, expensive travel costs, and no wages...in order to succeed in fashion journalism."
Fashion journalists may be employed in a variety of roles and by a variety of publications. These include specialist fashion magazines and more general magazines or newspapers that also cover fashion. According to graduate careers website Prospects, typical starting salaries for a magazine journalist range from £15,000 to £26,000, but may be as low as £12,000. Once a magazine journalist has some experience, salaries are often negotiable. Senior staff such as senior staff writers and sub-editors usually earn between £18,000 and £35,000. The editor-in-chief of a magazine could earn between £22,000 and £65,000.
According to Prospects, the average pay for a newspaper journalist is £24,500 but there is a wide variation between national and regional newspapers. Salaries are also dependent on experience. Newspaper journalists with one to four years' experience can expect to earn between £14,900 and £24,350. For those with five to nine years' experience it is £21,700 to £35,000. With over ten years' experience, newspaper journalists can earn between £22,000 to £39,000.
The pay for fashion journalists who work as freelancers can be even more varied. The hourly rate for some work may work out higher than if they were an employee but their annual pay will depend on how much work they can get. Freelancers must also usually sort out their own tax affairs and pay their own overheads and expenses. According to londonfreelance.org, freelance fees can vary from £1,900 per 1,000 words for a prestige US magazine to £700 per 1,000 words for a large circulation UK magazine and £420 per 1,000 words for a smaller UK-based consumer magazine. Freelancers may also be paid on a daily rate but this is more common for temporary sub-editing posts.