Equine industry journalists work for local, online and national newspapers and magazines, researching and writing articles on riding, horse care, equipment, clothing styles, rodeos and horse races. If you want to work as an equine journalist, you need to know about tacks, bridles, currycombs and the different types of saddles. You will also likely need a bachelor's degree in journalism. In return, you can expect to earn a salary averaging $34,000 annually.
Salary and Qualifications
The average annual salary of an equine industry journalist was $34,000 as of 2013, according to the job site Simply Hired. This salary is a bit lower than the $40,590 that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics cites as the average annual salary for all reporters and correspondents who worked for newspapers, periodicals, book and directory publishers. To become an equine journalist, you need a strong interest and knowledge of horses, horse care, equipment and events. Unless you're a famous horse trainer, jockey or celebrity, you'll also need a bachelor's degree in journalism, communications or English. Other essential requirements are persistence, objectivity, stamina and communication and people skills.
Salary by Region
Salaries for equine industry journalists varied the most in 2013 in the South, according to Simply Hired, where the highest salary was $54,000 in Washington, D.C., and the lowest was $27,000 in Mississippi. Equine journalists in the Northeast made $31,000 to $42,000 in Maine and Massachusetts, respectively. If you worked as an equine journalist in the Midwest, you'd earn the least in South Dakota and the most in Illinois or Minnesota -- $36,000 and$27,000 per year, respectively. In the West, you'd make $39,000 in Alaska or California and $27,000 in Montana, which were the highest and lowest salaries in that region.
Most mainstream journalists work for smaller newspapers and magazines and later use their skills to get higher-paying jobs at larger publications; the equine journalism industry is no different. If you work as a television journalist, you may earn more in larger cities or reporting for major events, such as the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes. You'd also likely earn more as an equine journalist in Massachusetts and California where it's more expensive to live than some other parts of the country. For example, if you earned $35,000 as an equine journalist in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, you'd need to make $53,684 in Boston to enjoy the same living standard, according to CNN Money's "Cost of Living" calculator. In Los Angeles, you'd have to make $49,751, or approximately 42 percent more.
The BLS predicts an 8 percent decline in jobs for reporters, correspondents and broadcast news analysts, including equine journalists, between 2010 and 2020. A consolidation of news agencies and broadcast companies has spurred many of these job reductions. You may find more job opportunities in this field by writing for online horse publications and blogs. Some major publications, such as "Horse Illustrated" and "Western Horsemen" have online versions of their magazines. Becoming a freelancer is another way to work in this industry.