Public Relations Officers use their communication skills to build relationships between businesses and organisations and the public. They implement marketing strategies that help people understand what businesses and organisations do and sell, and help maintain a business or organisation’s good reputation.
If you’re a skilled communicator, confident with public speaking, and want a job that can take you almost anywhere in the world, becoming a Public Relations Officer could be perfect for you.
- Great communicator
- Can work well under pressure
- Good public speaker
- Confident and reliable
- Trustworthy and friendly
- Organised with good time management skills
- Adaptable and can think on your feet
- Works well in a team and independently
- Preparing and releasing advertising campaigns, media statements and strategies
- Speaking to the media and public on behalf of a business or organisation
- Organising and attending special events to promote a business or organisation
- Creating crisis management plans to help maintain a good reputation
- Taking and responding to enquiries from the media and the public
- Working with management and executives to help them understand the public impact of their policies and decisions
- Collecting and analysing data about public opinion
Lifestyle Impact: Low
- Part Time opportunities: Low – only around 26% of Public Relations Officers work part-time (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- Average hours for full-time workers: 43 hours a week, which is average (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- Public Relations Officers’ salary (average) $80,000* per year (source: seek.com.au). *Salaries vary depending on your skills and experience.
- Future career growth: Moderate (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- Most of your work will be done indoors, with lots of face-to-face and interpersonal communication. You may also have to do some travel to attend conferences and events. There is also the chance that you will have to do some overtime or weekend work.
Public Relations Officers are most in demand in these locations:
This is a medium sized occupation, with around 27,300 people working as Public Relations Officers in 2020 (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au). Demand is spread across Australia, with the highest demand in New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory. Most work in the marketing and communication, business, and government industries.
There are jobs available around Australia and globally. You may be able to do some of your work remotely or from home, but may also have to attend events and speak to stakeholders in person.
How to become a Public Relations Officer in Australia
Having a formal qualification is generally desired for Public Relations Officers. This can be either a VET qualification or an undergraduate qualification.
Step 1 – Complete Year 12 with a strong focus on English and Communications.
Step 2 – Volunteer or get work experience somewhere you will get the chance to work with the public and build your communication skills and confidence.
Step 3 – Complete a relevant VET-level qualification. Some options include:
- Certificate IV in Marketing and Communication
- Diploma of Marketing and Communication
- Advanced Diploma of Digital Marketing
- Diploma of Social Media Marketing
Step 4 – Consider upskilling with an undergraduate level qualification, such as:
- Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations)
- Bachelor of Communication and Media (Public Relations)
- Bachelor of Communication and Media (Corporate and Public Communication)
Step 5 – Many businesses and organisations target clients and consumers not only from Australia but around the world. Learning another language can help you promote a business or organisation to a much wider audience, and boost your prospects with potential employers.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What do Public Relations Officers do?
Public Relations Officers work on behalf of businesses and organisations to help them maintain a good reputation with the public. They do this by organising advertising campaigns, speaking to the media, and attending events and conferences.
Which industries employ Public Relations Officers?
Most Public Relations Officers work in the marketing and communication, business, and government industries.
What options are there for career progression?
You might start out working for a small, local business or organisation, and eventually work your way up into working for internationally-renown businesses or even government.
Do I need to go to university to become a Public Relations Officer?
While you can start working as a Public Relations Officer with a VET qualification, having a Bachelor-level qualification can help you boost your skills and be more appealing to employers.
Where do Public Relations Officers work?
Public Relations Officers generally work in-house for a business or organisation. Many businesses and organisations have customers and clients not only locally but globally, meaning you may have the opportunity to travel as part of your work.
What are 3 things I can do right now to help me become a Public Relations Officer?
If you’re in high school and you’d like to find out if a career as a Public Relations Officer is right for you, here’s a few things you could do right now:
- Try and find work experience in a setting that will get you lots of exposure with people, where you can build on your communication and public speaking skills.
- Start thinking about which industries and businesses interest you the most and do some research into what they do. Building networks now can help you when looking for work in the future.
- Consider taking short courses and workshops to build on your skills and knowledge, such as learning another language.