Staff Writer Salary

Staff Writers in the United States may have to scrimp and save; the median compensation is $40K annually. Experience level is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Although a strong majority have medical coverage and the larger part have dental coverage, just under a fourth claim no health benefits at all. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. The majority of Staff Writers (63 percent) who took the survey are women. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.
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$25,689 - $60,685
(Median)
$26K
$40K
$61K
MEDIAN: $40,090
10%
50%
90%

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$9.71 - $24.89
(Median)
$9
$14
$25
MEDIAN: $13.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$21K$42K$63K
Salary
$25,689 - $60,685  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,106  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$23,645 - $60,196  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 243
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$13$26$39
Hourly Rate
$9.71 - $24.89  
   
Overtime
$14.54 - $36.49  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$26K$52K$78K
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,106  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$23,645 - $60,196  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 70

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Job Description for Staff Writer

Staff writers are usually hired by organizations that create some form of written media for customers or consumers. Typically, media outlets that report news in some field (such as technology, sports, and health care) employ one or more staff writers. Regular news outlets and magazines also often refer to reporters and story creators as staff writers as well.

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Staff Writer Tasks

  • Adhere to strict deadlines and produce quality content quickly.
  • Perform journalistic research and conduct interviews as needed.
  • Write informative, professional material for print or online media sources.
  • Use word processing programs and content management systems to curate material.

Common Career Paths for Staff Writer


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Many Staff Writers move into a Senior Writer role, and folks who currently hold that position report a much higher median income of $67K per year. The most common career progression for Staff Writers leads to becoming a Newspaper Reporter, where pay is typically $30K. However, many Staff Writers also opt to become Managing Editors, a position that pays $51K on average.

Staff Writer Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Staff Writer


Staff Writers report using a diverse set of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Blogging, Reporting, Online Research, and Social Media Marketing are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like writing and Editing. It is often found that people who know Editing are also skilled in Social Media Marketing.

Pay by Experience Level for Staff Writer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Experience is an important factor influencing the compensation of Staff Writers. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $35K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $46K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $51K. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $53K.

Staff Writer Reviews

What is it like working as a Staff Writer?

Staff Writer in Fairfax:
""The hours are long, but hey at least the pay is bad.""
Pros: Writing a column and thinking creatively are my favorite parts of the job compared to straight reporting. I enjoy going to city council meetings and learning how cities are run. The office setting is very casual and if I need to be absent for an appointment/sickness/emergency, I don't have to fill out any forms--I can just leave. I like being connected to the communities.
Cons: The newspaper I work for covers four small towns. That means a LOT of nights at the office waiting for council meetings or school board meetings to start. I also have to drive almost 40 minutes to my job every day for as much pay as I would be making at a lot of other non-degree jobs. My bosses do not come to the office on a regular basis, so when I started I was thrown to the wolves. Also, with a small full time staff (four in the office on average, but one employee works three days a week, the other four, and the last one 4.5) I am required to be in the office a lot, which is not my cup of tea.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Staff Writer Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 41%

Experienced
up arrow 37%

Mid-Career
up arrow 21%

National Average
$38,000


Skills That Affect Staff Writer Salaries

Blogging
up arrow 6%

Reporting
up arrow 4%

Social Media Marketing
0%

Online Research
0%

National Average
$38,000

Technical Writing
up arrow 1%

up arrow 5%

writing
up arrow 11%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 70 votes.

Gender

Female
63 %
Male
37 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
56%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
12%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 76% dental benefits Dental: 56%
vision benefits Vision: 39% employee benefits None: 23%