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Staff Writer Salary

Those pursuing careers as Staff Writers in the United States may have to make do with less; average incomes for people in this area hover around only $40K per year. Location and experience level each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Although approximately one in four lack health benefits of any kind, a fair number do enjoy medical insurance, and just over a half get dental coverage, too. Job satisfaction for Staff Writers is high. The majority of Staff Writers (64 percent) who took the survey are female. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$25,600 - $60,628
(Median)
$26K
$40K
$61K
MEDIAN: $40,136
10%
50%
90%

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$9.69 - $24.96
(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
$25,600 - $60,628  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,966  
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).
)
$23,557 - $60,237  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 248
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
$9.69 - $24.96  
   
Overtime
$14.49 - $36.77  
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 - $4,966  
   
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).
)
$23,557 - $60,237  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 68

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United States (change)


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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 promotion for Staff Writers is a Newspaper Reporter position, which usually brings in $30K a year. Another standard transition for Staff Writers seeking advancement is to assume a Managing Editor role, where pay is often $51K.

Staff Writer Job Listings

Jobs by Simply Hired
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Popular Skills for Staff Writer


Staff Writers generally report applying a varied skill set to their work. Most notably, skills in Blogging, Reporting, Online Research, and Technical Writing are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include writing, Editing, and Social Media Marketing. Those proficient in Editing are, more often than not, 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 seems to be a major factor in determining the incomes of Staff Writers. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $35K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $46K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $51K in this role. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't that much higher than less experienced individuals' earnings; the veterans make just $53K on average.

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.

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United States (change)

Experience Affects Staff Writer Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 41%

Experienced
up arrow 34%

Mid-Career
up arrow 22%

National Average
$38,000


Skills That Affect Staff Writer Salaries

Blogging
up arrow 6%

Reporting
up arrow 3%

Online Research
0%

National Average
$38,000

Technical Writing
up arrow 2%

up arrow 5%

Social Media Marketing
up arrow 5%

writing
up arrow 15%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 67 votes.

Gender

Female
64 %
Male
36 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
57%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
12%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 75% dental benefits Dental: 55%
vision benefits Vision: 39% employee benefits None: 24%
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