Staff Writer Salary

An average Staff Writer in the United States can expect to take home roughly $41K annually. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. Female Staff Writers survey participants are more prevalent than men — 67 percent of professionals. Most Staff Writers report high levels of job satisfaction. Some workers in this field — around one in five — are not awarded benefits. Medical coverage is reported by a strong majority and dental plans are enjoyed by more than half. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$29,367 - $65,889
$29K
$41K
$66K
MEDIAN: $41,342
10%
50%
90%

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$10.13 - $22.49
$10
$15
$22
MEDIAN: $14.81
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$22K$44K$66K
Salary
$29,367 - $65,889  
   
Bonus
$242.40 - $7,728  
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).
)
$27,033 - $62,716  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 160
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$12$24$36
Hourly Rate
$10.13 - $22.49  
   
Overtime
$8.14 - $33.73  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$24K$48K$72K
Bonus
$242.40 - $7,728  
   
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).
)
$27,033 - $62,716  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 41

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

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

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

Common Career Paths for Staff Writer


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While Staff Writers do not often become Senior Writers, the job pays $67K per year on average. Staff Writers most often move into positions as Managing Editors or Communications Specialists; those groups report median salaries that are $11K higher and $5K higher, respectively.

Staff Writer Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Staff Writer


Overall, survey participants reported applying a fair number of skills to their work. Most notably, skills in Blogging, Reporting, Technical Writing, and Editing are correlated to pay that is above average. Those listing Social Media Marketing as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Proofreading and Social Media Optimization also typically command lower compensation. Those educated in Editing tend to be well versed in Social Media Marketing.

Pay by Experience Level for Staff Writer

Pay by Experience for a Staff Writer has a positive trend. An entry-level Staff Writer with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $39,000 based on 151 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Staff Writer with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $49,000 based on 48 salaries. An experienced Staff Writer which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $51,000 based on 22 salaries. A Staff Writer with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $55,000 based on 13 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $40,300

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Boston is home to an above-average pay rate for Staff Writers, 23 percent higher than the national average. Staff Writers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Washington (+18 percent), Los Angeles (+18 percent), Atlanta (+12 percent), and New York (+5 percent). One of the biggest compensable factors for Staff Writers is geography, with workers in Morgantown earning a whopping 38 percent below the national average.

Staff Writer Reviews

Q: 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

Key Stats for Staff Writer

Gender

Female
67 %
Male
33 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 28 votes.
Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
61%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
8%
20 years or more
6%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Staff Writer Salaries

Late-Career
▲37%

▲27%

▲22%

National Average
$40,000

▼3%

Skills That Affect Staff Writer Salaries

Blogging
▲14%

Reporting
▲12%


National Average
$40,000

▼2%

Online Research
▼7%

writing
▼9%

Photography
▼13%

Social Media Optimization
▼22%

Proofreading
▼24%

Social Media Marketing
▼25%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 28 votes.

Gender

Female
67 %
Male
33 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
61%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
8%
20 years or more
6%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 78%
dental benefits
Dental: 62%
vision benefits
Vision: 51%
no benefits
None: 21%