Staff Writer Salary

Staff Writers aren't exactly in the most profitable line of business; these folks earn a belt-tightening average of $40K per year. Residence and experience level each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Job satisfaction for Staff Writers is high. Health benefits are not claimed by all — approximately one in four lack any form of coverage — but a fair number have medical insurance, and a little more than half have dental, too. The majority of Staff Writers (63 percent) who took the survey are women. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
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$26,340 - $61,920

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$9.67 - $24.78

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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$21K$42K$63K
Salary
$26,340 - $61,920  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,750  
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).
)
$23,701 - $61,255  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 257
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$13$26$39
Hourly Rate
$9.67 - $24.78  
   
Overtime
$14.54 - $36.77  
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$26K$52K$78K
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,750  
   
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).
)
$23,701 - $61,255  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 67
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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 $66K per year. With an annual salary of $51K, Managing Editor is the most common role for Staff Writers to subsequently assume on their way up the ladder. Transitioning into a Newspaper Reporter role — which usually pays $30K — is also typical for Staff Writers, though less common by comparison.

Staff Writer Job Listings

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Staff Writers report using a wide range of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Blogging, Reporting, Online Research, and Technical Writing are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include writing, Editing, and Social Media Marketing. Those with knowledge of Editing tend to be skilled in Technical Writing as well.

Pay by Experience Level for Staff Writer

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


Staff Writers with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. 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 $47K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $52K in this role. Staff Writers who have stuck around for more than two decades see earnings that are only slightly higher than those of folks who have worked for 10 to 20 years; the more senior group makes around $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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Experience Affects Staff Writer Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 38%

Experienced
up arrow 35%

Mid-Career
up arrow 24%

National Average
$38,000


Skills That Affect Staff Writer Salaries

Blogging
up arrow 5%

Reporting
up arrow 2%

National Average
$38,000

Online Research
up arrow 2%

Technical Writing
up arrow 3%

up arrow 6%

Social Media Marketing
up arrow 6%

writing
up arrow 13%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 62 votes.

Gender

Female
63 %
Male
37 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
56%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
11%
20 years or more
8%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 75% dental benefits Dental: 55%
vision benefits Vision: 41% employee benefits None: 24%
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