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Staff Writer Salary

Staff Writers aren't exactly in the most profitable line of business; these folks earn a belt-tightening average of $39K per year. Experience level and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Work is enjoyable for Staff Writers, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — about a fifth lack coverage. On the flip side, a fair number have medical insurance and more than half receive dental plans. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
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$25,255 - $60,469
(Median)
$25K
$39K
$60K
MEDIAN: $39,420
10%
50%
90%

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$9.76 - $24.17
(Median)
$9
$14
$24
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
$25,255 - $60,469  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,523  
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).
)
$23,666 - $60,284  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 219
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
$9.76 - $24.17  
   
Overtime
$14.64 - $36.02  
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 - $5,523  
   
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).
)
$23,666 - $60,284  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 61
United States (change)

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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Staff Writers may go on to top-notch roles like Senior Writer, where median pay is $67K annually. 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


Survey results imply that Staff Writers put a diverse skill set to use. Most notably, skills in Blogging, Online Research, Social Media Marketing, and Technical Writing are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include writing and Editing. Those educated in Editing tend to be well versed 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. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $35K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $42K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $51K. Staff Writers with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers 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

Experience Affects Staff Writer Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 42%

Experienced
up arrow 38%

Mid-Career
up arrow 14%

National Average
$37,000


Skills That Affect Staff Writer Salaries

Blogging
up arrow 8%

Online Research
up arrow 2%

Social Media Marketing
up arrow 1%

National Average
$37,000

Technical Writing
up arrow 1%

up arrow 5%

writing
up arrow 10%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 65 votes.

Gender

Female
59 %
Male
41 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
57%
5-9 years
15%
10-19 years
14%
20 years or more
8%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 77% dental benefits Dental: 58%
vision benefits Vision: 40% employee benefits None: 21%