Staff Writer Salary

Pay for Staff Writers in the United States is very modest at just $40K annually. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience. The majority of Staff Writers (64 percent) who took the survey are women. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Some workers in this field — nearly one-fourth — are not awarded benefits. Medical coverage is reported by a strong majority and dental plans are enjoyed by a little more than half. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
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$26,276 - $61,604
(Median)
$26K
$40K
$62K
MEDIAN: $40,292
10%
50%
90%

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$9.70 - $24.93
(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
$26,276 - $61,604  
   
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).
)
$23,687 - $60,986  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 254
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
$9.70 - $24.93  
   
Overtime
$14.54 - $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 - $4,750  
   
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).
)
$23,687 - $60,986  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 69
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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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Staff Writers often transition into Senior Writer positions, for which compensation tends to be much higher. On average, Senior Writers earn $66K per year. Going from Staff Writer to Managing Editor is the transition that occurs most often in this field, where the paychecks are $51K. Many others choose to work as Newspaper Reporters, where pay is typically $30K.

Staff Writer Job Listings

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Staff Writers seem to require a number of specific 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.


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 $47K. Staff Writers bring in $51K after working for 10 to 20 years. Staff Writers who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't as high as one would expect; the median compensation for this crowd sits 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.

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Experience Affects Staff Writer Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 39%

Experienced
up arrow 35%

Mid-Career
up arrow 23%

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 1%

Technical Writing
up arrow 2%

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
64 %
Male
36 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
55%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
12%
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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