Staff Writer Salary
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.Read More...
Typically, a staff writer writes and formats assignments according to protocols established by their employer. For some staff writers on the web, this can involve some minor HTML formatting and other computer work. The stories may be original content assigned by an editor, ideas pitched by the writer, or even “pushed” material such as press releases. For most employers requiring web content, the staff writer may be expected to generate multiple stories of varying length daily. These stories must fit the voice of the employer or media organization. Some staff writers may be able to submit and publish directly, while others are expected to channel all work through a content department and editing process.
To work as a staff writer, a person typically must show a strong educational background in written disciplines (such as a bachelor's degrees or more in journalism or English) and previous experience. In some specialized fields, employers typically prefer expertise within the subject matter. Staff writers' hours may vary depending on the needs of their employer, and they may work in an office, from home, and/or reporting in the field.
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
Staff Writers who transition into a Senior Writer role may receive large pay increases as the latter position pays an average $67K per year. Managing Editors or Communications Specialists are common next-step roles for Staff Writers moving up in their careers; annual pay for Managing Editors is $11K higher on average, and it's $5K higher for Communications Specialists.
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Popular Skills for Staff Writer
Survey results show that Staff Writers use a fair number of skills. 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 Online Research also typically command lower compensation. 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.
Staff Writers with a rich background of experience are typically rewarded with larger paychecks. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $38K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $50K. Staff Writers who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $54K. 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 $57K on average.
Pay Difference by Location
Home to some of the best pay for Staff Writers, Boston offers exceptional salaries, 23 percent above the national average. Staff Writers will also find cushy salaries in Los Angeles (+22 percent), Washington (+20 percent), Atlanta (+11 percent), and New York (+7 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.
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