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
Though it's uncommon, some Staff Writers move into roles as Senior Writers, where pay is an average $67K per year. Staff Writers moving up in their careers tend to step into positions as Managing Editors or Communications Specialists. The median paychecks in those roles are $11K higher and $5K higher, respectively.
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Popular Skills for Staff Writer
Survey results suggest that Staff Writers put a wide range of professional skills to use. Most notably, skills in Blogging, Reporting, Technical Writing, and Editing are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 7 percent and 14 percent. 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. It is often found that people who know Editing are 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.
More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $38K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $49K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $51K. Ultimately, more time spent in the workforce does seem to translate to bigger paychecks; seasoned veterans with more than 20 years of experience report a median income of $56K.
Pay Difference by Location
For Staff Writers, Boston provides a pay rate that is 23 percent greater than the national average. Staff Writers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Washington (+19 percent), Los Angeles (+15 percent), Atlanta (+12 percent), and New York (+5 percent). Place of residence plays a huge part in a Staff Writer's salary, with Morgantown Staff Writers earning salaries that are 38 percent less than the national average.
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