Staff Writer Salary

The average Staff Writer in the United States earns approximately $41K per year. Geography and experience level each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Female Staff Writers make up most of the survey respondents at 71 percent. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Health benefits are not claimed by all — between a fifth and a fourth lack any form of coverage — but a fair number have medical insurance, and a majority have dental, too. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
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$29,415 - $63,386
$29K
$41K
$63K
MEDIAN: $41,148
10%
50%
90%

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$9.69 - $22.75
$9
$15
$23
MEDIAN: $15.10
10%
50%
90%

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$0$63K
Salary $29,415 - $63,386
Bonus $253.42 - $7,397
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).
)
$26,425 - $62,113
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 11 Jul 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 168
Hourly Data $0$33
Hourly Rate $9.69 - $22.75
Overtime $9.00 - $33.37
Annual Data $0$62K
Bonus $253.42 - $7,397
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).
)
$26,425 - $62,113
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 11 Jul 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 48

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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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

  • 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


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Staff Writers sometimes assume positions such as Senior Writers. That role pays $67K per year on average. Typical career progression for a Staff Writer involves becoming a Managing Editor or a Communications Specialist, roles that pay $12K more and $5K more on average.

Staff Writer Job Listings

Popular Skills for Staff Writer


Survey results suggest that Staff Writers use a fairly large toolkit of professional 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 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

Pay by Experience for a Staff Writer has a positive trend. An entry-level Staff Writer with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $39,000 based on 151 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Staff Writer with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $49,000 based on 48 salaries. An experienced Staff Writer which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $51,000 based on 22 salaries. A Staff Writer with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $55,000 based on 13 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $40,124

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Boston offers some of the highest pay in the country for Staff Writers, 23 percent above the national average. Staff Writers will also find cushy salaries in Washington (+19 percent), Los Angeles (+18 percent), Atlanta (+12 percent), and New York (+5 percent). The lowest-paying market is Morgantown, which sits 38 percent below the national average, proving that location is a significant contributor to overall pay.

Staff Writer Reviews

Q: 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

Key Stats for Staff Writer

Gender

Female
71 %
Male
29 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 36 votes.
Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
61%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
10%
20 years or more
6%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Staff Writer Salaries

Late-Career
▲38%

▲28%

▲22%

National Average
$40,000

▼3%

Skills That Affect Staff Writer Salaries

Blogging
▲14%

Reporting
▲12%


National Average
$40,000

▼1%

Online Research
▼7%

writing
▼9%

Photography
▼12%

Social Media Optimization
▼22%

Social Media Marketing
▼24%

Proofreading
▼24%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 36 votes.

Gender

Female
71 %
Male
29 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
61%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
10%
20 years or more
6%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 77%
dental benefits
Dental: 59%
vision benefits
Vision: 50%
no benefits
None: 22%
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