Staff Writer Salary

Staff Writers in the United States can expect to earn an average of $41K annually. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length. While just under a fourth report receiving no health benefits, a strong majority do receive medical coverage, and a majority have dental, as well. Female Staff Writers make up most of the survey respondents at 71 percent. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
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$29,420 - $71,923
$29K
$41K
$72K
MEDIAN: $41,447
10%
50%
90%

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$9.92 - $24.32
$9
$15
$24
MEDIAN: $14.51
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$24K$48K$72K
Salary
$29,420 - $71,923  
   
Bonus
$248.32 - $7,550  
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).
)
$25,768 - $63,607  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 180
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$12$24$36
Hourly Rate
$9.92 - $24.32  
   
Overtime
$8.21 - $33.61  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$24K$48K$72K
Bonus
$248.32 - $7,550  
   
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).
)
$25,768 - $63,607  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 50

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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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.

Staff Writer Job Listings

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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

National Average: $40,197

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that 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.

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 30 votes.
Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
59%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
8%
20 years or more
7%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Staff Writer Salaries

Late-Career
▲40%

Experienced
▲28%

Mid-Career
▲23%

National Average
$40,000

▼6%

Skills That Affect Staff Writer Salaries

Blogging
▲14%

Reporting
▲12%


National Average
$40,000

▼2%

writing
▼10%

Photography
▼12%

Online Research
▼16%

Social Media Optimization
▼22%

Social Media Marketing
▼24%

Proofreading
▼24%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 30 votes.

Gender

Female
71 %
Male
29 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
59%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
8%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 76%
dental benefits
Dental: 60%
vision benefits
Vision: 49%
dental benefits
None: 22%
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