Average Staff Writers in the United States make around $43K per year. Geographic location and career length each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Staff Writers survey participants are largely women, dominating at 68 percent. Although a fair number have medical coverage and the greater part have dental coverage, just over one in five claim no health benefits at all. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
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$28,984 - $66,950
(Median)
$29K
$43K
$67K
MEDIAN: $42,730
10%
50%
90%

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$10.07 - $24.66
(Median)
$10
$14
$25
MEDIAN: $14.00
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$23K$46K$69K
Salary
$28,984 - $66,950  
   
Bonus
$484.79 - $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).
)
$25,424 - $62,614  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 187
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
$10.07 - $24.66  
   
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
$484.79 - $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).
)
$25,424 - $62,614  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 55
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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 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

National Average: $40,417

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that 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.

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 40%

Experienced
up arrow 33%

Mid-Career
up arrow 24%

National Average
$40,000


Skills That Affect Staff Writer Salaries

Blogging
up arrow 13%

Reporting
up arrow 11%

Technical Writing
0%

National Average
$40,000

Editing
up arrow 3%

writing
up arrow 6%

Social Media Optimization
up arrow 12%

Online Research
up arrow 17%

Proofreading
up arrow 24%

Social Media Marketing
up arrow 25%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 34 votes.

Gender

Female
68 %
Male
32 %

Years of Experience

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

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 76%
dental benefits
Dental: 59%
medical benefits
Vision: 48%
dental benefits
None: 23%
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