Writer Salary

The average Writer in the United States can expect to rake in roughly $47K annually. Overall cash earnings for Writers vary widely between $27K and $91K; for a few high rollers, the final number can encompass upwards of $5K each from bonuses and profit sharing proceeds. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. There are more female Writers who answered the questionnaire than male, making up 68 percent. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Not all workers are lucky enough to have benefits; in fact, over a third are without coverage. Medical insurance is claimed by the larger part and dental insurance is reported by nearly one-half. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$30,321 - $77,870
(Median)
$30K
$47K
$78K
MEDIAN: $47,034
10%
50%
90%

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$10.11 - $52.03
(Median)
$10
$20
$52
MEDIAN: $19.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$31K$62K$93K
Salary
$30,321 - $77,870  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,128  
Profit Sharing
$200.00 - $5,087  
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).
)
$26,593 - $90,833  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 456
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$20$40$60
Hourly Rate
$10.11 - $52.03  
   
Overtime
$12.37 - $59.12  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,128  
   
Profit Sharing
$200.00 - $5,087  
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).
)
$26,593 - $90,833  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 227
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Job Description for Writer

Writers are typically responsible for providing written content for companies in the form of articles, blog posts, manuscripts, website text, and other creative content. Writers work under executive or senior editors, as well as with creative directors or producers. They occasionally interact directly with the clients. Writers may also be expected to perform administrative tasks such as taking minutes and writing notes and emails for supervisors. They may also be asked to review content for publication. Writers typically work in an office setting with a small team or write and submit their work from home. For this reason, the working hours for a writer may vary; writers may work full time, part time, or by commission. Likewise, a writer's payment may also vary depending on the amount of traffic the writer is able to generate for the company. Additionally, some writers may have to work without payment at first in order to build a list of references or a competitive resume.

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Writer Tasks

  • Revise written material to meet personal standards and to satisfy needs of clients, directors, or company.
  • Confer with management to discuss changes or revisions to written material.
  • Create and develop editorial written works, such as newsletters and company magazine articles for external and internal communications.

Common Career Paths for Writer


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It's not very common for Writers to move on to become Senior Copywriters. Average pay for a Senior Copywriter is $69K annually. The most common promotion for Writers is a Copywriter position, which usually brings in $43K a year. Another standard transition for Writers seeking advancement is to assume a Managing Editor role, where pay is often $51K.

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Popular Skills for Writer


Survey results imply that Writers put a diverse skill set to use. Most notably, skills in Blogging, Marketing Communications, Writing Procedures & Documentation, and Editing are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Social Media Marketing, Technical Writing, and Copywriting. Most people who know Copywriting also know Technical Writing.

Pay by Experience Level for Writer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For many Writers, more experience generally translates to higher pay. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $39K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $50K on average — a distinctly larger sum. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $58K. Writers who have spent more than 20 years on the job report earning a significantly higher median of $70K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Writers, working in the bustling city of Washington has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Writers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Houston (+28 percent), New York (+15 percent), Seattle (+13 percent), and San Francisco (+12 percent). Location is a huge contributor to overall pay, with Writers in Orlando earning a whopping 21 percent below the national average. Employers in Austin and Boston also lean toward paying below-median salaries (19 percent lower and 13 percent lower, respectively).

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Experience Affects Writer Salaries




National Average
$46,000


Skills That Affect Writer Salaries

Blogging
up arrow 11%

National Average
$46,000

Marketing Communications
up arrow 1%

Writing Procedures & Documentation
up arrow 1%

Editing
up arrow 4%




Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 95 votes.

Gender

Female
68 %
Male
32 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
36%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
16%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 63% dental benefits Dental: 50%
vision benefits Vision: 38% employee benefits None: 36%
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