Writer Salary (United States)

Writers in the United States ordinarily take home approximately $44,171 per year. The top of the range reaches $84,755 per year, and the bottom approaches $25,827. Career length and geography each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. While some workers in this profession—about a third—do not have any health coverage, a majority do receive medical benefits and about half have dental insurance. Work is enjoyable for Writers, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Writer Salary (?
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.
)
$29,656 - $77,005
(Median)
30K
45K
60K
77K
MEDIAN: $45,051
10%
50%
75%
90%
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Writer Salary (?
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.
)
$10.05 - $50.00
(Median)
10
20
31
50
MEDIAN: $19.00
10%
50%
75%
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$29K$58K$87K
Salary
$29,656 - $77,005  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,043  
Profit Sharing
$197.27 - $5,068  
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).
)
$25,827 - $84,755  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 401
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
$10.05 - $50.00  
   
Overtime
$14.29 - $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 - $5,043  
   
Profit Sharing
$197.27 - $5,068  
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).
)
$25,827 - $84,755  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 189
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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.
Read More...
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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Writers who assume a position such as a Senior Copywriter—while uncommon—may get paid an extra $24K per year. The most common promotion for Writers, a Copywriter position actually brings in $1,897 less. Another standard transition for Writers seeking advancement is to assume a Managing Editor role, where pay often climbs by $6,412.

Writer Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Writer

Survey results suggest that Writers use a fairly large toolkit of professional skills. Blogging and Marketing Communications are considered valuable skills and can increase employee pay by 18 percent and 4 percent respectively. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Social Media Marketing and Copywriting. It is often found that people who know Copywriting are also skilled in Technical Writing.

Pay by Experience Level for Writer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher salaries. At career start, salaries are typically $37K, which grows to $49K after five to 10 years. Those with one to two decades of experience under their belt tend to see salaries around $56K. Wages continue to improve for Writers after 20 years in the field, and salaries border $71K. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up around one in five of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise 5 percent, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining 14 percent. Between one and nine years is the typical spectrum of experience for those in this line of work—of those who took the survey, more than half land within it.

Pay Difference By Location

Washington
up arrow 36%
Seattle
up arrow 34%
Houston
up arrow 29%
up arrow 22%
Los Angeles
up arrow 16%
Atlanta
up arrow 11%
San Francisco
up arrow 8%
Portland
up arrow 7%
Detroit
up arrow 6%
National Average
$44,000
Dallas
up arrow 1%
Nashville
up arrow 5%
Chicago
up arrow 11%
Austin
up arrow 20%
Boston
up arrow 20%
Orlando
up arrow 20%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For those looking to make money, Writers in Washington enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 36 percent above the national average. Seattle, Houston, New York, and Los Angeles also offer top salaries for Writers. Workers in these cities can expect to earn about 34 percent, 29 percent, 22 percent, and 16 percent more, respectively. Place of residency plays a huge part in a Writer's salary, with Boston Writers earning salaries that are 20 percent less than the national average. Austin and Orlando are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median—salaries hover around -20 percent and -20 percent, respectively.

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Writer Salaries

National Average
$44,000

Skills That Affect Writer Salaries

Blogging
up arrow 18%
Marketing Communications
up arrow 4%
Writing Procedures & Documentation
up arrow 2%
Editing
0%
National Average
$44,000
Technical Writing
up arrow 1%
Copywriting
up arrow 4%
Social Media Marketing
up arrow 18%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 138 votes.

Gender

Female
70%
female alumni
 
Male
30%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
38%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
14%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 61% dental benefits Dental: 48%
vision benefits Vision: 34% employee benefits None: 37%
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