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Writer Salary

Median pay for Writers in the United States lies in the neighborhood of $47K per year. Total cash compensation to Writers ranges from $27K on the lower end to $93K on the higher end; the final number includes potential for approximately $5K each from bonuses and profit sharing in exceptional cases. Career duration and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Although more than a third lack health benefits of any kind, the larger part do enjoy medical insurance, and approximately one-half get dental coverage, too. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$30,418 - $78,517
(Median)
$30K
$47K
$79K
MEDIAN: $46,535
10%
50%
90%

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$10.00 - $51.88
(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
$30,418 - $78,517  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,087  
Profit Sharing
$199.33 - $5,096  
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).
)
$26,567 - $92,744  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 419
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
$10.00 - $51.88  
   
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 - $5,087  
   
Profit Sharing
$199.33 - $5,096  
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).
)
$26,567 - $92,744  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 209

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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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Writers do not often transition into Senior Copywriter roles. The role averages $69K per year. As Writers progress in their field, many go on to become Copywriters. In fact, this transition is more common than anything else, and median pay for the role is $43K. Another common career choice for Writers is to move into a Managing Editor role — this promotion usually pays $51K.

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Popular Skills for Writer


Survey results suggest that Writers put a wide range of professional skills to use. Most notably, skills in Blogging, Writing Procedures & Documentation, Marketing Communications, and Editing are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Social Media Marketing, Copywriting, and Technical Writing. Those familiar with Copywriting also tend to know Technical Writing.

Pay by Experience Level for Writer

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


Experience is an important factor influencing the compensation of Writers. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $38K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $51K. Writers claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $58K. Seasoned workers who boast more than two decades of relevant experience enjoy a median salary of $72K, which is substantially larger than the medians reported by folks with fewer years on their resumes.

Pay Difference by Location


For those looking to make money, Writers in Washington enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 47 percent above the national average. Writers will also find cushy salaries in Houston (+29 percent), New York (+17 percent), Seattle (+13 percent), and Los Angeles (+12 percent). One of the biggest compensable factors for Writers is geography, with workers in Orlando earning a whopping 23 percent below the national average. Austin and Minneapolis are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 19 percent lower and 9 percent lower, respectively.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Writer Salaries




National Average
$46,000


Skills That Affect Writer Salaries

Blogging
up arrow 14%


National Average
$46,000

Marketing Communications
up arrow 1%

Editing
up arrow 3%

Copywriting
up arrow 4%

Technical Writing
up arrow 4%


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 106 votes.

Gender

Female
69 %
Male
31 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
37%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
15%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 62% dental benefits Dental: 50%
vision benefits Vision: 37% employee benefits None: 36%