Median pay for Writers in the United States lies in the neighborhood of $49K annually. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by experience level. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Writers. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — over a third lack coverage. On the flip side, a majority have medical insurance and just under a half receive dental plans. Female Writers survey participants are more prevalent than men — 65 percent of professionals. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
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$31,117 - $83,455
$31K
$49K
$83K
MEDIAN: $48,719
10%
50%
90%

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$11.66 - $50.10
$12
$20
$50
MEDIAN: $20.43
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$32K$64K$96K
Salary
$31,117 - $83,455  
   
Bonus
$490.68 - $12,080  
Profit Sharing
$1,000  
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).
)
$29,203 - $93,760  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 348
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$17$34$51
Hourly Rate
$11.66 - $50.10  
   
Hourly Tips
$2.50  
Overtime
$11.00 - $40.17  
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$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$490.68 - $12,080  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,000  
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).
)
$29,203 - $93,760  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 176

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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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

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

Common Career Paths for Writer


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Writers may experience a large salary bump if they progress into a role such as Senior Copywriter. The latter position pays an average of $70K annually. Writers go on to become Copywriters more often than anything even though median pay for the role is $43K. Writers who move into a Managing Editor role, another well-traveled path for those in this field, tend to find salaries of $52K.

Writer Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Writer


Writers seem to wield many skills on the job. Most notably, facility with writing and Research Analysis are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 49 percent and 18 percent, respectively. Those listing Blogging as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Search Engine Optimization and Writing Procedures & Documentation also typically command lower compensation. 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.


Writers generally obtain higher compensation for more plentiful past experience. The average beginner in this position makes around $41K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $51K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Writers make a median salary of $55K. Big financial gains seem to result from working for more than two decades; veterans in this group report earning $64K on average.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $48,717

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

For Writers, Washington provides a pay rate that is 28 percent greater than the national average. Writers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Philadelphia (+25 percent), Portland (+23 percent), San Francisco (+23 percent), and Chicago (+12 percent). One of the biggest compensable factors for Writers is geography, with workers in Orlando earning a whopping 26 percent below the national average. Employers pay around 23 percent less in Austin and 20 percent less in San Diego, below-median salaries for those in this field.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Writer

Gender

Female
65 %
Male
35 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 47 votes.
032
Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
33%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
15%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Writer Salaries




National Average
$49,000


Skills That Affect Writer Salaries

writing
up arrow 49%

Research Analysis
up arrow 18%

Copywriting
0%

National Average
$49,000


up arrow 7%





Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
up arrow 27%

Blogging
up arrow 34%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 47 votes.

Gender

Female
65 %
Male
35 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
33%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
15%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 60%
dental benefits
Dental: 46%
vision benefits
Vision: 38%
dental benefits
None: 38%
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