Writer Salary

Writers in the United States can expect to earn an average of $48K annually. Total cash compensation to Writers varies from $27K to $91K; higher pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $5K each. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Women make up the majority of Writers (68 percent) who completed the questionnaire. 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, the larger part have medical insurance and close to one-half receive dental plans. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$30,416 - $78,084

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$10.15 - $51.95

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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$31K$62K$93K
Salary
$30,416 - $78,084  
   
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).
)
$26,726 - $91,043  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 452
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$20$40$60
Hourly Rate
$10.15 - $51.95  
   
Overtime
$12.37 - $59.12  
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
$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).
)
$26,726 - $91,043  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 228
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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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There are some Writers — though it's uncommon — that transition into Senior Copywriters, where earnings are an average $69K annually. More often than not, a Copywriter role is the next step for Writers moving up in the field. Pay for Copywriters is usually $43K. Many Writers choose to take on a Managing Editor role instead, where salaries are typically $51K.

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Popular Skills for Writer


Survey results show that Writers use a fair number of skills. Most notably, skills in Online Research, Blogging, Marketing Communications, and Writing Procedures & Documentation are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Social Media Marketing, Technical Writing, and Copywriting. Most people skilled in Copywriting are similarly competent in Technical Writing.

Pay by Experience Level for Writer

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


For many Writers, experience and pay levels seem to be correlated; more years in the business generally lead to more money. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $39K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $50K. Writers with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $58K. Big financial gains seem to result from working for more than two decades; veterans in this group report earning $71K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


Washington is home to an above-average pay rate for Writers, 40 percent higher than the national average. Writers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Houston (+28 percent), New York (+14 percent), Seattle (+12 percent), and San Francisco (+12 percent). Writers in Orlando take home the lowest salaries, earning a whopping 22 percent less than the national average. Below-median salaries also turn up in Austin and Minneapolis (18 percent lower and 11 percent lower, respectively).

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Experience Affects Writer Salaries




National Average
$46,000


Skills That Affect Writer Salaries

Online Research
up arrow 13%

Blogging
up arrow 9%

National Average
$46,000

Marketing Communications
up arrow 1%

Writing Procedures & Documentation
up arrow 2%

Editing
up arrow 4%




Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 92 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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