Writer Salary

Writers in the United States take home an average $47K per year. Overall incomes of Writers generally bottom out at around $27K and peak near $91K; the final number can, in exceptional cases, include upwards of $5K each for bonuses and profit sharing proceeds. Career length and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Job satisfaction for Writers is high. Women make up the majority of Writers (69 percent) who completed the questionnaire. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — more than a third lack coverage. On the flip side, the larger part have medical insurance and approximately half receive dental plans. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$30,321 - $77,870
(Median)
$30K
$47K
$78K
MEDIAN: $46,905
10%
50%
90%

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$10.08 - $53.83
(Median)
$10
$20
$54
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).
)
$26,673 - $91,184  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 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
$10.08 - $53.83  
   
Overtime
$12.31 - $59.38  
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).
)
$26,673 - $91,184  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 222
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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 sometimes assume positions such as Senior Copywriters. That role pays $69K per year on average. Given that the median pay is $43K, it may be surprising to find that a Copywriter is the most common role for Writers to subsequently assume on their way up the ladder. Transitioning into a Managing Editor role — which pays $51K — is also typical for Writers, though less common by comparison.

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Popular Skills for Writer


Writers report using a wide range of professional skills. 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, Technical Writing, and Copywriting. 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 seems to be a major factor in determining the incomes of Writers. The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $39K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $50K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Writers make a median salary of $58K. Writers who have acquired more than 20 years of relevant experience earn significantly more than folks with fewer years on their resumes; the average income in this veteran group is $70K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Writers, busy Washington offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 45 percent above the national average. Writers will also find cushy salaries in Houston (+28 percent), New York (+14 percent), Seattle (+13 percent), and San Francisco (+12 percent). Writers in Orlando make 21 percent less than the national average, proving that location is a major factor in pay. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Austin (19 percent lower) and Boston (13 percent lower).

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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 96 votes.

Gender

Female
69 %
Male
31 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
37%
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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