Writer Salary

Writers in the United States take home an average $48K annually. In the world of Writers, overall income ranges from $27K near the bottom to $96K at the top; this can include more than $6K from bonuses and more than $5K from profit sharing in exceptional cases. Experience level is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. The majority of Writers claim high levels of job satisfaction. Women make up the majority of Writers (69 percent) who completed the questionnaire. Not all workers are lucky enough to have benefits; in fact, over a third are without coverage. Medical insurance is claimed by a majority and dental insurance is reported by around half. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
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$30,384 - $79,960
(Median)
$30K
$48K
$80K
MEDIAN: $48,143
10%
50%
90%

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$10.17 - $57.49
(Median)
$10
$20
$57
MEDIAN: $20
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$33K$66K$99K
Salary
$30,384 - $79,960  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,700  
Profit Sharing
$200.67 - $5,077  
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).
)
$26,874 - $96,046  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 520
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
$10.17 - $57.49  
   
Hourly Tips
$2.50  
Overtime
$13.91 - $57.57  
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 - $5,700  
   
Profit Sharing
$200.67 - $5,077  
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).
)
$26,874 - $96,046  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 263
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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 may progress into high-paying roles like Senior Copywriter, where median compensation is $69K annually. The most common promotion for Writers is a Copywriter position, which usually brings in $43K a year. Another standard transition for Writers seeking advancement is to assume a Managing Editor role, where pay is often $51K.

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Popular Skills for Writer


Writers generally report applying a varied skill set to their work. Most notably, skills in Blogging, Marketing Communications, Writing Procedures & Documentation, and Editing are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Online Research, Social Media Marketing, and Technical Writing. 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, more experience generally translates to higher pay. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $40K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $51K. Writers bring in $57K after working for 10 to 20 years. Writers who have spent more than 20 years on the job report earning a significantly higher median of $68K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $47,170

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

Washington is home to an above-average pay rate for Writers, 34 percent higher than the national average. Writers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Houston (+23 percent), New York (+15 percent), Seattle (+11 percent), and San Francisco (+10 percent). Writers' salaries are heavily influenced by location — Writers in Orlando bring in salaries that are 23 percent lower than the national average. Workers in Austin and San Diego earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (20 percent less and 13 percent less, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Writer Salaries




National Average
$47,000


Skills That Affect Writer Salaries

Blogging
up arrow 6%

Marketing Communications
0%

National Average
$47,000

Writing Procedures & Documentation
up arrow 3%

up arrow 5%




Online Research
up arrow 19%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 95 votes.

Gender

Female
69 %
Male
31 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
35%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
22%
20 years or more
16%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 62%
dental benefits
Dental: 49%
medical benefits
Vision: 39%
dental benefits
None: 36%
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