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Writer Salary

Writers in the United States take home an average $47K per year. Cash earnings of Writers can occasionally include $5K each in bonuses and profit sharing proceeds; this strong performance component causes pay grades to stretch from approximately $27K to almost $92K. Career duration and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Not all workers are lucky enough to have benefits; in fact, more than a third are without coverage. Medical insurance is claimed by the greater part and dental insurance is reported by half. Most Writers like their work and job satisfaction is high. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
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$30,506 - $78,443
(Median)
$31K
$47K
$78K
MEDIAN: $46,708
10%
50%
90%

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$10.12 - $51.71
(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
$30,506 - $78,443  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,117  
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).
)
$27,158 - $92,399  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 430
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
$10.12 - $51.71  
   
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 - $5,117  
   
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).
)
$27,158 - $92,399  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 212

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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

  • 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. The most common career progression for Writers leads to becoming a Copywriter, where pay is typically $43K. However, many Writers also opt to become Managing Editors, a position that pays $51K on average.

Writer Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Writer


Overall, survey participants reported applying a fair number of skills to their work. Most notably, skills in Blogging, Writing Procedures & Documentation, Marketing Communications, and Technical Writing are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Social Media Marketing, Copywriting, and Editing. The majority of those 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.


Experience is an important factor influencing the compensation of Writers. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $39K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $50K. For Writers, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $58K. Survey participants who have worked for more than two decades report bringing in $71K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


Writers will find that Washington offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 47 percent. Writers will also find cushy salaries in Houston (+29 percent), New York (+16 percent), Seattle (+13 percent), and Los Angeles (+12 percent). Place of residence plays a huge part in a Writer's salary, with Orlando Writers earning salaries that are 23 percent less than the national average. Employers also pay below the national average in Austin (19 percent lower) and Minneapolis (10 percent lower).

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Writer Salaries




National Average
$46,000


Skills That Affect Writer Salaries

Blogging
up arrow 14%

Writing Procedures & Documentation
up arrow 2%

Marketing Communications
0%

National Average
$46,000

Editing
up arrow 3%

Technical Writing
up arrow 3%

Copywriting
up arrow 4%


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 104 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
16%

Common Health Benefits

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