Writer Salary

Median pay for Writers in the United States lies in the neighborhood of $48K annually. With some bonuses approaching $6K and certain profit sharing proceeds approaching $5K, overall incomes of Writers spread between $27K and $96K depending on individual performance. Experience level is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Female Writers survey participants are more prevalent than men — 69 percent of professionals. Job satisfaction for Writers is high. Health benefits are not enjoyed by everyone in this line of work, and over a third lack any coverage at all. Medical benefits are reported by a majority and dental coverage is claimed by one-half. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
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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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As Writers transition into upper-level roles such as Senior Copywriter, they may see a strong upturn in salary. Senior Copywriters earn $69K on average per year. 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.

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Popular Skills for Writer


Survey results suggest that Writers use a fairly large toolkit of professional skills. 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 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 and income seem to be closely related; in general, the survey respondents who had worked for more years reported higher incomes. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $40K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $51K. On average, Writers make $57K following one to two decades on the job. 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 $68K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $47,170

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

For Writers, working in the bustling city of Washington has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. 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). Location is a huge contributor to overall pay, with Writers in Orlando earning a whopping 23 percent below the national average. Austin and San Diego are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 20 percent lower and 13 percent lower, respectively.

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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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