Salary Data for Writers and Authors

The Occupations of Writers and Authors: Everything You Need to Know

Writers and authors are professionals who create content for publications, movies, plays, and other media. They help give a voice to brands, teach the masses, and entertain those who consume their works. If you’re passionate about writing, curious about this field, or simply want to explore new career paths, then this article is for you.

In this piece, we’ll delve deeper into what being a writer or author means, examples of the job, the education or training needed to get there, how to progress between the levels, and how to enter the field if you’re a beginner.

What Does Being a Writer or Author Mean?

Writers and authors are responsible for creating original content which they sell or license to the media. They can work as freelancers or staff writers. Some of the most common types of writers and authors include:

● Novelists
● Journalists
● Screenwriters
● Playwrights
● Scriptwriters

What Do Writers and Authors Do?

Writers and authors create original content in various forms, such as novels, scripts, articles, biographies, speeches, and more. They are usually responsible for the planning, research, organization, and editing of their work.

When it comes to writing non-fiction articles, writers and authors are often required to conduct extensive research to provide reliable information for readers. They may also be asked to develop marketing copy, website content, and other marketing materials.

As for fiction-based works, writers will create characters and storylines, blending both their imagination and research skills to produce a great narrative. In all cases, writers and authors will spend a great deal of time editing their drafts to ensure that the final product is polished, coherent, and engaging.

What Kind of Education or Training Do You Need to Be a Writer or Author?

To become a successful writer or author, you must have polished writing skills and a keen interest in language and storytelling. There are no strict educational requirements to become a writer or author.

However, many writers and authors have at least a relevant bachelor’s or master’s degree in journalism, English, creative writing, or a related field. Those who write technical and business materials might pursue a degree in communications, marketing, or even engineering or science.

It is important to note that getting a degree is not the only route to becoming a writer or author. There are many successful writers who did not pursue formal education in writing. Some started writing as a hobby and honed their skills through workshops, mentorship programs, or even self-learning.

How to Progress Between Levels

As a writer or author, you can progress between different levels of experience and compensation. Typically, these levels include:

1. Entry-Level: As a beginner, you may start as a staff writer or freelance writer. You will typically write shorter articles, blog posts, or social media content. Pay is lower at this level, and you may have limited creative control.

2. Mid-Level: As a mid-level writer, you will have more control over what you write. You will be responsible for creating long-form blog posts, feature articles, or book-length narratives. You may also have responsibilities for editing and proofreading. Pay at this level is typically better than an entry-level.

3. Senior-Level: As a senior writer/author, you are at the top of your game. You are responsible for managing a team of writers and editors. You will also be responsible for developing and pitching new content ideas, managing budgets and timelines, and building strong relationships with key players in the industry.

How to Get into the Field If You’re New

If you’re just starting in the field of writing and publishing, the following steps may help:

1. Start with small projects such as writing blog posts, articles, or short stories
2. Before you pitch, learn the publication or the company’s tone, culture, and audience
3. Build your portfolio with a variety of works across different formats and topics
4. Attend writing workshops, take courses or mentorship opportunities to hone your skills
5. Network with other writers, editors, and publishers at writing conferences, online forums, and social media platforms.

Final Thoughts

As a writer and author, you have the potential to make a lasting impact on the world through the power of your words. By applying the tips shared in this article, you can kick-start your career in writing and create a portfolio of meaningful works that engage and influence your readers. Whatever you do, keep writing, keep learning, and believe in your abilities.

Salary Data for Writers and Authors

Location Job Level Union Affiliation Average Salary Minimum Salary
US National Average Level 07 Nonunion $64,251.20 $57,075.20
US National Average Level 08 Nonunion $77,500.80 N/A
US National Average Level 09 Nonunion $92,331.20 $81,702.40
US National Average All levels Nonunion $90,147.20 $74,505.60
US National Average All levels Not specified $91,873.60 $79,019.20
US National Average Level 07 Not specified $64,604.80 $57,200.00
US National Average Level 08 Not specified $78,686.40 N/A
US National Average Level 09 Not specified $91,499.20 $80,870.40
US National Average All levels Not specified (time-based pay) $91,000.00 $77,958.40
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA All levels Nonunion $112,881.60 $91,686.40
Iowa All levels Nonunion $49,899.20 $51,646.40

The occupation of writers and authors encompasses a wide range of job levels, including Level 07, Level 08, and Level 09 positions. According to the US National Average, the salary for Level 07 writers and authors is $64,251.20, while the salary for Level 08 and Level 09 positions are $77,500.80 and $92,331.20, respectively. Nonunion writers and authors at all levels earn an average of $90,147.20, while their unionized counterparts earn slightly more at $91,000.00. Full-time writers and authors earn an average of $91,873.60, with Level 07 full-time writers and authors earning $64,604.80, Level 08 full-time writers and authors earning $78,686.40, and Level 09 full-time writers and authors earning $91,499.20.

Union affiliation can have a slight impact on the salary of writers and authors. On average, unionized writers and authors earn slightly more than nonunion writers and authors at all levels. However, the difference in salary is not significant.

The best-paid writers and authors are in the New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA metropolitan area, where nonunion writers and authors at all levels earn an average of $112,881.60. The least-paid writers and authors are in Iowa, where nonunion writers and authors at all levels earn an average of $49,899.20.