Will Write For Food: Are You Being Paid What You’re Worth?

Being salaried can sometimes be a drag. Despite the fact that employees are
paid X amount of dollars per year for a certain amount of work time (typically a
40 hour workweek), salaried employees often find themselves at the mercy of
their employers who often try to get the most ‘bang for the buck’. This usually
results in what should be a 40-hour workweek turning into a 40+ hour workweek
without the extra pay.


During these hard economic times, people are desperately trying to hold onto
their jobs as others around them get laid off left and right and companies go
out of business all together. Employers know this, and some take advantage of
this fact by piling more work on their employees simply because they can. The
notion of being salaried doesn’t make sense a lot of the time; if you’re only
being paid to work X amount of hours, then it seems as though you shouldn’t have
to work extra hours without compensation. Granted, sometimes there will be
deadlines that have to be met and other things that are beyond our control; but
poor management coupled with frugal employers who are looking to save a few
bucks is beginning to make a lot of employees wonder how much longer they can
tolerate being devalued. As a result, many employees are hanging onto what
little job security they have as they look elsewhere for jobs- all the while
pondering how much they are truly worth.

Salaries for Writers

You don’t have to wait around for the economic crisis to let up to find out
what others around you are getting paid. Even if you are going to be stuck at
your current job for a while, it is always good to know what the average salary
is for what you do. Possessing this information will let you know whether or not
you are being grossly underpaid (or overpaid) for what you are doing, and it
will lend you some bargaining power when it comes time to negotiate your salary.

U.S. Department of Labor Salary

According to the
Department of Labor
, the average annual earnings for salaried writers
and authors
in 2006 were $48,640 with the middle 50 percent earning
anywhere from $34,850 to $67,820.

Information from the same survey indicated that the median annual earnings
for editors were $46,990 with the middle 50 percent earning between
$35,250 and $64,140.

The average annual earnings for salaried technical writers were
$58,050 with the middle 50 percent earning anywhere from $45,130 to $73,750.

Other Salary Information

There are several sites out there to help you figure out what your salary
should be as well as what the average salary for what you do is among others.

Simply Hired
has a search feature which allows you to type in the title of
your job field as well as your location so that you can compare salaries. For
example, the average salary for freelance writers in Raleigh, NC is $49k
compared to the national average of around $48k. In the meantime, the
average salary for a web copywriter in Raleigh, NC is $50k
. For a list
of other average salaries for web-related writers, Simply Hired provided the
following list:

Average Salaries of Web-related

  • copywriter: $54,000
  • writer: $45,000
  • part time: $24,000
  • sr. copywriter: $63,000
  • interactive copywriter: $47,000
  • web content writer: $43,000
  • proposal writer: $62,000
  • t-tcg copywriter: $51,000
  • senior copywriter: $67,000
  • associate creative director: $78,000
  • marketing copywriter: $64,000
  • senior copywriter: $68,000

Other Helpful Links:

  • U.S. Department of Labor
    – provides up to date info on salaries.

  • Dr. Salary
    – provides detailed information on various salaries.

  • Idealist.org
    – provides a great list of salary surveys, salary stats and
    salary resources.

  • College Grad.com
    – breaks down various writing careers as well as gives
    info on salaries.

  • PayScale
    – great resource that provides statistical info on salaries
    based on a number of factors.

  • Simply Hired
    – allows you to search for salary info based on where you

  • WritersUA
    – Training and Salary Info for writers and other professionals.

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