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Become A Senior Writer

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Working As A Senior Writer

  • Thinking Creatively
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Stressful

  • $69,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Writer Do

Writers and authors develop written content for advertisements, books, magazines, movie and television scripts, songs, blogs, or other types of media.

Duties

Writers and authors typically do the following:

  • Choose subject matter that interests readers
  • Write fiction or nonfiction through scripts, novels, biographies, and more
  • Conduct research to obtain factual information and authentic detail
  • Write advertising copy for newspapers, magazines, broadcasts, and the Internet
  • Present drafts to editors and clients for feedback
  • Work with editors and clients to shape the material so it can be published

Writers and authors develop written material—namely, stories and advertisements—for books, magazines, and online publications.

Writers must establish their credibility with editors and readers through strong research and the use of appropriate sources and citations. Writers and authors select the material they want to use and then convey the information to readers. With help from editors, they may revise or rewrite sections, searching for the best organization and the most appropriate phrasing.

An increasing number of writers are freelance writers—that is, they are self-employed and sell their written content to book and magazine publishers; news organizations; advertising agencies; and movie, theater, and television producers. Many freelance writers are hired to complete specific short-term or recurring assignments, such as writing a newspaper column, contributing to a series of articles in a magazine, or producing an organization’s newsletter.

An increasing number of writers are producing material that is published directly online, in videos and on blogs.

The following are examples of types of writers and authors:

Copywriters prepare advertisements to promote the sale of a good or service. They often work with a client to produce written content, such as advertising themes, jingles, and slogans.

Biographers write a thorough account of a person’s life. They gather information from interviews and research about the person to accurately portray important events in that person's life.

Bloggers write posts to a web log (shortened to “blog”) that usually pertain to any topic or a specific field, such as fashion, news, or sports.

Generalists write about any topic of interest, unlike writers who usually specialize in a given field.

Novelists write books of fiction, creating characters and plots that may be imaginary or based on real events.

Songwriters compose music and lyrics for songs. They may write and perform their own songs or sell their work to a music publisher. They sometimes work with a client to produce advertising themes, jingles, and slogans, and they may be involved in marketing the product or service.

Playwrights write scripts for theatrical productions. They come up with a concept, write lines for actors to say, produce stage direction for actors to follow, and suggest ideas for theatrical set design.

Screenwriters create scripts for movies and television. They may produce original stories, characters, and dialogue, or turn a book into a movie or television script. Some may produce content for radio broadcasts and other types of performance.

Journalists write articles and reports on current events. For more information, see the profile on reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts.

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How To Become A Senior Writer

A college degree in English, journalism, or communications is generally required for a salaried position as a writer or author. Experience can be gained through internships, but any form of writing that improves skill, such as blogging, is beneficial. Excellent writing skills are essential.

Education

A bachelor’s degree is typically needed for a full-time job as a writer. Because writing skills are essential in this occupation, many employers prefer candidates with a degree in English, journalism, or communications.

Other Work Experience

Writers can obtain job experience by working for high school and college newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations, advertising and publishing companies, or nonprofit organizations. College theater and music programs offer playwrights and songwriters an opportunity to have their work performed. Many magazines and newspapers also have internships for students. Interns may write stories, conduct research and interviews, and gain general publishing experience.

Employers also increasingly prefer new applicants to have the ability to code and program webpages or manipulate data to create a visual story using tables, charts, and maps.

In addition, anyone with Internet access can start a blog and gain writing experience. Some of this writing may lead to paid assignments regardless of education, because the quality of writing, the unique perspective, and the size of the potential audience are the greatest determinants of success for a piece of writing. Online publications require knowledge of computer software and editing tools that are used to combine text with graphics, audio, video, and animation.

Writers or authors can come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences as long as they demonstrate strong writing skills.

Training

Writers and authors may need to gain some writing experience through on-the-job training with more experienced writers and editors before their work is ready for publication.

Writers who want to write about a particular topic may need formal training or experience related to that topic.

Because many writers today prepare material directly for the Internet, knowing graphic design, page layout, and multimedia software can be advantageous.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Some associations offer certifications for writers and authors. Certification can demonstrate competence and professionalism, making candidates more attractive to employers. For example, the American Grant Writers’ Association (AGWA) offers the Certified Grant Writer® credential.

Certification can also increase opportunities for advancement.

Advancement

Beginning writers and authors can get a start and put their name on work immediately by writing for smaller businesses, local newspapers, advertising agencies, and nonprofit organizations. However, opportunities for advancement within these organizations may be limited because they usually do not have enough regular work.

Writers and authors can advance their careers further by building a reputation, taking on more complex writing assignments, and getting published in more prestigious markets and publications. Having published work that has been well received and maintaining a track record of meeting deadlines are important for advancement.

Many editors begin work as writers. Those who are particularly skilled at identifying stories, correcting writing style, and interacting with writers may be interested in editing jobs.

Important Qualities

Adaptability. Writers and authors need to be able to adapt to newer software platforms and programs, including various Content Management Systems (CMS).

Creativity. Writers and authors must be able to develop new and interesting plots, characters, or ideas so they can come up with new stories.

Critical-thinking skills. Writers and authors must have dual expertise in thinking through or understanding new concepts, and conveying it through writing.

Determination. Writers and authors sometimes work on projects that take years to complete. Freelance writers who are paid per assignment must demonstrate perseverance and personal drive to meet deadlines.

Persuasion. Writers, especially those in advertising, must be able to persuade others to feel a certain way about a good or service.

Social perceptiveness. Writers and authors must understand how readers react to certain ideas in order to connect with their audience.

Writing skills. Writers and authors must be able to write clearly and effectively in order to convey feeling and emotion and communicate with readers.

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Senior Writer Career Paths

Senior Writer
Creative Director Marketing Director
Vice President Of Marketing & Communications
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Editor Project Manager Marketing Manager
Marketing Program Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Editor Owner Communications Director
Director, Corporate Communications
10 Yearsyrs
Communications Manager
Internal Communications Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Communications Manager Product Manager Marketing Communications Manager
Manager Of Corporate Communications
7 Yearsyrs
Communications Manager Business Development Manager Proposal Manager
Senior Proposal Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Editor Founder Public Relations Director
Public Relations And Communications Director
7 Yearsyrs
Manager Sales Manager General Sales Manager
Director Of New Media
5 Yearsyrs
Manager Marketing Manager Marketing Communications Manager
Content Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Manager Product Manager Marketing Communications Manager
Director, Global Marketing Communications
11 Yearsyrs
Content Strategist Content Manager
Senior Content Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Marketing Manager Social Media Manager Strategist
Senior Strategist
8 Yearsyrs
Content Strategist Content Manager Social Media Manager
Content Director
7 Yearsyrs
Creative Director
Director, Marketing And Creative Services
10 Yearsyrs
Owner Owner And Founder Social Media Manager
Online Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Content Manager
Digital Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Communications Specialist Manager Of Corporate Communications Marketing Manager/Project Manager
Communications Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Communications Specialist
Media Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Senior Writer Demographics

Gender

Male

49.9%

Female

39.8%

Unknown

10.3%
Ethnicity

White

64.8%

Hispanic or Latino

13.1%

Black or African American

12.2%

Asian

6.2%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

42.3%

French

20.8%

German

6.9%

Italian

4.6%

Mandarin

3.1%

Portuguese

3.1%

Chinese

3.1%

Korean

2.3%

Russian

2.3%

Arabic

2.3%

Japanese

1.5%

Hebrew

1.5%

Swahili

0.8%

Swedish

0.8%

Gujarati

0.8%

Hindi

0.8%

Lithuanian

0.8%

Afrikaans

0.8%

Finnish

0.8%

Irish

0.8%
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Senior Writer Education

Schools

New York University

12.0%

Syracuse University

7.1%

Northwestern University

6.9%

University of Texas at Austin

5.2%

University of Colorado at Boulder

5.2%

Columbia University

5.2%

Michigan State University

4.9%

Boston University

4.9%

Temple University

4.7%

University of Missouri - Columbia

4.7%

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

4.7%

Emerson College

4.3%

University of California - Berkeley

4.1%

University of Iowa

3.9%

University of Georgia

3.9%

Northeastern University

3.9%

Georgetown University

3.7%

University of Washington

3.7%

American University

3.7%

George Washington University

3.4%
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Majors

Journalism

18.8%

English

18.2%

Communication

11.8%

Writing

7.5%

Business

5.8%

Political Science

4.1%

History

3.8%

Marketing

3.6%

Public Relations

3.3%

Fine Arts

3.2%

Photography

3.2%

Psychology

3.1%

Law

1.9%

Agricultural Public Services

1.9%

Advertising

1.9%

Liberal Arts

1.8%

Journalism And Mass Communications

1.7%

Management

1.6%

Finance

1.6%

Elementary Education

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

52.9%

Masters

26.8%

Other

11.1%

Doctorate

3.7%

Certificate

2.9%

Associate

2.1%

Diploma

0.4%

License

0.0%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$69,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$42,000
Min 10%
$69,000
Median 50%
$69,000
Median 50%
$69,000
Median 50%
$69,000
Median 50%
$69,000
Median 50%
$69,000
Median 50%
$69,000
Median 50%
$112,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Microsoft
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
3.7 years
How much does a Senior Writer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior Writer in the United States is $69,287 per year or $33 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $42,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $112,000.

Real Senior Writer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Writer 72Andsunny LP Los Angeles, CA Oct 01, 2010 $165,000
Senior Writer, Advertising 72Andsunny Partners LLC Vista, CA Sep 11, 2015 $155,000
Senior Writer Droga5, LLC New York, NY Jul 31, 2013 $150,000
Senior Writer Aesop USA, Inc. New York, NY Jul 13, 2015 $140,000
Senior Writer 72Andsunny Partners LLC Vista, CA Jan 06, 2016 $135,000
Senior Writer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Jun 09, 2014 $134,463
Senior Writer, Advertising 72Andsunny Partners LLC Vista, CA Sep 30, 2013 $125,000
Senior Writer 72Andsunny LP Los Angeles, CA Oct 01, 2010 $120,000
Senior Writer Riot Games, Inc. Santa Monica, CA Apr 15, 2014 $119,517 -
$156,083
Senior Writer Deloitte Consulting LLP San Francisco, CA Feb 26, 2016 $115,000
Senior Writer Heat Ventures LLC San Francisco, CA Jan 12, 2015 $115,000 -
$135,000
Senior Writer, Emerging Markets Institutional Investor LLC New York, NY Mar 09, 2015 $105,000
Senior Writer, Emerging Markets Institutional Investor LLC New York, NY Dec 15, 2015 $105,000
Senior Writer, Emerging Markets Metal Bulletin Holding Corporation New York, NY Dec 30, 2015 $105,000
Senior Writer, Emerging Markets Institutional Investor LLC New York, NY Mar 09, 2013 $100,000
Senior Writer Thestreet.com, Inc. New York, NY Apr 01, 2013 $92,000
Senior Writer The Deal LLC New York, NY Jun 15, 2012 $92,000
Senior Writer, Post-War & Contemporary Art Christies, Inc. New York, NY Feb 03, 2015 $82,514
Senior Verbal Identity Writer Interbrand Corporation New York, NY Dec 03, 2012 $82,000
Srss Report Writer American Cadastre LLC Herndon, VA Oct 29, 2012 $78,000 -
$91,000
Senior Writer & Web Editorial Manager Issachar Companies, Inc. New York, NY Sep 08, 2015 $75,000
Senior Writer Greentech Media, Inc. Santa Monica, CA Apr 04, 2016 $70,000
Senior Principal Pre-Clinical Writer Pfizer Inc. Pearl River, NY Jan 01, 2010 $70,000 -
$135,100
Senior Writer Greentech Media, Inc. Boston, MA Sep 01, 2014 $60,000 -
$80,000
Senior Writer Riot Games, Inc. Santa Monica, CA Jul 07, 2015 $54,392 -
$85,509

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Top Skills for A Senior Writer

  1. Web Application
  2. Online
  3. Press Releases
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Submitted change requests for problems found in CMplus Web application and worked with developers to correct application problems.
  • Researched tech products to compare, rank and write reviews on software, online services and consumer electronics for TopTenReviews.com.
  • Developed press releases and maintained media relationships.
  • Reported, wrote and edited international news stories related to business, economics and information technology.
  • Suggested new procedures to increase laboratory efficiency to the Laboratory Director and Manager.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Writers

  1. Washington
  2. Massachusetts
  3. California
  4. Virginia
  5. District of Columbia
  6. North Carolina
  7. New Jersey
  8. Connecticut
  9. Maryland
  10. Colorado
  • (149 jobs)
  • (209 jobs)
  • (686 jobs)
  • (338 jobs)
  • (116 jobs)
  • (155 jobs)
  • (131 jobs)
  • (43 jobs)
  • (208 jobs)
  • (90 jobs)

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