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Become A Staff Writer

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Working As A Staff Writer

  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $45,147

    Average Salary

What Does A Staff Writer Do

The primary duties of a Staff Writer include performing research on different subjects, producing well-written content, and uncovering newsworthy stories. They work closely with the editor-in-chief, reporters, and freelancers.

How To Become A Staff Writer

Employers generally prefer to hire reporters and correspondents who have a bachelor’s degree in journalism or communications along with an internship or work experience from a college radio or television station or a newspaper.


Most employers prefer workers who have a bachelor’s degree in journalism or communications. However, some employers may hire applicants who have a degree in a related subject, such as English or political science, and relevant work experience.

Bachelor’s degree programs in journalism and communications include classes in journalistic ethics and techniques for researching stories and conducting interviews. Some programs may require students to take liberal arts classes, such as English, history, economics, and political science, so that students are prepared to cover stories on a wide range of subjects.

Some journalism students may benefit from classes in multimedia design, coding, and programming. Because content is increasingly being delivered on television, websites, and mobile devices, reporters need to know how to develop stories with video, audio, data, and graphics.

Some schools offer graduate programs in journalism and communications. These programs prepare students who have a bachelor’s degree in another field to become journalists.

Other Experience

Employers generally require workers to have experience gained through internships or by working on school newspapers. While attending college, many students seek multiple internships with different news organizations. These internships allow students the opportunities to work on stories and put together a portfolio of their best writing samples or on-air appearances.


After gaining more work experience, reporters and correspondents can advance by moving from news organizations in small cities or towns to news organizations in large cities. Larger markets offer job opportunities with higher pay and more responsibility and challenges. Reporters and correspondents also may become editors or news directors.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Journalists must be able to report the news both verbally and in writing. Strong writing skills are important for journalists in all kinds of media.

Computer skills. Journalists should be able to use editing equipment and other broadcast-related devices.

Interpersonal skills. To develop contacts and conduct interviews, reporters need to build good relationships with many people. They also need to work well with other journalists, editors, and news directors.

Objectivity. Journalists need to report the facts of the news without inserting their opinion or bias into the story.

Persistence. Sometimes, getting the facts of a story is difficult, particularly when those involved refuse to be interviewed or provide comment. Journalists need to be persistent in their pursuit of the story.

Stamina. The work of journalists is often fast paced and exhausting. Reporters must be able to keep up with the additional hours of work.

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Staff Writer jobs

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Real Staff Writer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Staff Writer Nerdwallet, Inc. San Francisco, CA Oct 20, 2016 $80,000
Staff Writer, Foreign, Worldviews Blog WP Company LLC (D/B/A The Washington Post) Washington, DC Jun 27, 2016 $75,000 -
Staff Writer Forbes Media LLC Jersey City, NJ Mar 11, 2016 $71,594
Staff Writer Forbes Media LLC Jersey City, NJ Sep 26, 2016 $71,594
Staff Writer Forbes Media LLC Jersey City, NJ Mar 06, 2015 $65,000
Staff Writer Forbes Media, LLC New York, NY Oct 31, 2013 $65,000
Staff Writer WP Company LLC Washington, DC Jul 09, 2016 $65,000 -
Staff Writer Forbes Media LLC New York, NY Oct 08, 2010 $64,217
Senior Staff Writer Hallelujah Acres Inc. Shelby, NC Jan 03, 2011 $60,000
Staff Writer Thomson Reuters (Markets) LLC New York, NY Oct 01, 2011 $57,000
Staff Writer Women In The World Media LLC New York, NY Mar 09, 2015 $55,000
Staff Writer Buzzfeed, Inc. New York, NY Aug 26, 2014 $55,000
Staff Writer Credible Labs, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 09, 2016 $55,000 -
Staff Writer Vice Media LLC New York, NY Feb 23, 2015 $54,000
Staff Writer-Industry Policy BBIM Inc. Clinton, MD May 20, 2013 $50,151
Staff Writer Institutional Investor Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2010 $50,000
Staff Writer Purch Group, Inc. New York, NY Feb 08, 2016 $49,629 -
Staff Writer The First Church of Christ, Scientist Boston, MA Jul 09, 2016 $46,800
Staff Writer U.S. Frontline News, Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2009 $45,677
Staff Writer Capitol Hill Publishing Corp. Washington, DC Feb 15, 2016 $45,178 -
Staff Writer Vice Media LLC New York, NY Aug 31, 2015 $42,931
Staff Writer J. One Corporation New York, NY Aug 10, 2010 $42,784
Assistant Editor & Staff Writer La Downtowner, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Aug 21, 2016 $41,740
Blog Editor and Staff Writer Forward Association, Inc. New York, NY Jan 01, 2012 $40,000
Staff Writer, Health Line Group The Advisory Board Company Washington, DC Nov 09, 2009 $36,001
Staff Writer, Health Line Group The Advisory Board Company Washington, DC Nov 11, 2009 $36,001
Staff Writer U.S. Japan Publication N.Y., Inc. New York, NY Dec 09, 2014 $36,000
Staff Writer U.S. Japan Publication N.Y., Inc. New York, NY Dec 10, 2013 $36,000

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Top Skills for A Staff Writer


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Top Staff Writer Skills

  1. Feature
  2. Daily Newspaper
  3. Online Publication
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Researched and wrote feature stories on innovative business leaders and ideas, ranging from light-emitting diodes to new local business.
  • Reported for major daily newspaper covering state and federal courts with focus on criminal justice issues.
  • Staff Writer and weekly columnist completing 12 to 15 articles each week for three print and online publications.
  • Covered a wide range of topics, with over 50 published articles.
  • Write event coverage, interviews, and editorial on a wide array of subjects for both print and web editorial.

Top Staff Writer Employers

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