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Make Money Writing: Full-Time Writer Jobs that Earn Great Salaries

Updated on May 26, 2012

© 2011 by Aurelio Locsin.

Do you view writing as a creative outlet incapable of generating any income? Do you love to write, and yet earn money in an unrelated job? Are you frustrated at pouring your heart and soul into an endeavor that only earns a few cents a day? This article shows you how to avoid those questions entirely by pursuing writing careers that actually earn a good living.


Reporters gather information from newsworthy sources and turn it into stories for newspapers, TV, radio and websites. Though much of their writing is confined to short articles, they may sometimes write longer pieces, such as multi-part stories, magazine features or investigative books. Professionals can suffer from high stress since they are under constant pressure to deliver copy by specific deadlines.

Positions need a college degree in journalism or mass communications. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, full-time jobs offer a mean $21.05 per hour or $43,780 per year. The highest paying jobs are with other information services that include web publishers and Internet search portals. Salaries here run $29.83 per hour or $62,050 per year. Unfortunately, jobs for reporters are expected to decline by eight percent until 2018 because of the consolidation of the publishing and broadcast industries. Most opportunities will come from new technologies such as online or mobile news.


Copywriters create advertising copy that promotes goods and services that are sold to a target audience. They focus on short writing such as blurbs, signs, web pages, flyers, articles and brochures, and typically work with graphic artists and advertising managers to present campaign ideas to clients.

A bachelor’s degree is typically needed for full-time jobs, although those whose writing has been proven to increase sales can secure jobs. Copywriters make a median $25.91 per hour or $53,900 per year, with the best salaries going to those who are self-employed. Jobs are predicted to grow by 14 to 19 percent, which is better than average.


Though editors may do some original writing, they primarily review, rewrite and manage the work of writers. Depending on their employer, they may plan the content of magazines, books, and other publications. Most begin their careers as writers, and thus require the same bachelor’s degrees in journalism, English or communication that writers require. They are then promoted to editorial positions once they show abilities in editing or management.

Editors make a mean $28.53 per hour or $59,340 per year. Their highest paying employers are computer and peripheral equipment manufacturers, where wages are at $44.69 per hour or $92,950 per year. The profession is predicted not to show any growth until 2018, because more and more writers are relying on technology to edit their work. Most of the openings will come from web or electronic book publishers.

Technical Writers

Tech writers translate complex scientific and technical information into writing that users can understand. They work on such communications as manuals, catalogs, proposals, parts lists, help text, online guides and websites. These professionals work in nearly every industry including medicine, law, computers, aerospace and automobile manufacturing.

The job typically requires a degree in technical communication, which combines training in writing, with a technical discipline such as biology or engineering. English majors can also enter the field by adding a technical minor to their degree. Technical experts can qualify by getting a technical writing certificate from a junior college.

Full-time jobs in this profession pay a mean $31.85 per hour or $66,240 per year, which is the highest salary of any full-time writing profession. The best salaries are with wireless telecommunications carriers (not including satellite). They pay a mean $40.74 per hour or $84,730 per year. Jobs are expected to grow by 18 percent, which is faster than average for all jobs.

Check to see if any of these writing jobs is one of The Highest Paying Jobs in the USA or Highest Paying Jobs in California.


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    • Gurpinder Vir Singh Rai profile image


      3 months ago

      Great information, thanks for sharing.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      6 years ago from USA

      This is all great information. I use to be a technical writer. Now, I am trying my hand as an internet content writer. Honestly, I made more money as a technical writer, but I enjoy content writing far more than technical writing and so I am holding out for hope that content writing will pan out in due time.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Good to know writers get paid decently and useful info for those those wish to take up writing in these areas. Voted up, useful.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      7 years ago from Arizona

      Lots of good information here for writers. I think it is about getting the word out about your talent and keep looking for the best jobs. It is great if you can work at home and make your living in the comfort of your home.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      Alocsin, This is great information. I just need to put my marketing skills in gear to increase my freelance writing clients. Whew! There is always so much to do! But that's a good thing. Thank you for giving us this information.

    • alocsin profile imageAUTHOR

      Aurelio Locsin 

      7 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Thanks for stopping by. And Tammy I'll post a hub on the group that you may find interesting.

    • tammyswallow profile image


      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Great suggestions! As a paralegal, I have learned about so many new fields in writing and editing. One new job on the rise is Intellectual Property Paralegal where the Paralegal reviews articles and SEO sites for specific clients to find violations. This could be tedious but a great job for those who love to read. Well done and informative!

    • Ardie profile image


      7 years ago from Neverland

      This is a very interesting read. I've always wanted to be an investigative reporter or an editor. Or even an investigative reports editor :)

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett C 

      8 years ago from Asia

      Good hub, voted up and useful.

      Editing definitely pays well! I did it for a while and it was actually quite interesting, as I got to read travel stories and then prepare the work for print.

      Thinking of doing some Copy-writing work ... do you know any good places to start looking?


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