The ultimate salary guide for copywriters, content writers, editors, and proofreaders, Part 3.
In Part 1, we took a look at how several factors (like whether you call yourself a copywriter or a content writer, where you live and your gender) affect what you earn as a copywriter.
And, in Part 2, we looked at how having a niche affects how much you earn as a content writer or copywriter. Spoiler alert: choosing a niche makes your income go up.
But what about education? Will a degree help you make more money as a copywriter?
We asked 942 copywriters and content writers about their education and how much they made. Then we crunched the numbers.
|Some High School||$78,298||$70,300|
|High School Graduate||$42,775||$50,509|
No, you don’t need a degree to earn good money as a copywriter. But it doesn’t hurt.
There is clearly a relationship between education and income. More education tends to increase earnings on the whole. However, it’s not the biggest driver of income (for that scroll down or read Part 2). The copywriter who reported earning $3.5 million in our survey didn’t complete college.
You’ll notice that the group who didn’t finish high school earns more than all but the set of doctorate holders. This is an artifact of the small data set we have to work with. There are four people in this group who are earning large six figure incomes which more than doubles the average. It’s clear that it is absolutely possible to make good money without educational credentials. These four high earners prove it. However, the median number for this group is much closer to $30,000.
How does experience affect what copywriters earn?
The answer is… a lot. Here’s the data:
|Less than 1 Year||$12,895||$16,779|
What to earn more money? Get more experience. It’s that simple. The highest earners in our survey simply have more experience.
Which isn’t surprising.
Experienced copywriters understand the value they create for their clients and are more able to charge for it. They are more likely to have clients who come back to them or who refer their colleagues who need copy. They are also more likely to advise their clients about additional ideas and projects that help their clients earn more money—and increase their income along the way.
But experience isn’t the only factor that determines what you make. One copywriter with less than a year of experience earned more than $100,000. And 15 copywriters with just 1-2 years of experience reported earning between $100,000 and $250,000. So while experience will help increase what you earn, it’s not the only thing to consider.
Creating value and charging for it is more important. Choosing a niche also appears to be important.
Let’s take a closer look at how experience changes what copywriters charge for their work.
We broke out the project types by experience level—Less than one year, 1-2 years, 3-5 years, 6-10 years, and 10+ years. Here’s what the average copywriter at each of those levels is charging for 22 different projects…
|< 1 Year||1-2 Years||3-5 Years||6-10 Years||10+ Years|
|Web Page (Single)||$376||$664||$679||$664||$901|
|Copy Review / Audit||$429||$752||$966||$671||$1,485|
|White Paper / Ebook||$563||$1,658||$2,053||$2,274||$2,485|
|Webinar / Course Content||$750||$1,546||$3,044||$3,109||$5,483|
There are a few anomalies, however, as copywriters gain experience, they tend to charge more for the work they do. Part of that is because with experience, copywriters get better at understanding the value they create for their clients and how to talk about that. The more value they deliver, the more they can charge for the work they do.
But that doesn’t mean you need to wait until you have 10+ years of experience to charge the rates those copywriters charge. If you deliver a similar level of value and service, you may be able to charge those rates even if you only have been writing for a year or two.
We saw copywriters who had less than a year’s experience charging as much as $5,000 for a sales page and as much as $250 for an hourly consult. Both of these prices are well above the average copywriter at their experience level. There’s no reason you can’t do the same IF you deliver a similar level of service.
And if you want to help us with next year’s survey, you can do that here.