UPDATE: For the latest figures, check out the 2022 salary survey report.
757 people all over the world completed UX Writing Hub’s recent salary survey. Thanks everyone! Over the last few weeks, we’ve been digging into the numbers and found tons of fascinating insights.
Good times for UX writers
Before we dive in, it’s good to know that there has never been a better time to become a writer in tech. The interest in the role has been growing in line with increasing demand for digital products that truly resonate with the users. Not surprising then that Google Trends reveals a massive increase in web searches for UX writing over the last few years:
Jump straight to:
Global average UX writing salary 2021
UX writing can be a six-figure salary job
What’s in a name? $, it seems!
Company size (and type) is a big deal
Negotiate your salary
An average UX writer’s profile
Limitations of this survey
Become a UX writer
The global average salary for writers in tech 2021 is 65K USD. But as you can imagine, this figure alone doesn’t say much in itself as it varies enormously across countries, age groups, and years of experience, to name a few things. Let’s look into some of the most important points that affect salaries for writers in tech.
In some places in the world, UX writers earn six-figure salaries. Here are the top 10 countries based on median salary:
|Country||Median annual salary for writers in tech||Average income
(data from worlddata.info)
We can see that UX writers, content designers, and other writers in the tech industry are earning significantly above-average incomes.
Of course, it’s good to remember that the gross salary is only one piece of a person’s actual income pie. There are many things to take into account, for example the general tax rate and cost of living. It doesn’t include things like overtime pay, bonuses, and other benefits either. Plus, there are big differences within each country.
Still, who’s not curious about how high we can go in our profession? Here are the 10 top reported salaries:
|Country||Max reported annual salary||Job title|
|United Kingdom||$376,895||Content Designer|
This table brings us to another interesting point, which is that certain job titles earn significantly more than others.
We all know that the job titles in our industry are a mess. There is zero consistency and there can be a lot of overlap between roles such as content strategist, content marketer, and content writer.
The salary survey results revealed that UX writer is the most common job title, but it only accounts for just over ⅓ of the responses — 34.6% to be exact.
This is followed by content designer at 14.3%, content strategist at 11.2%, and technical writer at 11%. And we had a whopping 64 different job titles submitted through the survey!
You often hear that the job title doesn’t matter. Well in terms of salary, that’s not true. There is a clear tendency for some job titles to earn more than others. Check out the median salary for these common job titles:
|Job Title||Median annual salary (USA)|
As you can see, the top 3 high-earning titles are Content Designers, UX Writers, and Content Strategists.
What does that tell us? That as a writer in tech, you should consider re-branding yourself if you want more money in your pocket.
According to the survey, there’s a mahoosive difference in pay depending on the size of the company. You can expect a significantly higher salary at enterprises of over 1,000 people, compared to both medium-sized companies and smaller startups. And when it comes to company type, governmental organizations are the most generous employers:
|What size company do you work for?||Median annual salary (USA)|
|Enterprise (more than 1000 people)||$117,000|
|Medium-sized company (30 to 200 people)||$80,000|
|Small startup (up to 30 people)||$80,000|
Not that salary alone says anything about job satisfaction or quality of life – some people are simply happier in a smaller company. In general, there is often more scope to take on a wider variety of tasks and roles in smaller companies, and it may be easier to get involved in and affect how the company develops on many levels. For a large enterprise, your role and tasks are probably more clearly defined, and you’ll have to get used to corporate rules and processes.
Not surprisingly, work experience is another biggie when it comes to salaries. Those with 10 years of professional writing experience report that they earn around twice as much compared to those who have worked for 1 year or less. This pattern is more or less consistent across job titles.
As for the writer:designer ratio, around 60% of those who answered this question confirmed that there are up to 5 designers for every writer in their company. The rest reported 6-10 designers or 11-30 designers. Their answers reveal two other interesting points: The higher the ratio, the more people earn, but the lower the ratio, the more writers feel that they have a seat at the table:
|Writer:Designer||Earn||Count||Seat at the table|
|1:6 – 1:10||$77,393||147||3.34|
In terms of salary, the survey shows that the golden ratio of writers and designers in a team is 1:3.
A positive insight from the salary survey is that there is hardly any salary difference between men and women. Over 70% of the respondents identify as female, and the median salary is pretty much the same for guys and gals.
|What’s your gender?||MEDIAN of Annual USD|
Responses for non-binary, trans, genderfluid, and related responses were too few to allow for meaningful insights.
52% of the respondents stated that they negotiated their salaries. Interestingly enough, the data shows that those who did don’t just earn up to 5K more per year, they also state that they are happier with their income. If that’s not an incentive to negotiate your salary, I don’t know what is! Having that salary conversation with your boss could give you enough of a raise for an extra vacation in Mexico every year.
Based on the salary survey numbers, what kind of profile does the average writer in tech have?
Suzannah Andrade (not a real name)
Earns: $72,000 per year
Title: UX Writer
Employment: Full time, Enterprise
Experience: 2 years
Tools she uses: Slack, Zeplin, Figma, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides
Skills to develop: UX Research, Ethical design, New design tools
We are confident that the survey gives a good overview of the current salary landscape for writers in tech in the world today. Still, it is a good idea to be aware of a few limitations of this survey:
- It is based on self-assessment. There is no guarantee that all submitted answers are entirely accurate.
- We asked everyone to confirm their annual gross salary and hourly rate. As mentioned above, it is good to remember that a person’s salary has to be evaluated in relation to the local tax rate, cost of living, etc. A person’s gross salary does not indicate things like overtime pay, bonuses, and benefits either.
- In some countries, we only received a handful of answers.
- For more info, check out the full report here.
Thinking about transitioning to UX writing or content design? That’s an excellent idea, and we’d be happy to help you on your journey! Start by taking our free course.