How much do UX writers actually make? Salary survey report 2021

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:

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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
Experience counts
Writer:designer ratio
Gender insights
Negotiate your salary
An average UX writer’s profile
Limitations of this survey
Become a UX writer

🌍Global average UX writing salary 2021

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.

💰UX writing can be a six-figure salary job

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)
Switzerland $117,500 $85,500
USA $105,000  $65,850
Australia $88,000  $55,100 
Ireland $86,500 $64,000
Germany $72,600 $48,580
Norway $71,400 $82,500
United Kingdom $69,000 $42,220
Denmark $66,600 $63,950
Israel $66,340 $43,110
New Zealand $66,000 $42,760

We can see that UX writers, content designers, and other writers in the tech industry are earning significantly above-average incomes.

Check the median salary for your country here.

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
USA $360,000 Content Designer
Sweden $240,479 UX Writer
Germany $194,085 UX Copywriter
Switzerland $168,527 Content Strategist
Netherlands $163,759 Content Strategist
Canada $146,000 Content Designer
Ireland $133,640 UX Writer
Australia $116,912 UX Writer

This table brings us to another interesting point, which is that certain job titles earn significantly more than others.

💡What’s in a name? $, it seems!

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)
Content Designer $117,500
UX Writer $110,000
Content Strategist $105,600
Conversation Designer $105,000
Content Director $100,000
Technical Writer $93,000
Content Marketer $80,000
Content Writer $70,800
Content/Copy Editor $70,000
Copywriter $65,449

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.

💼 Company size (and type) is a big deal

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)
Government $128,000
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.

Experience counts

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.

✏️:🎨 Writer:designer ratio

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
1:1 $68,584 77 3.35
1:11-1:30 $79,575 76 3.37
1:2-1:5 $69,827 275 3.52
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.

👩🏽‍💻🧑‍💻 Gender insights

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
Female $105,000
Male $105,000

Responses for non-binary, trans, genderfluid, and related responses were too few to allow for meaningful insights.

🚨 Negotiate your salary

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.

🕵️‍♀️ Average writer in tech’s profile

Based on the salary survey numbers, what kind of profile does the average writer in tech have?

Suzannah Andrade (not a real name)
Location: USA
Age: 29

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

⚠️ Limitations of this survey

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.

✏️ Become a UX writer

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.

 

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