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Survey of Freelance Writers' and Editors' Rates

Full results of a survey of freelance writers' and editors' rates, May 2012.

Journalism, Article Writing, Content Writing

Hourly Rate Word or Piece Rate Formal Qualifications Experience (in years) Country
$140   Diploma in Journalism 5 or more Australia
         
$85-$135 (government contracting)
$60-85
    5 or more USA
$75-$125 $300-1000+ (articles); $250/page (web content)   5 or more USA
$20 -100   M.A. (Literature),
Bachelor in Journalism and Mass Communication
5 or more India
$95   None 5 or more New Zealand
$80-90   BA  5 or more New Zealand
$75 (web work, consulting) $0.10    5 or more USA
$75   B.A. Honours in Linguistics, Certificate in Public Relations 5 or more New Zealand
         
$60-75   Master's degree in Communications 5 or more USA
         
$25 - $75 $0.05-0.50 Diploma in Feature Writing from London School of Journalism Bachelor of Science Degree technical specialty 5 or more New Zealand
$60-70 (commercial work), $50-60 (non-profit work) $0.75-1.00   5 or more USA
         
Day Rate $500
Half day minimum $250
  Graduate degree Public Relations,
Master's degree Professional Communications
5 or more Australia
$70 $0.60 (casual), $0.40 (long term) Postgraduate Diploma of Communications
APR (Accredited Public Relations)
5 or more Australia
$50   Bachelor's degree in English 5 or more Canada
$50 (websites)   BA in Journalism 5 or more USA
$45-50 $0.50-2.00   5 or more USA
         
$25-50     5 or more USA
$25 (without deadline)
$50 (rush)
    5 or more Puerto Rico
GBP 20-30     5 or more UK
$25-$40   BA (Hons) Politics and Philosophy;
PhD Politics and Philosophy; member, Canberra Society of Editors
5 or more Australia
$35 (news reporting) $1 (magazines)
$0.50 (news)
Cadetship. Graded as a J8 when gradings were in place in 1992. 5 or more New Zealand
         
$35 (starting rate)   A certificate (after a degree) to teach ESL 5 or more Canada
         
$30   Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications 5 or more USA
$25     Less than 1 USA
$15 (articles), $20 (blog) $10 (article 400-550 words), $5(article 250-399 words)   5 or more Philippines
$10 $0.15 -0.25 Minor in journalism 5 or more USA
  $150-200 per web page for web content Bachelor of Arts, Post-grad diploma in publishing and editing

 

5 or more Australia
  $0.10 (web copy, blogs)
$0.25 (web copy, blogs, HTML formatted and posted online)
$0.20-0.75 (book reviews)
B.A., English, summa cum laude (2004); J.D. (2007);
Oxford TESL certificate (2012)
5 or more USA
  $0.18-0.22 (outdoors industry New Zealand), 0.50 (outdoors industry, Australia) None 5 or more New Zealand
$15 $5 (per page)   5 or more Pakistan
  $0.10   5 or more Canada
  $0.10   5 or more USA
  $35/page (400 words)   3-4 USA
  $0.02-0.07   1-2 USA
  $0.01-0.05 Minor in Journalism; BS in Biology. 5 or more USA
  $0.03   5 or more USA
$10.00 (starting rate) $0.03   5 or more Jamaica
  $0.01 Masters Degree in English 5 or more India
         
$8 $1.00 per 100 words for articles; $2.00 per 100 words - academic writing with references, bibliography; $3.00 per 100 words - special reports, authoritative materials Bachelor of Science in Commerce 5 or more Philippines

 

Business Writing

Hourly Rate Word or Piece Rate Formal Qualifications Experience (in years) Country
$100-$150 $0.85-$1.00 Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing,  Diploma of Business Administration, Teaching English as a second language

 

5 or more Australia
$85-$135 (government contracting)
$60-85
    5 or more USA
$110-130   BA in Film & Media and English Literature 5 or more New Zealand
         
$125 (executive and board level resumes)   Masters in Education,
Diploma in Editing (partially completed)
5 or more Australia
$75-$125 brochure - $600 for 3-4 panel; $1200 for 8 panel+; business letter  - $200-300; press release - $250-500    5 or more USA
$120 (PR - writing and consulting)   Postgraduate Diploma of Communications
APR (Accredited Public Relations)
5 or more Australia
$100   BA  5 or more New Zealand
$20 -100   M.A. (Literature),
Bachelor in Journalism and Mass Communication
5 or more India
$90   BSc, PhD 5 or more New Zealand
         
$80-90 (copywriting)   BA  5 or more New Zealand
$85   Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism 5 or more New Zealand
$80 (marketing, media relations)   BA, Dip Jour 5 or more New Zealand
$75 (copywriting, PR, advertising)   Cadetship. Graded as a J8 when gradings were in place in 1992. 5 or more New Zealand
$75   BA Honours in Linguistics, Certificate in Public Relations 5 or more New Zealand
$60-70 (commercial work), $50-60 (non-profit work) $0.75-1.00   5 or more USA
Day Rate - $500
Half day minimum - $250
  Graduate degree Public Relations,
Master degree Professional Communications
5 or more Australia
$50   Bachelor's degree in English 5 or more Canada
$25-40 (Corporate documents, e.g. business plans)   BA (Hons) Politics and Philosophy;
PhD Politics and Philosophy; member, Canberra Society of Editors
5 or more Australia
$25
$40 (SEO)
$0.04-0.06 Certificates in IT and writing 3-4 USA
$35 (press release)   BA in Journalism 5 or more USA
         
$30   Diploma in Creative Advertising 1-2 New Zealand
$30     5 or more India
$25 (without deadline)
$50 (rush)
    5 or more Puerto Rico
$15 $5 (per page)   5 or more Pakistan
  $0.10   5 or more USA

 

Editing and Proofreading

Hourly Rate Word or Piece Rate Formal Qualifications Experience (in years) Country
$85-$135 (government contracting)
$60-85
    5 or more USA
$110-130   BA in Film & Media and English Literature 5 or more New Zealand
         
$75-$125  $125/page (web content rewrites)   5 or more USA
$20 -100   M.A. (Literature),
Bachelor in Journalism and Mass Communication
5 or more India
$95   None 5 or more New Zealand
$50 (proofreading)
$80-90 (substantive editing)
  BA  5 or more New Zealand
$50 (proofreading), $60-70 (editing), $80 (editing web content)   Bachelor of Arts, Post-grad Diploma in Publishing and Editing

 

5 or more Australia
$75   BA Honours in Linguistics, Certificate in Public Relations 5 or more New Zealand
$75    Cadetship. Graded as a J8 when gradings were in place in 1992. 5 or more New Zealand
$75   BA  5 or more New Zealand
$50-75   BA in Political Science 5 or more  
$70 $0.60 (casual), $0.40 (long term) Postgraduate Diploma of Communications,
APR (Accredited Public Relations)
5 or more Australia
$60-70 (commercial work), $50-60 (non-profit work)     5 or more USA
$60   Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism 5 or more New Zealand
$40 (proofreading and copyediting), $60 (substantive editing)   Master's degree in Communications 5 or more USA
$50   Bachelor's degree in English 5 or more Canada
$50     5 or more New Zealand
$50     5 or more New Zealand
$25-50     5 or more USA
$25-$40   BA (Hons) Politics and Philosophy;
PhD Politics and Philosophy; member, Canberra Society of Editors
5 or more Australia
$20 (students), $35 (businesses)   MA - English,
Grad Dip ESOL,
Grad Dip Journalism,
Grad Dip Secondary Teaching
5 or more New Zealand
$35   MA in English,
Indexing certificate
5 or more New Zealand
$30   Diploma in Creative Advertising 1-2 New Zealand
$30     5 or more India
$30     5 or more USA
$30   BA in Communications 5 or more USA
$20-25   A certificate (after a degree) to teach ESL 5 or more Canada
$10 - 25     5 or more Malaysia
$20 (editing), $25 (rewriting)     5 or more Philippines
$20   Minor in Journalism 5 or more USA
$15 $5 (per page)   5 or more Pakistan
$8 $0.50 per 100 words Bachelor of Science in Commerce 5 or more Philippines
$4     3-5 Ghana
  $0.10   5 or more USA
  $2.90 per page (non-scientific), $3.50 per page (scientific)   5 or more New Zealand
  GBP 5-7 per 1000 words   5 or more UK
  $0.03   5 or more Jamaica
  $0.01 Masters Degree in English 5 or more India

 

Technical Writing

Hourly Rate Word or Piece Rate Formal Qualifications Experience (in years) Country
$85-$135 (government contracting)
$60-85
    5 or more USA
$100   Masters in Education,
Diploma in Editing (partially completed)
5 or more Australia
$65-85     5 or more New Zealand
  $1.00 Minor in Journalism; BS in Biology. 5 or more USA

Ghostwriting

Hourly Rate Word or Piece Rate Formal Qualifications Experience (in years) Country
  $35,000 to $50,000 (life story or biography) Diploma in Journalism 5 or more Australia
  $10,000 to $15,000 per book (non-fiction)   5 or  more USA
  $1.00 (ghostwriting magazine articles, books, etc. for attorneys and legal professionals) B.A., English, summa cum laude (2004); J.D. (2007);
Oxford TESL certificate (2012)
5 or more USA

General Comments

"I don't usually state my rates, and I just accept what the company/person is offering."

"Whenever possible, I quote by the project, not by the hour....I often give a 10 percent discount for contracts that include multiple projects and I add a 20 percent surcharge for rush work. I require 30 percent in advance with the balance due on receipt of the draft."

"I rarely charge by the hour; much prefer by the piece or project. "

"Nationals and corporate clients have larger budgets than start-ups, local publications and non-profits."

"Since I do more than one type of work, the charges are based on the oomplexity of the project; hourly rates in government contracting range from $85-$135 per hour; some involving more consulting work may be as high as $175 per hour; certain long-range projects based on estimated hours range from $60-85 per hour or could be a flat fee with built-in parameters to cover extra work that may arise or be required. In these cases I give an estimate after the principal has provided information on the scope of the work."