Speech Writer Salary in the United States
Speech writer salary.
How much does a Speech Writer make in the United States? The average Speech Writer salary in the United States is $129,693 as of October 25, 2023, but the range typically falls between $110,670 and $149,349 . Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education , certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession. With more online, real-time compensation data than any other website, Salary.com helps you determine your exact pay target.
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Job Description for Speech Writer
Speech Writer researches, drafts, writes, and edits a variety of speeches, talking points, press statements, web content, news releases, and other materials for executives. Translates the ideas, objectives, position, and management philosophy into messaging that relates to the topic, speaker, and intended audience. Being a Speech Writer ensures consistent messaging strategy and brand identity are included in every piece. Provides subject matter expertise in delivering presentations and speeches Requires a bachelor's degree. Additionally, Speech Writer typically reports to a manager. The Speech Writer work is generally independent and collaborative in nature. Contributes to moderately complex aspects of a project. To be a Speech Writer typically requires 4-7 years of related experience. (Copyright 2023 Salary.com)... View full job description
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Skills associated with Speech Writer: Brand Management , Content Creation , Industry Knowledge , Internal Communications ... More
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A speechwriter combines elegant prose with powerful content to help political officials and executives deliver a message to their constituents. Working behind the scenes, a speechwriter must have their finger on the pulse of the official that is giving the speech. In addition to capturing the spirit of the event in a speech, a speechwriter may also be involved in crafting policy points that are transformative. It can be challenging to break into this profession, but if you land a high-profile job, the speechwriter pay is generous.
Speechwriter Job Description
Before a speechwriter can put pen to paper, extensive research must be done about the type of speech to be delivered, the potential political implications of the message and the intended audience. Speechwriter jobs are often varied in time and scope. Some speechwriters may work as independent contractors, and others may be salaried. In addition to messages that are publicly delivered, a speechwriter may write other forms of communication such as:
- Policy briefs
- White papers
- Press releases
- Mission statements
A speechwriter doesn’t take public credit for their work. Instead, a speechwriter is a ghost author that receives satisfaction, when a speaker receives a standing ovation, following a well-delivered message. Speechwriter jobs sometimes include prepping a speaker in advance of the speech.
Speechwriter Education Requirements
There aren’t any specific speechwriter education requirements, but completing an undergraduate degree in journalism, communication, public relations or English will provide you with essential background in this career field. Some institutions of higher learning provide courses that focus on speechwriting. For example, Georgetown University offers a professional speechwriting course. This class covers topics like:
- Inspiring prose
- Communicating thoughts, ideas and feelings
- Speechwriting styles
- Persuasive writing techniques
- Empowering writing as a call to action
It’s critical to gain practical experience writing speeches and other communication pieces to build a portfolio of your work. Volunteer for local community organizations or political candidates to establish the beginning of your professional career as a writer. You’ll need professional references and other contacts to break into the field of speechwriting.
A speechwriter's salary varies. The pay for government or public service is typically lower than the corporate or business sectors. In 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) listed the median annual pay for technical writers at $72,850 , or $35.03 per hour. Publishing industries, professional and technical work paid the most. The highest earners made $117,250 , and the lowest made $44,320 .
Similarly, in 2019, writers and authors were paid an annual salary of $63,200 or $30.39 per hour, according to the BLS . The highest pay was $122,450 , and the lowest was $33,660 .
These salary figures provide context for full-time work, but many speechwriters are paid as independent contractors or per speech that is written. This amount is contingent upon writing history, experience and the type of organization that is contracting the speech.
Years of Experience
Experience is key, but it’s not impossible to land a job as a speechwriter for a well-known political candidate or corporate CEO. In a story published by CNBC , David Litt discusses how he became a speechwriter at the age of 24 for President Barack Obama. An internship writing speeches for senators and CEOs opened the door to an entry-level job at the White House.
Speechwriter Job Outlook
You can expect a 7 percent increase in technical writing jobs between now and 2029. Position yourself to interact with decision makers and volunteer your writing skills, especially in the beginning of your career. You’ll learn more about what it takes to be successful in the field, and you’ll be more likely to gain entry into the speechwriting field.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Technical Writers
- Georgetown University: Professional Speechwriting
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Writers and Authors
- CNBC: David Litt Became a Speechwriter for President Obama at 24
Dr. Kelly Meier earned her doctorate from Minnesota State Mankato in Educational Leadership. She is the author and co-author of 12 books focusing on customer service, diversity and team building. She serves as a consultant for business, industry and educational organizations. Dr. Meier has written business articles and books for Talico, Inc, Dynateam Consulting, Inc. and Kinect Education Group.
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- 1 Speechwriter Job Description
- 2 Qualifications for Political Strategists
- 3 Salary of a Full-Time Writer/Editor
- 4 What Kind of Job Can Someone Get With a Creative Writing Degree?
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Political speechwriters prepare speeches for individuals in the political arena. They write for politicians in all branches of government, from the local and state level to the national level, including the president of the United States.
Minimum Education Level
Salaries for speechwriters (including political speechwriters) vary depending upon experience. Salary.com reported the median salary for speechwriters was $134,063 in April 2020. The lowest 10 percent earned $87,753 or less and the top 10 percent earned $205,658 or more. Salaries also depend on geographical location and the level of government for which the speechwriter writes.
In May 20...
The work environment of political speechwriters can vary. At times, they may find themselves working in a relatively quiet office. They may also find themselves traveling on a crowded bus, train, or plane with the politician for whom they are writing, trying to craft a speech that needs to be finished by the time they arrive at their next destination. Work hours in this profession can be long a...
The U.S. Department of Labor does not provide employment outlook information for the career of political speechwriter, but it does report that job opportunities for all writers will show little or no change through 2028. It is safe to say, though, given the prevalence of politics and the importance of effective communication in the world today, that political speechwriters will have steady empl...
Average Speech Writer Salary
The average salary for a Speech Writer is $87,139 in 2023
What is the pay by experience level for speech writers .
An early career Speech Writer with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of $74,558 based on 5 salaries. A mid-career Speech Writer with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $81,444 based on 9 salaries. An experienced Speech Writer with …Read more
What Do Speech Writers Do?
A speech writer develops speeches for someone else to deliver. Employers often include politicians, other public figures and business executives. They must work with the individual giving the speech and/or their representatives to develop the speech topic and key points. They then craft a draft of the speech for review; revisions may be required. The speech writer must match the speaker's tone, style and philosophy in the speech; they also need to carefully consider the audience while writing …Read more
How do Speech Writers Rate Their Jobs?
Common health benefits for a speech writer, gender breakdown for speech writers.
FAQs About Speech Writers
What is the highest pay for speech writers.
Our data indicates that the highest pay for a Speech Writer is $170k / year
What is the lowest pay for Speech Writers?
Our data indicates that the lowest pay for a Speech Writer is $77k / year
How can Speech Writers increase their salary?
Increasing your pay as a Speech Writer is possible in different ways. Change of employer: Consider a career move to a new employer that is willing to pay higher for your skills. Level of Education: Gaining advanced degrees may allow this role to increase their income potential and qualify for promotions. Managing Experience: If you are a Speech Writer that oversees more junior Speech Writers, this experience can increase the likelihood to earn more.