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Screenwriter Salary Information
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Screenwriter Salary Ranges
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The average yearly salary for Screenwriter is $81,600. If you are just beginning to work as a Screenwriter, you could expect a starting pay of $67,200. As is true for most careers, you can expect your payrate to increase the longer you are employed. You could make an income of around $96,000 after some time.

Yearly Screenwriter Pay Statistics

Average Yearly Screenwriter Salary$65,280 - $97,920
Starting Yearly Screenwriter Salary$53,760 - $80,640
Top Yearly Screenwriter Salary$76,800 - $115,200

Monthly Screenwriter Pay Statistics

Average Monthly Screenwriter Salary$5,440 - $8,160
Starting Monthly Screenwriter Salary$4,480 - $6,720
Top Monthly Screenwriter Salary$6,400 - $9,600

Hourly Screenwriter Pay Statistics

Average Hourly Screenwriter Salary$29 - $44
Starting Hourly Screenwriter Salary$24 - $36
Top Hourly Screenwriter Salary$34 - $51

Screenwriter Gender and Age Stats

The average Screenwriter age in the US is 34 years old.

49% of Screenwriter are male in the United States.
51% of Screenwriter are female in the United States.

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Salary News Articles

Salary vs. Hourly

Federal law defines a salary as a regularly paid amount of money, constituting all or part of an employee’s wages, paid on a weekly or less frequent basis. Performance is measured by the quality of their work, not by the time it took to complete it. A salary employee's payrate is not subject to reduction due to the quality or quantity of work performed

If you are applying for a Screenwriter job that pays on a salary basis, there are a few things you need to know about how it works.  The biggest difference between salary and hourly pay is that your salary does not correllate with how many hours you work.  Whether you work 40 hours in a week or 80, you will still receive the same amount on your paycheck.  Employers have the right to schedule salary employees as they deem necessary. Typically, salaried employees generally don't have sick/personal time, so you won’t have to be concerned  about your pay being docked if you need to take time off.

Most employees on salary are considered exempt employees and are not entitled to overtime pay.  Some qualify as non-exempt employees and are eligible for overtime pay.  Because most salaried employees do not get paid overtime, make sure you know how many hours your employer will expect you to work.  Some Screenwriter salaries are considered base salaries, with the addition of bonuses for your exemplary performance.  A bonus can be a way to reward you for those long hours, even though you don't get paid overtime.

Be sure to clarify whether or not benefits are included in your Screenwriter salary.  Most employers list these separate from your salary, but some may quote you a salary that includes the cost of benefits.  Always get a detailed view of what your salary package includes.

On the flip side, the benefit of being an hourly employee is that you are guaranteed a certain dollar amount for every hour you work. The set hours that an hourly employee has are typically predictable. Time and a half for overtime is another perk of being an hourly employee. Don’t assume that salary pay is necessarily better. Every job and every employee’s personal situation is different, so weigh the benefits and crunch the numbers for yourself.

How to Ask for a Raise

It is wise to prepare yourself before going to your boss and asking for a raise.  Here are some things you can do to help your confidence and your chances of getting more money on your next paycheck.  Discuss your contributions to the company and what you are ultimately hoping to receive.  You never know until you ask!

  1. Research What Pay Ranges a Screenwriter Can Expect – Our site is a great way to compare what you are making to other employees' incomes in the same profession.  We give you a general idea of the market-competitive compensation in your area.  Are you on the low end of the pay range?  If you are a hard worker, you may be eligible for a raise!
  2. Evaluate Your Job Performance – Do you have experience or training that makes you more qualified than others in your position?  Do you go above and beyond to perform your duties?  Come up with a reasonable list of work related accomplishments that depict why you should be paid more. These factors increase your value as an employee, so make sure you point them out to your boss. 
  3. Find an Appropriate Time To Approach Your Employer - Employers typically give a Screenwriter a formal review on an annual, bi-annual, or quarterly basis.  If you have one upcoming, it may be most appropriate to take advantage of this opportunity to request a change in your payrate.  If you recently started a job, it may be inappropriate to request a raise before the one year mark.   It may also be inappropriate to request a raise if there have been recent major employment changes at the company, like layoffs.  A struggling company aiming to cut costs is likely not going to grant you an increase in pay. 

It is best to set up a formal meeting with your boss.  Do not just spring the question on him/her in an informal setting.  If a meeting cannot be arranged, it is acceptable to send your employer a formal letter.  Make sure you include why you stand out from others and display that you have done your homework regarding payrates in your career field.

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