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The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
With the pandemic bringing about fundamental changes to the way we live and work, it soon became clear that the ability to work from anywhere is an invaluable asset. Therefore, working remotely or from home offers the kind of flexibility that many workers can benefit from. While not everyone can work from any location, writers, authors and many other creatives can continue their activity from almost anywhere.
But which are the best places for bohemians? A recent report by STORAGECafé investigates the best metros where creatives can thrive. Their research takes into account the highest concentration of bohemians per location, support for the arts reflected in the arts vibrancy index and housing affordability. It also factors in self storage costs, as this category of workers are likely to use this service in order to temporarily store art supplies, musical instruments and other items associated with their profession.
The report’s findings indicate that the New York metro takes the crown for the best cultural hub of the country, followed by San Francisco. The metropolitan area centered on Washington DC grabs the third spot, getting ahead of the Los Angeles metro. While the already famous creative metros were expected to take center stage, a few others that usually stay under the radar also found their spot in our list. Metros such as Minneapolis, Bridgeport, Austin and Columbus also maintain a thriving artistic community and a comparatively reasonable cost of living.
NY holds on to its status as “writer central,” with LA on its heels
Writers and authors make up the ninth-most popular creative occupation across the US, with about 156,630 people earning a living by the pen, according to data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
At the metro level, New York Metro boasts the largest number of writers and authors, with 19,940 workers representing 4% of the bohemian workforce, followed by the Los Angeles metro area, with about 15,530 workers (4%). The Chicago metro area boasts the third-highest numbers of writers and authors, as about 4,900 employees there make their living in this field (3% of bohemians). The Washington metro got ahead of the more eclectic San Francisco metro, with about 4,860 writers and authors (4%) in the DC metro, while the Bay Area claims close to 4,100 employees (3%) operating in the same field.
The Scranton metro area ranked last regarding numbers of writers and authors, followed by the Baton Rouge metro area and the Dayton-Kettering metro area.
Most technical writers cluster in the DC Metro
There are about 56,120 technical writers in the US, with the largest number of them concentrated in the Washington-Arlington metro area. There are about 3,760 technical writers in the DC metro, representing 3% of the entire bohemian workforce. The New York metro took the second spot, with 2,990 technical writers, rounding up to 1% of the creatives there. The Boston and Dallas metro areas boast comparable numbers of technical writers, with 2,170 employees in the former and 2,110 in the latter. In the case of both metros, technical writers make up about 2% of the bohemian workforce.
The Columbus and the Spokane metro areas both claim the lowest number of technical writers, with about 40 workers in this field, representing 1% of the bohemian employment in both places. The Baton Rouge and Memphis metro areas also record few technical writers (50 workers for both locations).
LA and SF emerge as the best-paying metros for writers and authors
On average, writers and authors earn about $55,440/year. But where do they get the fattest paychecks? As it turns out, writers and authors earn the highest in the LA metro, receiving about $90,960/year, followed by San Francisco, where living by the pen can bring home about $83,200/year.
While LA and San Fran were expected to make the top of the list for this bohemian profession, the Providence-Warwick metro has surprisingly taken the third spot, with writers and authors earning $79,250/year there. The Indianapolis metro grabbed the fourth spot, with writers and authors here bringing home about $76,861. Writers and authors also earn a comparable income in the Dallas metro area, about $76,560/year.
At the other end of the spectrum, writers and authors get the lowest paycheck in in the Winston-Salem metro area, about $16,710/year. Writers in the Grand Rapids-Kentwood and Tampa-St. Petersburgh metro areas are also earning less, with about $20,840/year in the former and roughly $22,680/year in the latter.
Technical writers get the highest wages in San Francisco and San Jose
If you’re looking for the metros offering the best incomes for technical writers, look no further than California, as this type of professional can earn most here. The best wage for a technical writer is currently earned in the San Francisco metro area, where they bring home about $111,150/year. The second-highest income for this profession is earned in another Californian location, namely the San Jose metro area, where making a living as a technical writer gets you $107,630/year. Technical writers bring home the next best paycheck in the Oxnard-Thousand Oaks metro area, where you can earn $96,370/year in this field.
The Richmond and Raleigh metro areas are also places where technical writers can make a pretty penny, with an annual income of $86,620 in the former and $86,407 in the latter for professionals in this field.
Being a technical writer in the Tucson metro area will earn you the lowest wage across all metros, about $43,150/year. The Des Moines and Orlando metro areas also offer modest compensation to technical writers employed there, as they earn about $52,650/year in the Iowa metro and about $53,000/year in the Florida metro.