Writing Careers

Read on to learn about typical courses, resources, and careers in this field.

Staff Writer

2022-11-2215 min read

Writing is a fundamental component of human communication. As a result, proficiency in written communication is a significant asset in many occupations.

However, academic majors that lead to writing careers differ depending on the academic degree, degree level, geography, and personal interests.

Writers write books, marketing campaigns, ad copy, web content, and more. Let’s explore this field in detail—jobs trends, pay scale, skill expectations, career paths, and more.

Why Choose Writing?

A writing degree develops valuable talents across industries. Within a writing curriculum, students can learn best practices and strategies for specialized forms of written content, such as technical, creative, and business writing.

How to Start Your Writing Journey

A writing program teaches students concepts, strategies, and norms for technical, business, or creative writing.

While many writers don't have a degree, employers prefer candidates with an undergraduate degree in English, journalism, or a similar area. Graduates in writing learn how to create effective, compelling written material.

Educational Requirements

Associate Degree

Students who pursue an associate degree in writing learn about writing styles and norms. Students may study poetry, fiction, and creative writing.

Graduates can seek entry-level positions in journalism, communication, and publishing.

Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor's degree in writing combines general education and writing classes. Students hone their writing abilities by studying composition, rhetoric, and language. After graduation, writers can work in media communication, public relations, and education.

Master’s Degree

A master's in writing promotes editing and communication abilities, literary understanding, and creativity. Master's degrees in writing train students for teaching, editing, and publishing. Graduates can pursue independent careers as authors and freelancers.

Doctorate in Writing

Doctorate-level writers can flourish as managers, administrators, and executives. A doctorate in writing typically specializes in one of several subfields, including technical communication and applied linguistics or creative writing.

Employment Prospects

Technical writers can find jobs in IT, manufacturing, and consulting. In addition, many writers and authors operate as freelance content makers. They can also work in advertising, public relations, or publishing.

Writing Career Forecast

Technical writer jobs are expected to grow 6% from 2021 to 2031. On average, 5,400 technical writer jobs will open annually during the next decade. Many of these openings are expected to be caused by workers who switch jobs or retire.

Lucrative Writing Career Paths

Here are some of the most popular writing careers for writing majors.


Reporters give news and commentary on current events to keep the public informed. They develop articles and breaking news for radio, TV, internet news sites, online news sources, and printed newspapers and magazines.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a reporter is $48,640. However, the salary ranges from $30,000 to $77,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Gather, verify, and evaluate noteworthy data
  • Assemble your findings into a cohesive story.
  • Write news pieces keeping the reader in mind.
  • Report news
  • Investigate news leads/assignments

Industries Employing Reporters

The industries actively hiring reporters include:

  • Self-employment
  • Newspaper, website, or magazine publishers
  • Television or radio broadcasting.

Grant Writers

Grant writing involves researching, drafting, and submitting funding proposals. They are sometimes called proposal writers.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a grant writer is $49,715. However, the salary ranges from $38,000 to $71,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Contribute to the successful realization of the development team's objectives
  • Figure out where to apply for grants
  • Prepare, submit, and oversee grant applications.
  • Provide necessary paperwork to potential funders
  • Put together an annual report with the aid of the Director of Development.

Industries Employing Grant Writers

The industries actively hiring grant writers include:

  • Non-profit organizations
  • Government agencies
  • Schools (universities and colleges)

Communications Officers

A communications officer's job is to promote a company's image. They develop publications, internet content, news releases, yearly reports, and marketing materials that help promote the company. Communication officers sometimes act as the social media manager in certain corporations.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a communications officer is $62,925. However, the salary ranges from $39,000 to $106,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Develop and implement a target-audience-based communications strategy with management.
  • Draft, revise, and disseminate publications, press releases, and other marketing materials to inform the public about the business's operations, offerings, or events.
  • Respond to media requests, arrange interviews, and be the organization's spokeswoman.
  • Maintain journalist ties and a media database.
  • Enhance the brand's reputation and plan publicity events.

Industries Employing Communication Officers

The industries actively hiring communication officers include:

  • Public relations firms
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Government agencies
  • Corporate offices

Social Media Managers

Social media managers oversee their companies' social media accounts, which they employ to connect with customers.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a social media manager is $53,195. However, the salary ranges from $36,000 to $82,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Research trends and audience preferences
  • Align social media with company goals.
  • Set ROI-based goals.
  • Produce, edit, publish, and share social media posts daily
  • Develop, implement, and manage new competitions and initiatives to promote your company and brand.
  • Set a budget for your social media usage
  • Promote social media use within your organization by educating personnel.

Industries Employing Social Media Managers

The industries actively hiring social media managers include:

  • Digital marketing agencies
  • Media and television
  • IT companies
  • Banking and Finance
  • Healthcare

Technical Writers

Technical writers develop instruction manuals, how-to guides, journal articles, and other supporting publications to communicate complicated and technical information. Technical writing involves gathering and transmitting technical information through communications channels.

Average Salary

Senior technical writers earn an annual average of $78,060. The salary ranges from $48,890 to $125,010.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Determine user needs for technical documentation
  • Talk to designers and developers about product samples.
  • Help technical employees make items and instructions easy to use
  • Write or edit product copy
  • Use animation, graphs, graphics, or photos to help users understand the topic.
  • Collect user comments to improve the content

Industries Employing Technical Writers

The industries actively hiring technical writers include:

  • Professional, scientific, and technical services
  • Manufacturing
  • Administrative and support services
  • Publishing industries (except the Internet)


Copywriters are experts at crafting persuasive language for advertising and other promotional materials. They collaborate with web and graphic designers to ensure their message is apparent in emails, landing pages, and other online content.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a copywriter is $55,026. However, the salary ranges from $39,000 to $78,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Write beautiful copy with a clear voice.
  • Collaborate on large and small-scale marketing projects with designers, PR, content writers, and others
  • Copyedit as needed
  • Use SEO to boost copy's reach

Industries Employing Copywriters

The industries actively employing copywriters include:

  • Healthcare
  • Technology
  • Finance (fintech)

Freelance Writers

A freelance writer is a self-employed contractor, not a full- or part-time employee. Freelancers usually have several clients. Freelance writing involves creating content for websites, press releases, blog posts, internal corporate communications, emails, grants, proposals, or newsletters.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a freelance writer is $68,691. However, the salary ranges from $37,500 to $124,500.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Develop and publish interesting brand-aligned content that addresses numerous stakeholders' requirements and interests.
  • Research and interview key stakeholders and subject-matter experts to produce internal and external user interaction content.
  • Tell corporate, employee, and consumer stories to grow brand visibility, inform and engage, and achieve business goals.

Industries Employing Freelance Writers

Freelance writers are versatile and can work in any industry that’s profitable such as:

  • Finance
  • Technology Writing
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Alternative Health
  • Education
  • Real Estate
  • Digital Marketing
  • SaaS (Software-as-a-Service)


Journalists write and organize audience-friendly news stories. By combining sources and presenting all arguments, they keep their audience up-to-date on world events.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a journalist is $41,823. However, the salary ranges from $27,000 to $78,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Reading published press releases
  • Find interesting and important news
  • Interview key people to confirm and analyze data.
  • Use findings to write a well-written article
  • Attend events to get firsthand knowledge.
  • Receive assignments or explore news leads/tips
  • Collaborate with journalists, editors, producers, etc.
  • Establish research relationships and sources.
  • Stay current by reading papers and attending events.

Industries Employing Journalists

The industries actively hiring journalists

  • Radio and television broadcast
  • Cable and other subscription programming
  • Newspaper, periodicals, book, and directory publishing
  • Other information services

Travel Writers

Travel writers produce articles about travel destinations, attractions, and activities. They may write for magazines or newspapers, create web content for travel sites, or make videos or podcasts.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a travel writer is $78,017. The salary ranges from $36,000 to $167,500.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Researching places, activities, and travel trends to generate reader-friendly material.
  • Travel writing for periodicals, newspapers, websites, and TV shows.
  • Interviewing hotel management or cruise company executives for story ideas.
  • Interviewing locals to learn about culture, traditions, and attractions.
  • Marketing travel products and services through interviewing customers.
  • Reviewing travel places for future articles or guides.
  • Researching themes, interviewing experts, creating pieces, and sending work to editors for assessment and correction.

Industries Employing Travel Writers

The industries actively employing travel writers include:

  • Hospitality
  • Media
  • Technology


Publishers are the ones who work behind the scenes. They produce and market authors' publications to reach the most readers possible. Publishers set the editorial and commercial direction for books, newspapers, periodicals, and fiction writing content.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a publisher is $71,539. However, the salary ranges from $42,000 to $120,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Identifying and assessing possible book markets
  • Reviewing book proposals and manuscripts, requesting author proposals, and negotiating contracts with writers or agents
  • Knowing publishing industry standards and best practices and how to identify and resolve disputes
  • Managing relationships with writers, agents, editors, and reviewers
  • knowledge of project management, including the ability to recognize milestones and ensure that activities are completed on schedule
  • Contract negotiations for new and current titles

Industries Employing Publishers

The industries actively hiring publishers include:

  • Publishing house
  • Magazines

Resume Writers

Professional resume writing involves drafting documents that best present their clients' knowledge, experience, and achievements. They may also be asked for advice on improving one's chances in a job interview or application process.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a resume writer is $37,129. However, the salary ranges from 32,824 to $42,514.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Maintaining client relationships by responding to queries about writing or resumes.
  • Making sure the resume is unique for each opportunity by reviewing job postings and employer materials
  • Interviewing customers to gather their work experience, education, talents, and other qualifications to build a focused resume that promotes their qualifications.
  • Cover letters that introduce the applicant and explain their qualifications
  • Writing resumes that highlight strengths, skills, and qualifications

Industries Employing Resume Writers

The industries actively hiring resume writers include:

  • Recruiting agencies

Medical Writers

Medical writers create information that describes how medical gadgets, procedures, and therapies operate. They may also be entrusted with generating materials to explain risks and benefits to patients and families.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a medical writer is $77,425. However, the salary ranges from $59,000 to $106,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Communicating novel pharmaceuticals or treatments to doctors, nurses, pharmacists, patients, medical professionals, and the media
  • Researching specific diseases, therapies, or other topics
  • Interviewing doctors to learn about new medical advances
  • Reviewing scientific literature and business data to discover trends in research or best practices in treatment approaches
  • Writing reports regarding diseases or treatments, including side effects and hazards.
  • Interviewing medical specialists about new drugs or treatment procedures
  • Drafting research-based scientific papers for peer review and publishing

Industries Employing Medical Writers

The industries actively hiring medical writers include:

  • Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies
  • Medical communication agencies
  • Medical education companies
  • Health care professionals associations
  • Academic institutions
  • Medical and healthcare book publishers
  • Trade publications

Writing Coaches

A writing coach is a professional writer who can help you plan your writing project, set a deadline, and complete it to the best of your ability.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a writing coach is $52,940. However, the salary ranges from $38,500 to $92,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

A skilled writing instructor assists with the writing process. Using them, you can learn the following:

  • the book's purpose, audience, and value proposition
  • your intended reader
  • The proper frame of mind for you.
  • Writing targets on a daily or weekly basis.
  • The worries or fears that are holding you back.
  • Anything else involved in putting together a book.

Industries Employing Writing Coaches

The industries actively hiring writing coaches include:

  • Self-employed workers
  • Publishing companies

Business Writers

Business writing involves writing about business topics such as finance, the stock market, and the economy. They use their knowledge and network to provide readers with pertinent information and market guidance. Occasionally they moonlight as proposal writers or as a grant writer.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a business writer is $77,963. However, the salary ranges from $55,000 to $109,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Writing business reports, proposals, and plans
  • Engaging with business executives to develop writing themes and goals
  • Analyzing the stock market, local and global economic trends, and other business elements to inform readers.
  • Update current reports with new research and protocol

Industries Employing Business Writers

The industries actively hiring business writers include:

  • Software industry
  • Manufacturing
  • Healthcare
  • Consumer electronics.

SEO Writers

SEO writers create interesting, search-engine-optimized content. They often write blog posts, online pages, and other popular digital media.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of an SEO writer is $50,330. The salary ranges from $45,678 to $55,650.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Writing search-engine-friendly headlines
  • Creating high-quality marketing material
  • Identifying industry-specific keywords
  • Writing blog entries about company products or services
  • Using the latest search engine optimization practices to help an article rank on search engines
  • Researching reader-interesting topics

Industries Employing SEO Writers

The industries actively hiring SEO writers include:

  • Travel industry
  • Healthcare
  • Technology
  • Finance

How to Boost your Writing Career

Investing in your education is a good way to boost your writing career. You could apply for an associate's or a bachelor's degree. Another way is to look for freelance jobs to help you grow your brand presence. For example, you could volunteer for non-profit organizations or write as a guest blogger.

You can also share your written work on platforms like LinkedIn and Medium or create your own blog. If you're interested in digital marketing or SEO, you can get SEO and digital marketing certifications that'll help boost your resume.

Pros and Cons of Writing Careers

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a professional writer.


  • You’re your own business
  • It is a very flexible career path
  • There’s a high demand for writers
  • Low barrier to entry. All you need is a laptop and an internet connection.


  • There is a lot of competition for entry-level writing jobs because the barrier to entry is so low.
  • Most writers freelance and so don’t enjoy employment benefits.
  • Constant writing can lead to mental fatigue.

Skills You’ll Develop While Studying Writing

Brief one-sentence intro.


If you earn a living writing, you may not always write about your favorite subjects. As a writer, you should be able to carry on as many tasks as possible while producing quality work. Businesses can hire you to help with their content marketing strategy. Therefore you need critical thinking and be able to adapt to diverse niches.

Writing Skills

Knowing what to write can help you enhance your writing and deliver clear content. When writers know what they want to express, writing is easy. Likewise, knowing your audience helps you write the greatest content.

Editing Skills

A good writer also possesses excellent editing skills. Editing is revising and modifying a piece of writing to strengthen it. You modify or edit by changing a piece's structure, organization, or substance. You could also proofread a piece of writing for misspellings, grammar errors, and typos.

Communication Skills

Professional writers must write clearly. It helps the work go easily, increases the chances of getting what you need from others, prevents misunderstandings, and makes your coworkers feel informed and included.

Outlining Skills

Outlining plans the structure and flow of writing. A logical structure is required for good writing to make sense to a reader. How you order sentences and paragraphs affects how others see you and interpret your writing. You'll need excellent research skills to craft a proper outline.

Time Management Skills

Time management is crucial for anything beyond a message or email. You should be able to write efficiently and plan how long it will take to write and edit.

How to Prepare for a Writing Career

There are scores of writing careers, so here's some guidance to help you prepare for any writing career.

1. Get a Writing Degree

You can gain a writing education through a recognized school, college, or university. Writing education can help build technical writing, knowledge, and skills. After high school, most people get an associate, bachelor's, or master's in a writing-related discipline. Aspiring writers often study English, literature, or history.

2. Get Experience

When hiring writers, employers consider education, writing samples, portfolios, and experience. Writers can gain experience through internships that teach formal style guidelines for writing and progress to develop their style. Another way to get experience is to start your own blog. Starting a blog will familiarize you with the writing process, from research and outlining to editing.

3. Get a Job

Nearly every organization, industry, and commercial enterprise offers full-time writing jobs. State, local, and federal agencies hire writers to handle public content. Because many people can easily outsource writing work, companies, and organizations, writers today have a wide range of professional opportunities. Many writers freelance and work online for media businesses or engage in creative writing as ghostwriters.

4. Go For a Master’s

A Master of Arts in English or Literature or a Master of Fine Arts can be a game-changer for your professional writing career. Many employers search for writers with advanced degrees.

Writing Resources to Help Your Career

Writing majors can find resources through professional organizations, institutions and universities, and writer communities. Online forums and in-person events allow students and professional writers to network and collaborate. Writers can get ongoing education, career advice, mentorship, and publications to help their careers in writing.

How to Switch to a Writing Career

Those with relevant experience and training can easily switch to writing careers. For instance, people who work in the tech industry often have the background necessary to work as technical writers. If you excel at research and communication, you can make it as a writer. You can look for entry-level jobs on job boards to get started.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Writing?

Writing is forming, organizing, and sharing thoughts to spread them. It's also known as communication. You can use your writing to share ideas, promote businesses, sell a product, and lots more.

What certification do I need for a Writing career?

The Medical Writing Certification Commission offers a medical writer certification through the American Medical Writers Association. In addition, the National Resume Writers' Association certifies resume writers and online profile professionals.

You can also get Success Works' SEO copywriting certification if you're interested in SEO and Copyblogger certified content marketer.

Can I get a Writing degree online?

Yes, you can. Several universities offer bachelor's degree programs to aspiring writers. You can also enroll in online colleges for creative writing.

What fields can Writing professionals work in?

Writing professionals can venture into different writing careers. They can work in educational institutions, in the publishing world, or they can go into technical writing fields. You can also work as a freelance writer or dabble in self-publishing. The options are plenty.

Is there a high demand for Writing majors?

Yes, there is. According to the BLS, the demand for technical writers is expected to grow 6% between 2021 and 2031. This growth is driven by businesses' need for online content and content marketing.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a career path that’s relatively easy to get into, then why not a bachelor’s degree in writing? Once you graduate, you can start freelance writing to earn a living. Writing is like any other skill, you get better with experience, and the only way to gain experience is to start writing.

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