Finding a Job

15 Popular Writing Careers

November 25, 2020

Writing jobs can be rewarding as they typically allow you to use your imagination and create content independently. If you are passionate about writing and have an instinct for using words, one of the career options below may suit you. In this article, we explore some popular writing jobs and their requirements.

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Popular writing careers

Some high-paying writing jobs are full-time with regular hours while other positions that involve writing are more flexible. So writers can find a role that suits their lifestyle. The career paths below require varying levels of education and experience. Research the requirements of the positions you’re interested in to make sure you are qualified. Here are 15 of the best jobs for writers:

  1. Reporter
  2. Grant writer
  3. Columnist
  4. Communications officer
  5. Social media manager
  6. Communication specialist
  7. Advertising manager
  8. Copywriter
  9. Public relations manager
  10. Executive assistant
  11. Content marketer
  12. Proposal writer
  13. Content strategist
  14. Professor
  15. Director of communications

National average salary: $40,683 per year

Primary duties: A reporter researches news stories and then writes about their findings for news publications, including online publications, newspapers and magazines, to inform the public of what is happening in the world and their local area. Reporters working for broadcast stations may also present their stories on television or over radio. Many reporters specialize in a niche area of news, such as sports or entertainment.

Requirements: Many reporters have a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism, Communications or a related field. In these programs, they develop skills in writing and editing, storytelling, audience engagement and research. Those who specialize in broadcast reporting may improve skills in public speaking and on-camera presence as well.

National average salary: $42,879 per year

Primary duties: A grant writer identifies sources for funding and writes persuasive proposals to secure those funds for their foundation or non-profit organization. They must follow each donor’s grant requirements when developing their applications.

Requirements: Many grant writers pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Technical Writing, English, Communications or a related discipline. They may also take coursework or earn their degree in a discipline related to the organization or sector they write grants for, such as healthcare or political science.

National average salary: $39,956 per year

Primary duties: A columnist shares their opinions on current events in a newspaper, magazine or online publication. They typically write about a specific niche subject, such as fashion, politics or sports. In addition to their work writing columns, many columnists also write books and share their expert opinions on television and radio programs.

Requirements: These writing professionals may earn a bachelor’s degree in English, journalism, communications or a discipline related to their niche writing field, such as political science or fine arts. Higher education is not always required as some columnists may secure employment after years of working in the field they write about.

National average salary: $47,397 per year

Primary duties: A communications officer follows their employer’s marketing plan and branding guidelines to write promotional content, including press releases, brochures and newsletters. They must use their employer’s preferred voice when creating their content.

Requirements: Communications officers typically earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, Public Relations or another related field. Some positions may also require candidates to have a few years of relevant experience.

National average salary: $47,745 per year

Primary duties: A social media manager develops a social media strategy for their clients or employees in keeping with business brand guidelines. They then write original social media posts and leave comments on behalf of businesses to engage with their followers. Many also utilize analysis tools that track audience engagement and collect user data, which they then use to optimize their content to better fit the needs of their audience and market to new users as well.

Requirements: Many social media marketers have a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, Communications, Public Relations or a related field. They are typically required to have a strong command of a variety of social media platforms, including the best practices for each. Depending on an employer’s needs, this role may be entry-level and accept candidates with limited professional experience but relevant skills in planning and organization, copywriting and customer service.

National average salary: $48,858 per year

Primary duties: A communication specialist checks and coordinates corporate and marketing materials before they are distributed. They make sure all content is free of errors, factually accurate and written in their employer’s preferred tone and voice. While they do not usually write new content, they are a key part of the writing process.

Requirements: These professionals typically earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, Marketing, Technical Writing or a related field. They should have excellent editing skills with respect to spelling and grammar as well as content organization.

National Average Salary: $50,167 per year

Primary Duties: An advertising manager writes marketing plans for their clients or employer and helps creatives create advertisements according to the plan. They work closely with art departments and copywriters to develop advertising content.

Requirements: Advertising managers usually have a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, Advertising, Communications, Public Relations or a related discipline. Since they are typically in charge of leading teams of creative professionals, employers may require candidates to have relevant professional experience in marketing and advertising, copywriting or designing, in addition to some leadership experience as well.

National average salary: $50,846 per year

Primary duties: A copywriter writes copy for a variety of materials and mediums, including blogs, online articles, websites, advertisements and social media. They rely on their engaging and persuasive writing abilities to encourage consumers to use a business’ products or services.

Requirements: Many copywriters have at least a Bachelor’s Degree in English, Journalism, Communications or a related field. Some may be able to secure employment without a degree but with a strong portfolio of written work. These professionals are often required to have skills in writing and editing, storytelling and audience engagement.

National average salary: $54,111 per year

Primary duties: A public relations manager works to make their clients or employer maintain a positive public image. They write press releases, speeches and marketing content to encourage good press and counter negative publicity. They also encourage other writers, including journalists and bloggers, to write positive content about their clients or employer.

Requirements: These professionals typically earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations, Business, Communications or another related discipline. Many go on to pursue a master’s degree in those disciplines or others, including fundraising, public health or nonprofit management to further refine their practice and increase their earning potential.

National Average Salary: $54,656 per year

Primary duties: An executive assistant performs administrative tasks for a business executive, which can often involve writing. Some of the things executive assistants are responsible for include writing briefs, preparing documents for business reports and writing thank you notes for business contacts.

Requirements: Many employers may prefer candidates to have a bachelor’s degree, though candidates who have years of relevant experience can secure employment with a high school diploma or GED or an associate degree. These professionals typically use skills in writing and editing, customer service, research and audience engagement when completing writing tasks.

National average salary: $57,529 per year

Primary duties: A content marketer spends most of their time writing branded articles, including blog posts, scripts for web series and social media posts. The content they create may be obviously centered around a business or be more subtle, incorporating mentions of the employer or client in more general related content.

Requirements: These professionals may work for a company or in a freelance capacity. For a company, their employer may require candidates to have a Bachelor’s Degree in Technical Writing, Marketing, Communications or a related field. Those who work freelance may find clients without having a degree but a strong portfolio of work.

National average salary: $57,628 per year

Primary duties: This professional assesses requests for proposals issued by businesses and writes proposals to help their employer secure contracts. These persuasive documents must demonstrate how a proposal writer’s employer can meet another company’s needs.

Requirements: Proposal writers are typically required to have a Bachelor’s Degree in English, Journalism, Communications or another related field. Some may complete coursework in fields related to the type of proposal writing they do, such as business, healthcare, nonprofit organization or politics.

National average salary: $59,920 per year

Primary duties: A content strategist develops, creates and manages online content including website content and blogs. These professional writing jobs require a good understanding of search engine optimization and website analytics and how to apply them to make online content engaging and effective.

Requirements: These professionals typically secure employment with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, Marketing or a related field, as well as a few years of relevant experience in planning campaigns, conducting market research and applying analytics to content creation.

National average salary: $67,128 per year

Primary duties: Professors lecture university or college students in their chosen discipline and spend some of their time writing lesson plans, conducting independent research and writing about their findings for their own or academic journals. Professors also write grant proposals to secure funding for their research.

Requirements: Most professors are required to have a doctorate in their field. Some educational institutions require publication in peer-reviewed journals or other relevant publications, as well as teaching and/or relevant field experience.

National average salary: $72,607 per year

Primary duties: A director of communications is responsible for developing a business’ communications goals, branding and style guidelines. They also oversee and help create content that follows these requirements, including press releases, newsletters and other marketing materials. It is one of the high-level careers in writing that pay well.

Requirements: These professionals are required to have at minimum a bachelor’s degree, though most have a master’s degree or higher in public relations, communications, marketing, business or another relevant discipline. Also, many employers prefer candidates to have a certain amount of relevant professional experience.

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