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Careers for Writers & Editors

Writers and editors can find work across many different disciplines and in different media formats. Learn about some of the available careers for writers and editors, as well as the education requirements for each.

Career Options for Writers and Editors

Writers and editors can find numerous careers that incorporate their skills in some way, whether writing or editing for a particular media or teaching the English language. We present a few of the possible career options for writers and editors below.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Writers and Authors $61,240 2%
Editors $57,210 -5%
Technical Writers $69,850 10%
Reporters and Correspondents $37,820 -8%
Postsecondary English Language and Literature Teachers $63,730 10%
Film and Video Editors $62,760 18%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Careers for Writers and Editors

Writers and Authors

Naturally, a writer could easily work as a writer or author to create new stories, songs, blogs, articles and more. Some writers and authors may specialize in a particular genre or style of writing, such as fiction or poetry. Some writers may even create jingles or slogans for advertisements. Writers and authors often work closely with editors to finalize their material for publication. Most of these professionals hold a college degree, but some may gain experience through internships.

Editors

Editors focus on preparing the written material that writers and authors produce for publication. This involves revising content, checking spelling and grammar, rewriting sections for clarity and more. Editors usually participate in fact-checking references, and may occasionally help writers or authors plan and develop their content. Editors need a bachelor's degree in English, communications or journalism.

Technical Writers

Writers and editors may also work in technical writing, which is a particular kind of writing that focuses on specific, complex subjects. Technical writers may write things like instruction manuals with detailed technical instructions or journal articles that present technical information and research. Technical writers often use drawings, charts, diagrams and more to accompany and better explain what they are writing about. They also are responsible for revising content as needed. These professionals need a college degree and some level of experience in a technical field.

Reporters and Correspondents

Reporters and correspondents research and report on current news and events for a variety of news outlets, such as newspapers, television, radio and websites. These stories are presented to the public, and therefore they must be written and presented in a way that is easy to understand. Reporters and correspondents may interview people with information pertaining to the story, and they review articles for accuracy. This may also involve updating pieces as stories develop. Reporters and correspondents must have a bachelor's degree, and usually need to have completed an internship or have some work experience in the field.

Postsecondary English Language and Literature Teachers

Writers and editors may transition to teaching students about the English language and how to write effectively. Although English teachers are needed at all levels of education, we will focus on those at the postsecondary level. These professionals are primarily responsible for teaching courses in their subject and area of expertise, but may also conduct independent research, oversee graduate students and/or advise students on what classes to take. Teaching their courses involves lesson planning and developing assignments and assessments. English language and literature teachers at the postsecondary level usually need a Ph.D., but some may find jobs at smaller schools with a master's degree.

Film and Video Editors

Although they don't usually edit written language, film and video editors edit nonetheless. These professionals work closely with directors to organize and edit digital footage into the desired final product. This requires the use of computer editing software, as well as recommending what kind of equipment and lighting to use when gathering footage. Film and video editors need a bachelor's degree.

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