A business writer is someone who writes proposals and plans for a company, or reports on the stock market, financing or other economic happenings for publications. Both types of writing usually call for research and writing skills, as a well as a bachelor's degree.
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There are two primary types of business writers. One type is either an employee or a freelance contractor who works for a business to write proposals, business reports, and business plans. The second business writer is a reporter who researches and writes stories about economics and businesses for publications in print or on the Internet. A bachelor's degree in communications, journalism, or business would be a good start for a career as either type of business writer.
|Career||Business Writer||Business Reporter|
|Education Requirements||Bachelor's degree in communications, journalism or business||Bachelor's degree in communications, journalism or business|
|Projected Job Growth (2012-2014)*||2% for all writers and authors||8% decline for all reporters and correspondents|
|Median Annual Salary (2015)*||$60,250 for all writers and authors||$36,360 for all reporters and correspondents|
Source: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Business writers may prepare reports, such as sales proposals, for a business development department. They may also write reports about internal projects like re-engineering, parts of annual financial reports, business plans, or strategic plans. In each case they explain facts about the business for audiences who may need background information in order to understand the proposal, plan, or report.
Business writers research their topics. They may observe work processes and practices or conduct interviews. They may also read books or Internet sources in order to gain an understanding of the topic. Business writers organize the material that they have gathered and use words to convey the information to their readers. Writers may revise documents several times, since those working on the project or plan often provide additional information. Some writers also prepare page layouts and incorporate graphic images with the text.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in May 2015 that the middle half of writers and authors earned from $42,380 to $84,030 annually (www.bls.gov). The BLS did not report statistics separately for business writers.
Business reporters write stories about the economy, Wall Street, corporations and other topics. In order to write understandable articles, these writers often need to understand not only journalism, but accounting, finance, and the stock markets. Business reporters gather background information through interviews and independent research. They decide on the organization and focus of the story in order to write it.
Business reporters may be given specific assignments or they may develop leads based on current economic events. Reporters seek out and set up interviews with people who have information on each story. They analyze the information gathered to determine which facts are pertinent to the story. These reporters write each story according to the publication's editorial style and formatting guidelines. They proofread completed articles before submitting them to an editor for publication.
The BLS reported that in May 2015 the middle half of reporters and correspondents earned from $27,090 to $56,780. The highest salaries for this profession were found in the District of Columbia, New York, Georgia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The BLS did not report separate information about business reporters.
Business writers work for companies, while business reporters work as journalists for publications. These writers typically hold a bachelor's degree in communications, business, journalism, or a related major. Writers and authors earn a median salary of approximately $60,000 per year, while reporters and correspondents earn a median salary of around $36,000 annually.