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Creative Writing Teacher: Job Description & Requirements

A creative writing teacher may find employment in a number of settings. See the minimum education necessary to enter this career, as well as some of the required job skills. Other career information includes the employment outlook and salary data for teachers, as well as a look at two alternative career choices.

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Career Definition for a Creative Writing Teacher

A creative writing teacher applies standard teaching pedagogies to the subject of creative writing for the purpose of assisting students with their quality and knowledge of poetry and prose. The responsibilities of creative writing teachers employed by schools may include monitoring classroom activities, creating, and grading assignments including standardized tests, meeting with parents, and attending or supervising extracurricular functions.

Education Bachelor's degree for K-12 teaching, master's or doctorate for postsecondary
Job Skills Inspirational and communication skills, demonstrated writing talent
Average Salary (2017)* $64,910 (English language and literature postsecondary teachers), $59,170 (secondary teachers)
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 8% to 15% (secondary and postsecondary teachers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Some creative writing teachers are talented and successful writers who occasionally teach at conferences and writing workshops. No educational degree is required for these creative writing teachers because their employment is dependent more upon reputation and ability than educational background. Since creative writing is taught in elementary, secondary, and post-secondary schools, the level of education required to teach creative writing varies. All elementary school teachers are required to simultaneously earn a bachelor's degree in education and a multi-subject teaching credential. Secondary school creative writing teachers are required to simultaneously earn a bachelor's degree in creative writing or a related field and a single-subject teaching credential. Those aspiring to teach creative writing in a community college or above may need a 6- or 8-year degree in creative writing or a related field.

Required Job Skills

All teachers must be able to inspire and communicate with students from a variety of cultural backgrounds and learning environments. It is often necessary for creative writing teachers employed by a public or private school to teach other writing or literature courses, so some employers may prefer candidates who are willing to accept a variety of teaching responsibilities. Many successful creative writing teachers practice creative writing themselves and may find more opportunities if their writing has been published.

Career and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects rates of growth of 8% to 15% for high school and postsecondary school teachers, respectively, between 2016 and 2026. The bureau reported a median annual income of $64,910 for English language and literature postsecondary teachers in May 2017, while the median annual earnings for secondary school teachers came to $59,170.

Alternative Career Options

Similar career options within this field include:

Copywriter

A background in creative writing can be very useful for a future copywriter, who writes items like slogans and jingles for advertising campaigns. A college degree may be required, along with strong writing skills and basic computer literacy. Copywriters are categorized under writers and authors, a category expected to see 8% job growth projection for the 2016 to 2026 decade, according to the BLS. PayScale.com reported in March 2019 that most copywriters in advertising earned a median annual salary of $49,576 per year.

Editor

With experience in writing, creative professionals may consider editing other writers' work. A bachelor's degree in journalism or communication is usually required. Editors revise and review content for clarity, grammar, punctuation and spelling; confirm facts; and develop story ideas. Editors reportedly earned an average income of $58,770 per year in 2017, per the BLS. Editor employment rates are expected to decline by 1% from 2016-2026.


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