Alternative Careers for Writers

A writing career may be of interest to some, but writing can also be a skill that a professional utilizes in another career. Many fields offer opportunities to write or work with written material regularly.

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Career Options for Writers Interested in Alternative Careers

There are many people who enjoy writing but do not necessarily wish to pursue a career as a writer or author. They may be able to combine their writing skills with a wide range of occupations, some of which are listed in the table below.

Job Title Median Salary* (2016) Job Growth* (2014-2024)
Editor $57,210 -5%
Instructional Coordinator $62,460 7%
Postsecondary English Teacher $63,730 10%
Translator $46,120 29%
Lawyer $118,160 6%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Information for Writers Interested in Alternative Careers


After earning a bachelor's degree in a discipline such as journalism or English, it's possible to become an editor. Editors review written material and make sure that it is error-free before publication. They may also be involved in changing the text to ensure that is written for the appropriate audience. While part of their work involves making decisions about what material will be published, they do spend a good deal of time reviewing and revising, which is something that writers may find appealing.

Instructional Coordinator

Instructional coordinators make decisions about school curriculum materials, set standards for teaching staffs and assess the effectiveness of existing curriculums. Writers will find this career offers them the opportunity to write curriculum guidelines and plans and prepare training materials. Instructional coordinators are required to have a master's degree and prior experience in school administration or as a teacher.

Postsecondary English Teacher

Postsecondary English teachers instruct the writers of tomorrow. They usually need a doctoral degree, although some community colleges may hire individuals with a master's degree. Postsecondary English teachers must be experts in their field, and understand the mechanics of writing, as well as have extensive knowledge about literary works. Postsecondary teachers also typically perform their own research and write articles, papers or books about their findings. These aspects of a postsecondary English teacher's work may appeal to writers.


While a bachelor's degree is necessary to become a translator, it is also crucial that translators be fluent in two or more languages. A translator's job involves taking information and converting it. Translators work with texts, which they read and then write in another language. They need to be able to capture the style of the original work in their translation, and the opportunity to write material that was originally presented in another language may be of interest to writers.


After earning a law degree, lawyers must pass the bar exam and earn their law license before practicing. Writers may find a career as a lawyer to be a good fit for them because lawyers spend a lot of their time preparing written materials. This includes motions that they have to file with the court, and appeals or legal documents, such as wills.

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