Careers in Research Writing

Research writing is incorporated into many different careers as people work to study, learn and make advancements in their particular field. Here are some possible careers in research writing that vary in job duties and education requirements.

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Career Options for Research Writing

There are numerous careers in the fields of science, medicine, the humanities and even education that require some level of research writing to explain and publicize findings. Below are some of the many career options in research writing.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Historian $55,110 2%
Technical Writer $69,850 10%
Psychologist $95,710 19%
Postsecondary Teacher $64,400 13%
Medical Scientist $80,530 8%
Zoologist or Wildlife Biologist $60,520 4%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Research Writing


Historians study various aspects of history through extensive research. They examine old documents, artifacts, books and more to interpret and analyze the past. They typically publish their results as books, reports or articles, and give educational presentations. Historians may specialize in a particular time period, person, organization, government and more. These professionals usually need at least a master's degree, but some entry-level jobs may accept a bachelor's degree. Many research positions in this field require a Ph.D.

Technical Writer

Technical writers specialize in writing complex and technical information. Their work involves extensive research into a particular area to produce things like instruction manuals, journal articles, how-to-guides and more. Their work may also involve the use of visual aids, such as charts, pictures or animations to help make the material easier to understand. Technical writers usually need to revisit and update their work as new issues with a product or subject arise and they gather customer feedback. Most of these writers have a bachelor's degree, as well as some experience in a technical field, like computer science or engineering.


Psychologists study many different aspects of the brain and how different environments and stimuli affect human behavior. They examine the emotional, cognitive and social processes of people in various situations by conducting scientific studies and research. This may include interviewing and/or observing people, as well as gathering feedback or opinions through surveys. Psychologists' findings are reported in research papers, reports and articles, and are often applied to treatment plans for patients with a variety of mental health issues. These professionals usually need a Ph.D. and license to practice, but some positions are available for those with a master's degree.

Postsecondary Teacher

Although postsecondary teachers have several job duties, one of their big responsibilities is to conduct independent research in their subject area. The institution that they work for often requires that they publish research articles or books in their field to work toward tenure. Their research not only advances their field, it helps bring prestige, and often funding, to their institution. Postsecondary teachers are usually responsible for teaching courses, overseeing graduate students and serving on various committees. Postsecondary teachers are needed in all fields, including business, science and the liberal arts. Most of these teachers need a Ph.D., but some positions at smaller institutions may only require a master's degree.

Medical Scientist

Medical scientists research and report their findings with the goal of improving human health. They may study diseases to develop or find drugs, medical devices or medical processes that are effective in combating health issues. Their work may also result in the development and implementation of different health programs for the public. Medical scientists also spend time writing research grant proposals to apply for funding. They typically need a Ph.D., but some may even hold a medical degree.

Zoologist or Wildlife Biologist

Zoologists and wildlife biologists study animals in different habitats and ecosystems. They examine behavior, social interactions or physical characteristics in order to better understand animals. They also use their research to look at the impact of humans on a particular ecosystem, or apply their findings to conservation efforts of the animal, like breeding programs. They usually conduct experiments and observations in controlled settings or the animal's natural habitat. Their findings are reported in scientific articles, research papers and presentations. Zoologists and wildlife biologists need at least a bachelor's degree, but most in the area of research hold a master's degree or Ph.D.

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