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Careers Involving Poetry

Whether you just enjoy reading poetry or love to manipulate language into different forms, working with poetry can be a rewarding career experience. In some jobs, you may write some form of a poem. In others, you may work with what others have already written.

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Career Options Involving Poetry

If you enjoy reading or writing poetry, you may be looking to work with poems professionally. There are several different jobs that involve poetry to some extent. Look below for a list of these options to see which one might interest you the most.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Greeting Card Writer $61,240 (for all writers and authors) 2% (for all writers and authors)
Poet $61,240 (for all writers and authors) 2% (for all writers and authors)
Musician $25.14 per hour (for all musicians and singers) 3% (for all musicians and singers)
Creative Writing Professor $63,730 (for all English language and literature teachers, postsecondary) 10% (for all English language and literature teachers, postsecondary)
Editor $57,210 -5 %

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Information for Jobs Involving Poetry

Greeting Card Writer

Most greeting card writers begin working independently as freelancers before being hired full time. These writers craft language to express the sentiments that people can't find the words for on their own. Sometimes these writers compose short lines that may sound lyrical like poetry, and sometimes they write in prose (without rhyme or meter). Generally, writers often earn bachelor's degrees in English or a related subject. However, those with the necessary skill may pursue work in greeting card writing regardless of their college major.

Poet

Poets may compose lyrical verse for many different types of industries. Their poetry may be used in advertisements, magazines, TV and movie scripts, songs, and so on. Many poets work as freelancers, creating content and selling it to clients over the internet. For freelancing poets, a bachelor's degree is not necessarily required. Sometimes poets and other freelance writers have degrees in different fields, or no degree at all, because writing clients look at the quality of the writing and how many readers might be interested in it. For a full time salaried position as a poet, a bachelor's in English or similar field may be required.

Musician

A musician plays music in a recording studio or in front of a live audience. When a musician is asked to sing a song, they will look at the lyrics and sing it to the best of their ability. While there continues to be debate on the subject, song lyrics can be viewed as a type of poetry. Musicians need extensive training in order to be considered professional in the music industry. No college degree is required.

Creative Writing Professor

Like most English professors, creative writing professors teach classes at the college level to train students how to study and produce writing. A creative writing professor may teach courses in a specific type of creative writing, such as poetry or fiction. They must have at least a master's degree in English or a related field, as well as prior experience teaching. However, most full-time professors at four-year institutions need a doctoral degree in the field in which they teach.

Editor

Editors work toward organizing, proofreading, and editing the work of contributing writers. Sometimes this work may be in poetry form, depending on where the editor works. Their duties may include ensuring the company style guide is used, correcting erroneous formatting, and meeting deadlines. Like many in the writing industry, more and more editors are beginning to work from home on a freelance basis. A bachelor's degree in English or journalism, or something similar, is usually required.

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