20 Popular Careers for Writers (With Salaries and Job Duties)
Updated 11 August 2023
Writing is an essential skill that allows professionals and companies to communicate clearly with others and create engaging content. As a writer, there are many industries you can work in, including media, technology, advertising and business. If you're passionate about writing, then you may be interested in learning about different career opportunities that allow you to use your talents. In this article, we share 20 popular careers for writers, list the average salary for each role and provide an overview of their job duties.
20 careers for writers
Employers often look for candidates who have strong writing skills because they can communicate with others effectively. Writers are in demand in many career fields and may choose to work full-time, part-time or on a freelance basis depending on their personal and professional goals. Here are 20 popular writing careers you can explore:
National average salary: $76,564 per year
Primary duties: A reporter researches news stories and then writes about their findings for news publications to inform the public of what is happening in the world and their local area. They may write for online publications, newspapers, broadcast stations or magazines. Reporters working for broadcast stations may also present their stories on television or over the radio. Many reporters specialise in a niche area of news, such as sports or entertainment.
2. Grant writer
National average salary: $38.34 per hour
Primary duties: A grant writer creates research proposals and submits applications to obtain funding for their organisation. They often work for non-profits that use this funding to continue offering their services to those in need. Grant writers may work with one non-profit organisation or they may work with multiple non-profits as independent contractors.
National average salary: $65,608 per year
Primary duties: Journalists investigate and research different topics to write unbiased articles for newspapers, television stations, magazines and other media outlets. They typically spend some of their time in an office setting where they write and conduct research and some of their time out in the field where they investigate situations and conduct interviews. They may also pitch new ideas for stories and collaborate with editors to produce newsworthy content.
Read more: How To Become a Journalist
National average salary: $79,600 per year
Primary duties: A publisher establishes the editorial and commercial guidelines for businesses that publish magazines, books, newspapers and digital content. They collaborate with editors, writers and designers to oversee the content their company produces. Publishers are also responsible for approving project acquisitions and maintaining a budget.
National average salary: $82,985 per year
Primary duties: A communications officer follows their employer's marketing plan and branding guidelines to write promotional content, including press releases, brochures and newsletters. They must use their employer's preferred voice when creating their content. Communications officers also develop content strategies to promote the organisation's services and products. They are typically the main point of contact between their employer, the media and the general public.
National average salary: $85,639 per year
Primary duties: A social media manager develops a social media strategy for their clients or employees to ensure the content they create matches the company's brand guidelines. They then write original social media posts and leave comments on behalf of businesses to engage with their followers.
Many social media managers also use analysis tools that track audience engagement and collect user data. They then use this data to optimise their content so they can better meet the needs of their audience and improve their company's return on investment.
7. Copy editor
National average salary: $57,002 per year
Primary duties: Copy editors work with writers to make sure their work is accurate and professional. They fact-check, proofread and edit written content to ensure the grammar, syntax, spelling and punctuation is correct. They also provide feedback to writers to help them improve the structure, tone and voice of their work.
National average salary: $91,412 per year
Primary duties: A communication specialist checks and coordinates corporate and marketing materials before the company distributes them to the public. They make sure all content is free of errors, factually accurate and written in their employer's preferred tone and voice. While they do not usually write new content, they are a key part of the writing, editing and communications process.
National average salary: $76,344 per year
Primary Duties: An advertising manager writes marketing plans for their clients or their employer. They also help other creative professionals develop advertisements according to their marketing plan. Advertising managers work closely with art departments and copywriters to create marketing materials and assets.
National average salary: $69,204 per year
Primary duties: A copywriter writes copy for a variety of materials and mediums, including blogs, online articles, websites, advertisements and social media. They rely on their engaging and persuasive writing abilities to encourage consumers to use a business' products or services. Copywriters may also work on a wide variety of content outside of writing sales copy, including technical reports, social media content, speeches, marketing emails, blog posts and press releases.
National average salary: $92,460 per year
Primary duties: A public relations manager helps their clients or employer maintain a positive public image. They write press releases, speeches and marketing content to encourage good press and counter negative publicity. They also encourage other writers, including journalists and bloggers, to write positive content about their clients or employer.
National average salary: $27.45 per hour
Primary duties: Transcriptionists listen to audio files and transcribe them into text formats, such as documents. They can work in a wide variety of industries, including medical, business, marketing, government and legal. Some common projects a transcriptionist may work on transcribing include podcasts, lectures, webcasts, videos and talk radio shows.
National average salary: $78,406 per year
Primary duties: An executive assistant performs administrative tasks for a business executive, which can often involve writing. Some of the things executive assistants are responsible for include writing briefs, preparing documents for business reports and writing thank you notes for business contacts. Executive assistants are also responsible for taking calls, responding to emails, scheduling appointments and managing travel arrangements.
14. Content marketer
National average salary: $78,441 per year
Primary duties: A content marketer spends most of their time writing branded articles, including blog posts, scripts for web series and social media posts. They may create content that is obviously centred around a business or content that is more subtle by incorporating mentions of the employer or client in more general content. Content marketers strive to create useful content for their audience to increase their engagement and create a positive brand image.
15. Proposal writer
National average salary: $92,934 per year
Primary duties: This type of writer assesses requests for proposals issued by businesses. Then they write proposals to help their employer or their clients secure contracts. Proposal writers craft persuasive documents that illustrate how their employer can provide the specific services or products another company needs.
National average salary: $99,050 per year
Primary duties: A content strategist develops, creates and manages online content, including website content and blogs. These professional writers require a good understanding of search engine optimisation and website analytics to create online content that is engaging and effective. In addition to writing content, they may also work with a team of creative professionals to produce videos, photos and graphics.
National average salary: $182,149 per year
Primary duties: Professors lecture university or college students in their chosen discipline. They also spend some of their time writing lesson plans, conducting independent research and writing about their findings for academic journals. Professors may also write grant proposals to secure funding for their research.
National average salary: $123,607 per year
Primary duties: A director of communications is responsible for developing a business' communications goals in addition to its branding and style guidelines. They also oversee and help create content that follows these requirements, including press releases, newsletters and other marketing materials. It is one of the high-level careers in writing that typically pays very well.
National average salary: $33.45 per hour
Primary duties: A proofreader is a detail-orientated professional who identifies grammar, spelling, punctuation and typographical errors in writing. They typically conduct this work during the last step of the editorial process after the content has already been through several rounds of editing. Proofreaders may work with a wide variety of content, including website pages, legal documents, books, blog posts and essays.
20. Technical writer
National average salary: $93,558 per year
Primary duties: Technical writers turn complex subject matter into documents that are easy for non-technical audiences to understand. Some of the industries technical writers often work in include finance and engineering. Technical writers can work on a wide variety of projects, including writing instruction manuals, press releases, briefs or reports.
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.
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