20 Popular Careers for Writers (With Salaries and Job Duties)
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.
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:
Social media manager
Primary duties: A social media manager develops a social media strategy for their clients or employees in keeping with business brand guidelines. They then write original social media posts and leave comments on behalf of businesses to engage with their followers. Many also utilize analysis tools that track audience engagement and collect user data, which they then use to optimize their content to better fit the needs of their audience and market to new users as well.
Requirements: Many social media marketers have a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, Communications, Public Relations or a related field. They are typically required to have a strong command of a variety of social media platforms, including the best practices for each. Depending on an employer’s needs, this role may be entry-level and accept candidates with limited professional experience but relevant skills in planning and organization, copywriting and customer service.
9 High-Paying Writing Jobs for the Word-Obsessed (You Know Who You Are)
Most people don’t consider writing a lucrative career path—that is, outside of the few writers who make it big with a New York Times bestseller or an award-winning screenplay. And thanks to the “starving artist” stereotype, many people think they need to choose between their love of writing and a stable, profitable career. But the truth is, there are plenty of writing-centric jobs out there that pay well; you just need to know where to look.
We’ve compiled a list of nine high-paying jobs you should definitely consider if you love to write. For the purposes of this article, we’re defining a high-paying job as one where the average salary, based on data from the compensation resource PayScale, is above the median salary for all occupations in the U.S.—which, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, was $41,950 as of May 2020. (PayScale’s database is updated nightly—these numbers reflect information from April 2021.) In many cases, the salary range and more senior roles along the same path mean your long-term earning potential is even higher.
It’s an editor’s job to oversee a piece of writing from inception to publication. Depending on the type of writing they’re editing (and the writer they’re working with), this can include honing the thesis, framing, and structure; ensuring the facts are accurate and the sources credible; making suggestions about how to improve the writing (for example, calling out inconsistencies in voice or tone); eliminating unnecessary sentences or paragraphs; and correcting grammar and spelling mistakes. Editors can work in a variety of settings, including for book publishers, media companies, magazines, newspapers, and brands (where they would edit the company’s website or other content).
Editors need to have an in-depth understanding of all things writing—including grammar, style, narrative, and structure. As such, most editors are writers themselves and/or hold a degree in a writing-related field (like English or journalism). The financial opportunity for editorial professionals increases as you progress in your career—with senior editors making an average of $69,986 per year and editorial directors pulling in an average of $94,713 annually.
Content marketing managers lead the charge when it comes to developing and executing content for a company. While some content marketing managers take a generalist approach, many specialize in creating and overseeing specific types of content—such as blog posts, ebooks, whitepapers, website content, and social media posts.
While content marketing managers do spend a significant amount of time creating content (including writing), they also spend a good amount of time on strategy—making this a great role if you love to write, but don’t want to spend all your time tapping at a keyboard. You’ll also have a chance to think about the bigger picture and figure out how content can support an organization’s overall mission and goals.
Some companies want their content marketing managers to hold degrees, but many are more interested in a candidate’s ability to strategize, create, and promote content—so as long as you’re a solid writer and understand the basics of content marketing, there are definitely opportunities to get into the field. Content marketing managers also have the opportunity for upward mobility (and the increased salary that goes with it)—with content marketing directors making an average of $93,400 per year.
Communications managers are, as you might guess, in charge of a company’s communications—often both internal and external. Responsibilities could include defining and developing the company’s voice, developing and managing the company’s communication strategy, writing internal guides and resources, managing client- and customer-facing communications (such as press releases, press conferences, or other media opportunities), and ensuring that all business communications, internal and external, are in line with the company’s mission and goals.
Because a communication manager is managing the company’s communication, a lot of writing and editing is involved—but there are also plenty of strategic responsibilities and opportunities to interact with colleagues and external partners to keep things interesting.
To get your foot in the door as a communications manager, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing, or a related field. And while communications managers demand competitive salaries, the financial opportunities will only increase as you grow in your career—with senior communications managers making an average of $100,520 per year and VPs making an average of $148,870.