Writer and Author

Writer and Author

Career Overview

Writers create written content for books, magazines, newspapers, advertisements, songs, scripts, blogs, or an other source of information.


A college degree in English, communications, or journalism is generally required for a full-time position as a writer or author. Experience gained through internships or any writing that improves skill, such as blogging, is beneficial.

Future Outlook

Employment of writers and authors is projected to decline 2 percent from 2019 to 2029. Many news outlets, including digital outlets, are downsizing, offering fewer opportunities for writers and authors. Additionally, employment of writers and authors in newspaper, book, periodical, and directory publishers is expected to decline as the industry consolidates and shrinks and as more people access the information they need online.

Work Environment

Writers and authors may work anywhere they have access to a computer. Many writers and authors are self-employed.

Recommended High School Courses

  • Journalism
  • Psychology
  • Math
  • Art
  • Communication
  • Take as many college-prep courses as possible!
  • History
  • Marketing
  • Foreign Languages
  • English
  • Anthropology

  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Write material for artistic or entertainment purposes.
  • Edit written materials.
  • Determine presentation subjects or content.
  • Discuss production content and progress with others.
  • Conduct research to inform art, designs, or other work.
  • Coordinate artistic activities.
  • Obtain copyrights or other legal permissions.
  • Promote products, activities, or organizations.
  • Collaborate with others to prepare or perform artistic productions.
  • Train others on work processes.


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Potential Scholarships

5 Strong Scholarship
Agnes M. Lindsay Scholars...

Approx Salary Expectation

Low End:
$33,660.00 /yr
$63,200.00 /yr
High End:
$122,450.00 /yr


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/.
Trend Analysis - Explorer the Market, Labour Market Information, Government of Canada https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/trend-analysis.
O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development, https://www.onetonline.org/.