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15 Different Types of Jobs for Writers

A freelance writer drinking her coffee with her mini table.

The good news is that the job growth outlook for writers is at a steady incline due to the booming online writing industry. The bad news? Oh, so many options for where to take your writing career.

I know because I too spent hours looking at lists just like this one. In the end, imagining all of my options helped me stay motivated and excited about my future. So, here’s a list of jobs for writers to help you do the same.

1. Journalist

A female reporter at press conference.

A journalist collects information in the form of text, audio, or pictures and makes it into newsworthy pieces for the public. Journalists can write for newspapers, magazines, or broadcasts. Journalists can work for websites, magazines, TV, or radio. 

Investigative Journalist

A journalist that researches one area or topic of interest in-depth often uncovers secrets like corruption within politics or companies and other crime-related events. An investigative journalist is often a part of a news organization or may otherwise get hired as a freelancer.

Broadcast Journalist

A broadcast journalist may conduct interviews, gather soundbites, and specialize in broadcast scriptwriting. A broadcast journalist is the face and voice of a news story and may report on events live or from a specific location that is relevant to what’s being covered. Journalists earn $48,370 per year on average and $23.26 per hour.

The amount of school needed is a bachelor’s degree. Writing experience is necessary and knowledge of mass communication is very helpful to be successful working as a journalist. Usually, an internship is helpful in getting an entry-level position.

Journalists can work anywhere. A freelance journalist may work from home, but may also include working in a newsroom. The job growth for a career in journalism is about average and expected to grow at about 6% from 202-to 2030.

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2. Feature Writer

A female wearing hijab while writing on her desk.

A type of journalist who writes features usually researches and writes long-form articles or covers stories for newspapers, magazines, or online publications. Feature writers cover timely, relevant topics, and compose in-depth, non-fiction narratives called feature articles. Feature articles are covered in more detail and usually show a topic from an interesting angle as opposed to reporting on straight news.

Feature writers earn an average salary of  $38,919 ranging between $34,937 at the lowest end and $44,110 at the highest. However, these figures vary greatly, with other sources estimating that the majority of feature writers earn between $35,500 and $88,500. Feature writers can make more or less depending on advancement opportunities, skill level, and years of experience.

You may need a bachelor’s degree in a writing intensive field such as English or journalism, as well as journalistic experience. Feature writers often have experience working in a newsroom or gain experience through the completion of a graduate program like a Master’s degree in journalism.

3. Publisher

Employees working in publishing agency.

A publisher may be a publishing organization or the individual that oversees the entire publishing process and often hires people to oversee different areas of the publishing process. A publisher’s job may include sifting through manuscripts, marketing, and managing finances, for instance. A publisher may be in charge of approaching retailers or magazine editors about doing book signings and running book reviews and promotions.

Publishing is a broad industry. As a writer, you may become a publisher by publishing a blog or self-publishing a book. But for publishing to be a lucrative career, continuing education is necessary and a degree in mass communication, creative writing, or journalism may be required for entry-level work at a publishing agency.

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Additionally, extensive knowledge of the industry is needed to be successful, whether it’s commercial book publishing, newspaper, website, periodical, or broadcast publishing. A book publisher in the US earns a salary that ranges widely from $53,850 to $187,200.

4. Editor

A man sitting on front of the computer while editing.

A professional editor is a person whose job is editing documents as well as reviewing and revising content for publication. Many editors can work in offices for publishing companies or digital marketing agencies. It’s common for editors to freelance and work from home as well.

Entry-level editors can expect to make about $37,000. The average editor’s salary is $63,350 although, it depends on the industry. Scientific and technical editors can earn an annual average salary of $78,200 and newspaper or book editors earn around $61,000.

The highest ten percent earned more than $129, 400. Typically, editors will need to hold a bachelor’s degree in communication, journalism, languages for entry-level work. Additionally, to work as an editor you’ll need grammar and language skills and it’s helpful to have experience with proofreading.

While the job growth for editors is slightly less than average at 5%, there’s an ongoing need to fill this role every year due to replacing workers who have switched careers or retired altogether.

5. Copywriter

Female copywriter enjoying morning coffee during break.

Copywriters write marketing and ad copy for billboards, brochures, magazines, newspapers, direct mail, TV, radio, and websites. A copywriter creates sales copy that is memorable, funny, or relatable for various audiences and clients like non-profits, private companies, or advertising agencies. Additionally, copywriters must be able to effectively research their market to write compelling and targeted copy.

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In the US, copywriters earn an average salary of $68, 990. This can vary significantly with some of the highest earning copywriters making $230, 000 per year and the lowest making $33,000 per year. A copywriter may need a bachelor’s degree in journalism, English, or a communications related field, in addition to superb writing and research skills.

An entry-level job as a copywriter usually requires a bachelor’s degree. However, an impressive portfolio that shows extensive experience in the field is often sufficient and nevertheless usually required even with a college degree. Landing an internship is a good way of getting experience and building a portfolio.

6. Technical Writer

Seated female technical writers discussing project.

Technical writers may write instruction manuals or prepare instructions, how-to guides, or supporting documents for software and other technical stuff. The goal of the technical writer is to make technical information more easily digestible.

Legal writer

A legal writer, sometimes called a legal analyst, writes material for the legal industry. Because it requires specialized knowledge that may involve training, legal writing falls under the technical writing umbrella. Legal writers may write about the current laws in the system and recent developments in the industry.

They may create business documents, legal briefs, or other legal documents like memorandums.

Horticulture writer

A horticulture writer may write books, articles, columns, marketing materials, technical manuals, or web content that deals with horticulture on a broad spectrum. This may include writing about the ins and outs of gardening, plants, and the growth process. Additionally, it may include writing about conservation and sustainability efforts as well as the study of soil.

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To enter into the technical writing field, you may need a bachelor’s degree or up to five years of experience in a related field that can substitute for formal education. The average salary for technical writers is $78,060 with an hourly rate of $37.53. It’s possible to get training on the job, which is typically short-term, depending on the needs of the employer.

The good news is that the job outlook for technical writers is faster than average and is expected to grow at a rate of 12% in the next ten years. To work as a technical writer you must be very good at taking difficult information or material that may be full of jargon, and rewriting it so that it is easy for the layperson to read and comprehend. Technical information you would need to understand may be heavily scientific or deal with engineering, or related to the computer and technology industry.

Depending on the area of technical writing you want to pursue, having knowledge of these industries may be vital to a successful career.

7. Science Writer

A science writer writes about developments and newsworthy discoveries in all areas of science, including engineering, medicine, environmental science, and physics. Often experts in a science-related field, science writers usually hold at least a bachelor of science in a scientific area of study. They have a well-rounded understanding of how science can impact the general public, as well as the average individual and, are able to communicate this to the reader.

Therefore, a degree in journalism or mass communication is highly beneficial. The professional scientific community or even science magazines often offer internships or workshops that are valuable in gaining experience in science writing. A science writer may fall under the umbrella category of technical writing or science journalism.

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Technical writing has a higher than average job growth rate. Still, according to Glassdoor and ZipRecruiter, the average salary for a science writer ranges between $86,000 and $100, 440. Neither figure is terrible.

8. Content Writer

Blogger and content writer at work.

A content writer can write as an in-house writer for a digital marketing agency or they can work on a freelance basis for several clients. Content writers can write on a broad range of topics as generalist writers or focus on one or two specific niches. Content typically refers to articles and blog posts but may include landing pages, product descriptions, or webpage content.

Almost anyone that can write decently can work as a content writer. Of course, if you have a degree in a related field like journalism or mass communication, it may help move you forward in your career as a content writer much faster. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job growth for writers is expected to increase in the next ten years by 9%.

There is hope for the future as the rise in demand for writers is due in part to the rise in demand for online content. The average per hour income for freelance writers is currently $24.31 and the average salary for all writers is $67,120. Still, the amount of money content writers earn may vary considerably.

How fast a writer can compose a piece of writing, in addition to how well they can write, often has a direct impact on what they earn. Additionally, seeking higher paying writing avenues while homing in on the areas you can excel in and simultaneously learning the industry can earn you more as a content writer in the long run.

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Adult industry content writer

An adult content writer writes content to be consumed by an adult audience. Typically, this is in the form of sexually explicit material, which may include writing books, novels, or short stories with adult themes. It may also include writing product descriptions for adult products.

Adult content writers may also write SEO snippets for videos, actor biographies, and blog posts for adult websites. Because the adult content niche requires very specific language, it may not be suitable for those who aren’t comfortable with it. Therefore, adult content writing may be a good writing niche option for those who don’t mind and know how to reach the target audience in a compelling and professional way.

9. Grant Writer

A grant writer researches and drafts proposals with the goal of helping an individual or organization receive funding for their non-profit or charitable organizations. The job includes learning about the organization’s goals to find the best suited and available grant opportunities. Grant writers gather the relevant information to format and draft the information into a polished written proposal.

The average salary among grant writers is $49,044 with an hourly rate of $24.53. Salaries may range between $37,000 and $69,000. A grant writer should hold a bachelor’s degree at least.

The best programs to pursue in college if you’re interested in working as a grant writer are areas like creative writing, mass communication, and marketing. Experience may not be necessary for entry level work, but for senior level grant writing positions, one to two years of experience is typical.

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10. Publicity Writer

A writer seriously reporting in his notebook in the office.

Publicity writers, or public relations specialists, are experts at maintaining their client’s positive public image. They may work for organizations or individuals. Organizations may include schools or the media, while individual clients may include celebrities, politicians, or CEOs of companies.

To enter the field you’ll usually need a bachelor’s degree. Average pay in 2021 was $62, 800 and the need for publicity writers is expected to grow at 11% until 2030, which is a faster than average job outlook rate. 

11. Fortune Cookie Writer

A fortune cookie writer is typically a creative writer who knows how to come up with witty one-liners and ambiguous, prophetic sayings. These lines of text then get printed onto the tiny strips of paper that you find inside fortune cookies. No particular amount of schooling is needed to become a fortune cookie writer, but education in creative writing or English may be a good idea.

Typically, anyone who can write well and has the ability to write clever little lines in large numbers without running out of material may be a good fit for fortune cookie writing. It may be a skill that sounds easier than it actually is, so getting a bit of practice or building a fortune cookie niche portfolio is a good step to show you have experience. Generally, writers who can write fast may be able to make more money.

According to Glassdoor, the national average salary for fortune cookie writers is $55,509 to $97,712 on the higher end of the pay scale.

12. Translator

Pretty woman translating a few documents using her computer.

I come from a family of translators, so I know that it can be quite a lucrative field. Translators typically speak more than one language but they may also have learned a second language later in life. Translators convert written text from a source language into a target language.

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You can work freelance or for an agency. Translators must account for the differences in the language dialect and understand the cultural differences to translate the written word accordingly and accurately. The typical education needed for entry-level translation work is a bachelor’s degree.

Translators make an average salary of  $49,110 per year and $23.61 per hour. If you’re a writer who’s thinking about pursuing a career as a translator, then this may be a great time to jump in because the job outlook for this career is very good. Over the next ten years, translators are expected to grow in demand much faster than average at a rate of 24%.

As a translator, you can expect to work in any number of settings, like schools, courtrooms, broadcasting networks, or from home. Translators are expected to be proficient in the source and target languages.

13. Court Reporter

Hammer referees and legal documents of justice.

Court reporters record an exact transcript of court proceedings. Their responsibility includes documenting exact records of legal proceedings and accurate and complete transcripts of depositions and trials. Court reporters create transcriptions in the legal industry.

Often, court reporters work right in the courtroom and may need to travel to other locations for public events or various meeting sites. A degree is not required but often a certificate or post-secondary form of training is required. There are community colleges or technical colleges that may offer court reporter training programs.

Depending on the state where you live, you may be required to get certified to work in a legal setting like a court reporter. The average pay for court reporters in 2021 was $60,380. The growth rate for court reporters is slower than average at a rate of 3%.

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14. Simultaneous Captioner

Woman typing and writing simultaneously on her table.

Simultaneous captioners serve people who cannot hear or have difficulty hearing by transcribing speech to written text. They may work in television or provide service to people who conduct business meetings and press conferences. They may work in a multitude of settings, with the exception of courtrooms and law offices.

Simultaneous captioners may work from home or in an office. Typically, a degree isn’t a requirement to work but some form of training or a certificate of completion is necessary. Many community colleges offer training in this field. It varies by state, but some may require certification to work as a simultaneous captioner.

In 2021, simultaneous captioners made an average salary of $60, 380. While the job outlook for simultaneous captioners is expected to grow at a less than average rate of 3% from 2020 to 2030, job openings are expected due to a need to replace those who leave the field or retire from the workforce.

15. Philosopher

A half body sculpture of the philosopher named Aristotle.

Philosophy is commonly used in conjunction with a primary career path. However, many writers, myself included, choose to pursue philosophy as their primary area of focus. Philosophers use logic to grapple with questions related to ethics, metaphysics, biology, psychology, moral responsibility and free will.

Philosophers may deal with abstract questions or argue for or against positions dealing with abortion, animal rights, or moral responsibility. Philosophers may teach while focusing on one area of philosophy with the goal of publishing their written work. A bachelor’s degree is required at a minimum.

However, if the plan is to reach beyond a high school classroom, then a Master’s degree is necessary. Surprisingly, philosophers have the highest starting salary compared to other humanities majors at $44,700. Mid-career philosophers tend to make around $84,100.

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The job outlook for philosophy professors is expected to grow at a faster than average rate of 12% in the next ten years. Philosophy is highly adaptable to various fields and careers, but it’s especially great for aspiring writers and therefore a solid path to pursue.