What is a Writer

The act of writing, to most, is merely a means of communication, but to a rare few, it's a privilege to express one's self. The profession of being a writer is meant for deep thinkers, careful thought masters crafting their powers through the vessel of each word, bringing gentle awakening into our dormant lives.

There have been so many writers that have inspired the world. Even Barack Obama was a writer before he/she was a speaker. It is not just what he/she says, but the way he/she arranges the words he/she speaks that injects meaning and voice to the audience. We have Ernest Hemingway, a legendary novelist, and a journalist. In his/her wise words "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places." Last but not least, we have JK Rowling in the character of Albus Dumbledore, "Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light."

A modern writer can help people write great copy, curate web content, report journalistic accounts, write scripts for movies, or even write stories for an organization's brand. These days, employers require a combination of skills from prospective writers, such as proficiency with editing software as well as knowledge in a particular industry. It is always good to consider doing something pro-bono at the start to show practical experience. The salary of a writer is, on average, $26 per hour.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a Writer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $31.6 an hour? That's $65,718 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 0% and produce -100 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Writer Do

There are certain skills that many Writers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed Social perceptiveness, Creativity and Writing skills.

Learn more about what a Writer does

How To Become a Writer

If you're interested in becoming a Writer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 73.9% of Writers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 10.9% of Writers have master's degrees. Even though most Writers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a Writer. When we researched the most common majors for a Writer, we found that they most commonly earn Bachelor's Degree degrees or Master's Degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on Writer resumes include Associate Degree degrees or High School Diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a Writer. In fact, many Writer jobs require experience in a role such as Internship. Meanwhile, many Writers also have previous career experience in roles such as Editor or Writer And Editor.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Google Jobs (14)
  2. Microsoft Jobs (17)
  3. Accenture Jobs (16)
  4. Amazon Jobs (13)
  5. Talent Jobs (38)
Average Salary
$65,718
Average Salary
Job Openings
24,812
Job Openings
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Writer Career Paths

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Average Salary for a Writer

Writers in America make an average salary of $65,718 per year or $32 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $102,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $42,000 per year.
Average Salary
$65,718
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12 Writer Resume Examples

Learn How To Write a Writer Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Writer resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Writer Resume Examples And Templates

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Google Jobs (14)
  2. Microsoft Jobs (17)
  3. Accenture Jobs (16)
  4. Amazon Jobs (13)
  5. Talent Jobs (38)

Choose From 10+ Customizable Writer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Writer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Writer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Writer Resume
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Writer Demographics

Writer Gender Statistics

female

53.8 %

male

46.2 %

Writer Ethnicity Statistics

White

78.9 %

Hispanic or Latino

7.4 %

Black or African American

6.0 %

Writer Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

46.5 %

French

17.3 %

German

5.7 %
Job Openings

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Writer Education

Writer Majors

18.2 %

Writer Degrees

Bachelors

73.9 %

Masters

10.9 %

Associate

7.7 %

Top Colleges for Writers

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,832
Enrollment
4,550

2. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

3. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

4. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

5. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

6. Washington University in St Louis

Saint Louis, MO • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,399
Enrollment
7,356

7. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

8. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329

9. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,184
Enrollment
30,845

10. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083
Job Openings

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Online Courses For Writer That You May Like

Working as a Game Writer
edX (Global)

What is it like to work as a video game writer? How do you even apply for game writing jobs? Is it true that you might have to take a writing test? This capstone course puts everything you’ve learned in the previous courses together. Each assignment has helped you produce writing samples that are suitable for a portfolio. Now we’ll show what to do with it. We’ll explore what it takes to get a position as a video game writer or narrative designer, including how to get experience that will make...

Video Game Writing Essentials
edX (Global)

Writing for video games is truly a new frontier, a place where writers and game designers are still learning, innovating and pioneering bold approaches to telling stories. This course is your introduction to this frontier. We'll explore interactive storytelling as well as touch on the history of video games and the kinds of games that have been developed since the medium was born. We'll discuss the complex, collaborative process of game development and hear from working game writers about...

Fiction for Young Writers (Writing Mastery)
udemy
4.7
(305)

A fun, interactive workshop to help young writers unlock their creativity, improve their craft, and write better stories...

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Top Skills For a Writer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 15.9% of Writers listed Communication on their resume, but soft skills such as Social perceptiveness and Creativity are important as well.

  • Communication, 15.9%
  • Customer Service, 14.2%
  • Topics, 11.4%
  • Web Content, 7.0%
  • Online Publication, 6.1%
  • Other Skills, 45.4%

Best States For a Writer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Writer. The best states for people in this position are Delaware, Connecticut, Nevada, and Rhode Island. Writers make the most in Delaware with an average salary of $96,384. Whereas in Connecticut and Nevada, they would average $88,080 and $87,723, respectively. While Writers would only make an average of $84,818 in Rhode Island, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. District of Columbia

Total Writer Jobs:
220
Highest 10% Earn:
$132,000
Location Quotient:
4.04
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Delaware

Total Writer Jobs:
45
Highest 10% Earn:
$144,000
Location Quotient:
1.11
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Nevada

Total Writer Jobs:
79
Highest 10% Earn:
$146,000
Location Quotient:
1.17
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Writers

How Do Writer Rate Their Jobs?

Zippia Official Logo

5.0

Writing- my dream jobJuly 2019

5.0

Zippia Official LogoWriting- my dream jobJuly 2019

What do you like the most about working as Writer?

I learned to read and write at an early age and have avidly pursued it since. Beside school publications and assignments, I've sought out numerous outlets for my love of writing, from features and sports writer for my local weekly news paper, to AP stringer for election coverage, to a Pohlad family internship at one of southeastern Minnesota's most respected dailies. Show More

What do you NOT like?

Unexpected deadlines, I guess, although it sometimes seems I do my sharpest writing in those pressured situations. Show More

Zippia Official Logo

5.0

Great writer you will love my writing!April 2019

5.0

Zippia Official LogoGreat writer you will love my writing!April 2019

What do you like the most about working as Writer?

Set your own schedule work from home. Determine your own salary. Dictate your hours. Choose the jobs you want. Show More

What do you NOT like?

Could be paid more. Slow to get started very competitive. Show More

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Top Writer Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ Writers and discovered their number of Writer opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Leaf Group was the best, especially with an average salary of $81,963. Her Campus Media follows up with an average salary of $67,330, and then comes Talent with an average of $82,109. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a Writer. The employers include Dell, State Street, and Dow Jones

Most Common Employers For Writer

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Writer SalaryAverage Salary
1$124,748
2$117,021
3$91,221
4$90,375
5$87,603
6$84,643

Writer Videos

Becoming a Writer FAQs

How long does it take to become a Writer?

It takes 3 years of professional experience to become a writer. That is the time it takes to learn specific writer skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education. If you include the normal education requirements to complete a college degree, then it takes 6 to 8 years years to become a writer.

Learn more about this question

Are the terms "writer" and "author" the same?

No, the terms "writer" and "author" are similar, but not the same. A writer is a person who writes a book, article, blog, or short story but is not the creator of the idea behind the written piece. Writers have the skill and ability to communicate ideas clearly.

They are hired to apply these skills to another's idea. A company may need a writer to create a user's manual for a product, or a person with an interesting life experience may hire a writer to communicate that idea in an entertaining way to the public.

An author is both a writer and the creator of the idea behind the writing. Authors create novels, short stories, movie scripts, poetry, and other creative expressions to convey their original ideas to the public.

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How do I start a career as a writer?

Starting a career as a writer typically begins with an educational background in the English language, creative writing, or literary theory. While there are many different types of writing careers, some level of formal education will prepare a beginning writer.

Many aspiring writers will obtain an associate's or bachelor's degree in a relevant field of study. English, literature, and social studies are several of the most useful majors for someone pursuing a writing career.

There are opportunities for an aspiring writer who has industry-specific knowledge and solid writing skills. Candidates with degrees in the sciences and technology will be able to pursue opportunities as technical writers.

With so many different types of writing opportunities available, anyone with solid writing skills and the knowledge or passion for a particular field within the writing profession has the opportunity to be successful.

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How do you define a writer?

A writer is defined as anyone who writes books, stories, or articles. Today, the scope of a writer is more diverse than ever.

Traditionally, writers worked independently or were contracted by a newspaper or magazine to produce specific content. These writers relied on their creativity to craft writing that captured readers' interest, often for entertainment.

Today the field of writing has evolved to include several industry-related opportunities. Technical writing is a field growing faster than many other job sectors. Technical writers work to create industry-specific manuals and guides that simplify the technical language associated with a product.

These writers rely less on creativity and more on breaking down the unapproachable language associated with science, technology, and industry.

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How much does a writer make?

A writer makes an average of approximately $64,000 per year. This salary takes into consideration the vast variety of writing career paths. Remember, writers can work for themselves or as employees in nearly any form of industry.

Writer's salaries range from the low end of $21,000 to the high end of $98,000 annually. These earnings are reflective of writers working in the field of freelance work as well as technical writing. Novelists have the potential to earn millions but, on average, earned $49,000 in 2020.

Cities like Chicago and Newark, N.J. show writers earn 10% to 15% over the national average. Both of these cities show a very active job market for many different types of writers.

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Is it hard to become a writer?

No, becoming a writer is not difficult as there are many platforms for individuals to express themselves through the written word. Writing as a profession is more difficult and will most likely require some formal training.

Today, anyone can self-publish their writing. The internet provides a place for individuals to post blogs and express themselves through various special interest forums. This type of writing can become profitable if a blog becomes popular and gains a following.

Most writers that earn money from their craft are professionals. Becoming a professional writer typically involves some formal training. Two or four-year degrees in English, Literature, or History are often paths aspiring writers will take. A degree in journalism or communication will also prepare you for one of the various writing careers available.

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What qualifications do you need to be a writer?

The qualifications needed to become a writer are largely educational. Most writers have received a degree relevant to writing before entering the workforce.

Candidates interested in a writing career typically pursue a bachelor's degree in English, literature, communications, or history. These majors prepare candidates through both instructions on writing and responding to various topics in a written format.

Often students will volunteer to work for a college newspaper. This allows them to put their instruction to use and gain valuable experience.

Other ways that aspiring writers prepare themselves for their future careers include internships. Interns may write stories, conduct research and interviews, and gain related experience.

Writers hoping to enter the field may also choose to acquire a form of certification. Candidates can obtain a certified grant writer's credential showing their qualification to write grants for various organizations.

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Who is the most famous writer?

The most famous writer is William Shakespeare. While Shakespeare has been read by more people than any other writer, there are modern writers whose popularity has made them multimillionaires.

Nearly 50% of all Americans have read a work by Shakespeare. High schools and colleges across the country have included his 37 plays as part of their curriculum for decades.

Shakespeare's popularity is tied to his universal themes of love, guilt, and revenge. His works are also part of the public domain which means the institutions using Shakespeare do not have to pay royalties.

Modern writers such as James Patterson and J.K. Rowling are extremely popular and earn millions of dollars per year based on their novels. In 2018, Patterson earned $87 million, and Rowling earned $57 million that same year.

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