PR managers may work for an independent business (like a restaurant), a business group or corporation (like a hotel chain or a book publisher), a nonprofit (like a food bank), an academic or other institution (like a university), or an individual (like a politician, celebrity, or author) and generally need a bachelor’s degree in public relations, communications, marketing, or a related field. And while PR managers enjoy a great average salary, candidates who prove they can drive brand awareness and positive press can typically demand higher compensation packages—and PR directors make an average of $88,178.
Awesome Jobs for Writers That Offer Real Opportunities
Here’s a news flash: Good jobs for writers really do exist. You can parlay your love of the written word into a paying gig. The truth is that the technology, media, entertainment, public relations, marketing, publishing, and advertising industries all need people who can craft high-quality content. The range of possible writing careers is far broader than you might expect.
But, as with any creative field, it can be difficult to pinpoint opportunities. That’s partly because writing jobs, in contrast to other occupations, don’t follow a set formula. (If you want to become an engineer, you get an engineering degree. If your goal is to become a nurse, you complete a nursing program. But if you dream of becoming a writer, the path you need to take isn’t nearly as clear-cut.)
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 23 jobs for many types of writers across many different fields. We’ve also included some tips on how to find legit freelance writing opportunities. And if you’re wondering how to support yourself while getting established, you might want to check out our suggestions for day jobs that let you write on the side.
Jobs for Writers
Writing is a natural fit for online or at-home work, so you don’t have to be limited to jobs in your local area. Whether your interests run to business, technology, news, public relations, or the arts, you can probably find a writing job to suit you. Many of the jobs on this list even pay pretty well. Here are just a few examples of careers in writing that you may want to consider:
1. Content strategist
Content strategists combine strong writing and communication skills with analytical thinking and marketing know-how to plan, create, and manage online content that achieves specific business goals. They apply principles of search engine optimization (SEO) and study analytics to figure out what kind of content is working (and what kind isn’t) so that they can adjust their strategy accordingly. Training in journalism, communications, or technical writing can be a good first step toward this career.
2. Communications director
Overseeing various types of corporate communications and making sure the public views your company in a favorable light requires a blend of top-notch writing and marketing skills. In this role, you establish the communications goals of a company and develop branding and style guidelines for press releases, articles, newsletters, email campaigns, advertisements, and other marketing materials. This is a high-level position that requires several years of experience; be prepared to work your way up.
3. Technical writer
A key skill for any technical writer is the ability to take complex technical jargon and turn it into plain English. These writers design and develop software manuals, user guides, technical specifications, and other complex documentation. A big part of the job involves drawing useful and relevant information out of software developers, engineers, and other professionals, so solid interpersonal skills are essential. Of all jobs in writing, this one has one of the best outlooks: It’s expected to see faster-than-average job growth between 2020 and 2030, according to the OOH.
4. Proposal writer
A common fixture in consulting firms and sales departments, proposal writers prepare documents related to pricing, marketing, and product design. They assess requests for proposals (RFPs) and develop responses to help their employers win new business and secure contracts. To succeed in this role, you need excellent organizational and writing skills as well as an eye for detail and a solid understanding of how your company can meet the needs of potential clients.
5. Grant writer
Crafting proposals to secure financial support for foundations, non-profit agencies, and other organizations is a responsibility that falls to grant writers. They are a key part of the fundraising staff in many places. Grant writers are in charge of identifying funding sources and developing written materials that target each potential donor. Flexibility is important; some donors expect a one-page document, while others look for much lengthier proposals.
6. Web content writer
Many companies need writers who are highly skilled in researching and writing digital content like blogs, articles, and landing pages. You might be required to conduct online research or interview subject matter experts to gather information. Having some knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO) techniques is very helpful.
It’s not just politicians and government officials that rely on speechwriters: You could also work for business executives, notable celebrities, or public relations firms. To do this job effectively, you need to be able to write persuasively about policies or principles that you may not always agree with. A degree in journalism, communications, or political science is a good place to start. Joining Toastmasters or observing debates can also be good training.
Do you dream of creating the next Hollywood blockbuster? Screenwriters are the creative energy behind films and television shows. You could adapt a novel for the big screen, write an episode of an established show, or develop an original movie script from scratch. You need to understand the basic structure of a screenplay as well as how to create interesting characters and write peppy dialog. You also need to be open to constructive criticism: Making revisions is how screenwriters spend most of their time.
When people think of careers in writing, this is often one of the first that comes to mind. If you can create compelling characters that people want to know more about, and put them in unique situations that force them to tackle a problem or undergo a change, you might have what it takes to make it as a novelist. It’s not enough to have a great idea; you also need to develop an outline and work out plot points, dialog styles, and character arcs. Traditionally, novelists have worked with literary agents to market and sell their books, but self-publishing is an increasingly popular option.
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.