Employment is expected to grow about as fast as average. Keen competition is expected for writing and editing jobs as many people are attracted to this occupation. At the same time, many employers are downsizing.
Employment of authors, writers, and editors is expected to grow 8 percent, about as fast as the average for all occupations, from 2008 to 2018. Employment in salaried writing and editing positions is expected to increase slightly as jobs become more prevalent throughout the economy. Companies in a wide array of industries are using newer multimedia technologies and online media to reach a more technology friendly consumer and meet the growing demand for Web-based information. Online publications and services are growing in number and sophistication, spurring the demand for authors, writers, and editors, especially those with Web or multimedia experience. Businesses and organizations are adding text messaging services to expanded newsletters and Web sites as a way of attracting new customers. They may hire writers or editors on either a salaried or freelance basis to contribute additional content. Some publishing companies however, especially those that rely on advertising revenues and sales receipts to support large staffs of writers, will employ fewer writers and editors. But many experienced writers and editors will find work with nonprofit organizations and associations in their public relations offices, or in the public affairs departments of large companies or agencies. Others will find freelance work for newspaper, magazine, or journal publishers; some will write books.
Competition is expected for writing and editing jobs as many people are attracted to this occupation. Competition for jobs with established newspaper and magazines will be particularly keen as many organizations move their publication focus from a print to an online presence and as the publishing industry continues to contract. Writers and editors who have adapted to the new media and are comfortable writing for and working with a variety of electronic and digital tools will have an advantage in finding new work. The declining costs of self-publishing and the growing popularity of electronic books and book readers will allow many freelancers to get their work published. Some job openings will arise as experienced workers retire, transfer to other occupations, or leave the labor force.
Authors, writers and editors held about 281,300 jobs in 2008. Writers and authors held about 151,700 jobs and editors held about 129,600 jobs. About 70 percent of writers and authors were self-employed, while 12 percent of editors were self-employed.
Among the 30 percent of salaried writers and authors, about half work in the professional, scientific, and technical services and in publishing (except Internet) industries. These industries include advertising, public relations and related services and newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers, respectively. Other salaried writers and authors work in broadcasting, professional and social organizations, and the motion picture and video industries.
While 51 percent of salaried editors worked in the publishing, except Internet industry (half of those for newspapers), a large number of editors were also employed in other industries. Business, professional and social organizations, information services, and educational institutions employed editors to work on their publications or Web content.
Jobs are somewhat concentrated in major media and entertainment markets—Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, DC—but improved communications and Internet capabilities allow writers to work from almost anywhere. Many prefer to work outside these cities and travel regularly to meet with publishers and clients and to do research or conduct interviews in person. As a result, job location is less of a requirement for many writing or editing positions than it once was.
Job Zone 4 - Preparation needed
A minimum of two to four years of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant needs four years of college and several years of accounting work to be considered qualified.
Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Accountants, chefs and head cooks, computer programmers, historians, and police detectives.
These occupations often involve coordinating, supervising, managing, and/or training others.
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For information about freelance writing careers, contact:
- American Society of Journalists and Authors, 1501 Broadway, Suite 302, New York, NY 10036. Internet: http://www.asja.org
For information about accredited creative writing programs and creative writing conferences, contact:
- The Association of Writers and Writing Programs, George Mason University; MS 1E3, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444. Internet: http://www.awpwriter.org
Sources: O*Net data version 12.0
Occupational Outlook Handbook
Department of Labor
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