The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Create original written works, such as scripts, essays, prose, poetry or song lyrics, for publication or performance.
Sample of reported job titles:
Author, Book Author, Children’s Book Author, Creative Writer, Fiction and Nonfiction Author, Freelance Writer, Lyricist, Novelist, Poet, Songwriter
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Write fiction or nonfiction prose, such as short stories, novels, biographies, articles, descriptive or critical analyses, and essays.
- Develop factors such as themes, plots, characterizations, psychological analyses, historical environments, action, and dialogue to create material.
- Prepare works in appropriate format for publication, and send them to publishers or producers.
- Revise written material to meet personal standards and to satisfy needs of clients, publishers, directors, or producers.
- Confer with clients, editors, publishers, or producers to discuss changes or revisions to written material.
- Choose subject matter and suitable form to express personal feelings and experiences or ideas, or to narrate stories or events.
- Conduct research to obtain factual information and authentic detail, using sources such as newspaper accounts, diaries, and interviews.
- Plan project arrangements or outlines, and organize material accordingly.
- Follow appropriate procedures to get copyrights for completed work.
- Attend book launches and publicity events, or conduct public readings.
- Collaborate with other writers on specific projects.
- Write narrative, dramatic, lyric, or other types of poetry for publication.
- Adapt text to accommodate musical requirements of composers and singers.
- Write words to fit musical compositions, including lyrics for operas, musical plays, and choral works.
- Office suite software — Google Drive ; OpenOffice.org
- Text to speech conversion software — Text to speech software
- Web page creation and editing software — Blogger; Red Sweater MarsEdit; Tumblr; WordPress (see all 5 examples)
- Word processing software — AutoCrit Editing Wizard; Microsoft Word ; Write Brothers Dramatica; WriteWay Pro (see all 15 examples)
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- 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.
- 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.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- 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.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- 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).
- 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.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- 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.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- 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).
- 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.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Detailed Work Activities
- 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.
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 96% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 81% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Level of Competition — 67% responded “Extremely competitive.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 59% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Electronic Mail — 52% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 33% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 31% responded “More than half the time.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 52% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 41% responded “Extremely important.”
- Telephone — 33% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 48% responded “Every day.”
- Time Pressure — 42% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Letters and Memos — 37% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor’s degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include real estate brokers, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to|
Interest code: AI
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- Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wage data for Writers and Authors.
Employment data for Writers and Authors.
Industry data for Writers and Authors.
|Median wages (2019)||$30.39 hourly, $63,200 annual|
|Employment (2019)||131,200 employees|
|Projected growth (2019-2029)||
Decline (-1% or lower)
|Projected job openings (2019-2029)||11,600|
|Top industries (2019)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019 wage data
and 2019-2029 employment projections
“Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2019-2029). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Sources of Additional Information
Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries.
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