Writers and Authors
Originate and prepare written material, such as scripts, stories, advertisements, and other material.
Sample of reported job titles: Advertising Associate, Advertising Copy Writer, Advertising Writer, Communications Specialist, Copy Writer, Copywriter, Freelance Copywriter, Web Content Writer
Also see: Poets, Lyricists and Creative Writers
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Discuss with the client the product, advertising themes and methods, and any changes that should be made in advertising copy.
- Present drafts and ideas to clients.
- Vary language and tone of messages based on product and medium.
- Develop advertising campaigns for a wide range of clients, working with an advertising agency’s creative director and art director to determine the best way to present advertising information.
- Write articles, bulletins, sales letters, speeches, and other related informative, marketing and promotional material.
- Conduct research and interviews to determine which of a product’s selling features should be promoted.
- Invent names for products and write the slogans that appear on packaging, brochures and other promotional material.
- Review advertising trends, consumer surveys, and other data regarding marketing of goods and services to determine the best way to promote products.
- Collaborate with other writers on specific projects.
- Conduct research to obtain factual information and authentic detail, using sources such as newspaper accounts, diaries, and interviews.
- Consult with sales, media and marketing representatives to obtain information on product or service and discuss style and length of advertising written material.
- Edit or rewrite existing written material as necessary, and submit written material for approval by supervisor, editor, or publisher.
- Follow appropriate procedures to get copyrights for completed work.
- Plan project arrangements or outlines, and organize material accordingly.
- 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.
- Work with staff to develop script, story, or advertising concepts.
- Write advertising material for use by publication, broadcast, or internet media to promote the sale of goods and services.
- Write fiction or nonfiction prose, such as short stories, novels, biographies, articles, descriptive or critical analyses, and essays.
- Write to customers in their terms and on their level so that the script, story, or advertisement message is more readily received.
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- Cloud-based data access and sharing software — Google Drive ; Microsoft SharePoint
- Customer relationship management CRM software — Blackbaud The Raiser’s Edge
- Data base management system software — MySQL
- Data base user interface and query software — FileMaker Pro; Microsoft Access
- Data mining software — Google Analytics
- Desktop communications software — Eko; ParentSquare
- Desktop publishing software — Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign ; Campaign Monitor; QuarkXPress
- Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
- Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook ; SendGrid
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Creative Cloud ; Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator ; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
- Instant messaging software — Twitter
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Presentation software — Adobe Systems Adobe Persuasion; Corel Presentation; Google Slides; Microsoft PowerPoint
- Project management software — Microsoft Project
- Sales and marketing software — Google AdWords
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Video creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe After Effects ; Flipgrid; Loom; YouTube (see all 9 examples)
- Web page creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver; Facebook ; LinkedIn ; Social media sites (see all 5 examples)
- Web platform development software — Drupal ; Hypertext markup language HTML ; PHP
- Word processing software — Google Docs ; Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- 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.
- Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
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- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- 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.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- 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.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
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- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- 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.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- 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.
- 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).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- 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).
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- 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.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
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- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Communicating with People Outside the 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.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Confer with clients to determine needs.
- Write advertising or promotional material.
- Present work to clients for approval.
- Develop promotional strategies or plans.
- Conduct market research.
- Monitor current trends.
- Write material for artistic or entertainment purposes.
- Edit written materials.
- Collaborate with others in marketing activities.
- Collaborate with others to prepare or perform artistic productions.
- Conduct research to inform art, designs, or other work.
- Coordinate artistic activities.
- Discuss production content and progress with others.
- Obtain copyrights or other legal permissions.
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- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
- Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
- Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
- Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
- Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
- Time Pressure — How often does this job require the worker to meet strict deadlines?
- Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
- Coordinate or Lead Others — How important is it to coordinate or lead others in accomplishing work activities in this job?
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?
- Deal With External Customers — How important is it to work with external customers or the public in this job?
- Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
- Letters and Memos — How often does the job require written letters and memos?
- Spend Time Sitting — How much does this job require sitting?
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — What results do your decisions usually have on other people or the image or reputation or financial resources of your employer?
- Frequency of Decision Making — How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?
- Level of Competition — To what extent does this job require the worker to compete or to be aware of competitive pressures?
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — How often are there conflict situations the employee has to face in this job?
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — How frequently does the worker have to deal with unpleasant, angry, or discourteous individuals as part of the job requirements?
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — How responsible is the worker for work outcomes and results of other workers?
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|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 < 8.0)|
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Interest code: EAC Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- 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.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
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- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- 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.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
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- 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.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$32.27 hourly, $67,120 annual|
|Employment (2020)||143,200 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Average (5% to 10%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||15,400|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Grant Writers’ Association
- American Society of Journalists and Authors
- Association of Writers and Writing Programs
- Boating Writers International
- Circulo Creativo
- National Association of Science Writers
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Writers and authors
- Society of Professional Journalists
- Writers Guild of America East
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