Writer and editor can be divided into three categories. Writers and authors produce content for print media, online media, television, movies and radio. Editors evaluate and select content for publication. Technical writers specialize in producing materials such as instruction manuals and software documentation.
Many employers prefer to hire writers and editors with a college degree, generally in communications, English or journalism. Sometimes a liberal arts degree will suffice. Employers may require writers and editors who specialize in a particular field to have a degree in that subject. This is particularly true for technical writers.
An affinity for writing is something those in this field should, without doubt, have. Other necessary traits are the ability to express ideas clearly in writing, good judgment, creativity, self motivation and curiosity. Editors should have the ability to guide others. Unpaid experience, such as that gained through internships and writing for school newspapers, is valuable.
If you want immediate gratification, a writing or editing job with a small company is right for you. You may have the opportunity to write and edit early on in your tenure. In larger firms, however, entry level writers and editors generally begin by doing research, copy editing, or fact checking.
Employment of writers and editors is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2018. Demand is greatest for technical writers and those with training in a specialized field. Employment of salaried writers and editors for newspapers, periodicals, book publishers, and nonprofit organizations is expected to increase.
Median annual earnings for salaried writers and authors were $53,900 in 2009. Salaried editors earned a median salary of $50,800. Earnings for freelance writers and editors vary greatly.[Source: Writer and Editor]