Graduates from this program are qualified for certain positions in teaching, public relations, editing, reporting, copywriting, writing, and business. They may also choose English as a base for graduate study in language, literature, journalism, public relations, librarianships, business, law, and medicine. In these cases they should be careful to include the prerequisites for such study as specified by the graduate schools they are considering. English is one of the most highly recommended pre-professional majors, especially for areas like law and business. 

Educational Qualifications

For technical writers, a bachelor’s degree in journalism, English, or communications is usually required in addition to experience with a technical subject such as computer science, Web design, or engineering. A college degree (communications, journalism, or English) is typically required for someone to be an editor. Editors who deal with specific subject matter may need experience related to that field. Postsecondary teachers who work for 4-year colleges and universities are most often required to have a doctoral degree in their field.High school teachers must have a bachelor’s degree, typically in the content area they wish to teach. In addition, public school teachers must have a state-issued certification or license. Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree alongside certification may require an extra year of coursework. After earning a bachelor’s degree, some elect to complete state certification through a graduate degree in education. 

Job Outlook

Employment of technical writers is projected to grow 15 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment of writers and authors is projected to grow 3 percent from 2012 to 2022, slower than the average for all occupations. Despite slower-than-average employment growth, online publications and services are growing in number and sophistication, spurring demand for writers and authors with Web and multimedia experience. Some experienced writers should find work in the public relations departments of corporations and not-for-profit organizations.

Entering Salary

The median annual wage for technical writers was $65,500 in May 2012. The median annual wage for writers and authors was $55,940 in May 2012. Below are median salaries for additional areas in which writers worked:

Professional, scientific, and technical services$61,630
Arts, entertainment, and recreation$59,290
Other services (except public administration)$54,410
Educational services; state, local, and private$52,340

The median annual wage for technical writers was $65,500 in May 2012. The median annual wage for writers and authors was $55,940 in May 2012. The median annual wage for high school teachers was $55,050 in May 2012.

Academic program information adapted from:


Career information adapted from:


  • U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2013). Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved from

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