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Writing: Sector Overview

Guide to careers in copy writing, creative writing, and technical writing


Sector Overview

What jobs are available and how to get them

Writing qualifications

Technical writing

Technical writing is not yet recognised as a profession in the UK, but in the US over 48,900 people are employed in this area.

Technical writers produce manuals, reports, etc. for technical subjects. They need to be able to communicate complex ideas clearly

Science Writing is another discipline that relates strongly to this, and involves writing about science to be understood by non-scientists. This can be a form of journalism

Business Writing

Business writing is a growing field that covers more than just marketing

Writers and language consultants could, for instance, help firms save money by making their paperwork easier to understand

Business writers may be employed in-house, but some are hired as consultants for particular projects

Some business writers are employed to run training or facilitate meetings

Making money from your website

Not just writing novels

People with good written communication skills can find both freelance and employed work

Writers are need to produce copy for advertising, and to communicate a companies aims on their website

Writers with specialised knowledge can make a career by helping to communicate complex technical information to the public

What do writers earn?

Of the freelance writers who are members of the writing professional body:

People who make most of their living from writing earned around £13,800 per year

People who spent most of their time writing earned £8,300 a year

Typical earnings for a writer aged between 25 and 35 were £5,000 a year

There are a small number of writers earning significantly better wages than most, and income is higher for people who do technical writing or contracted work as journalists or in advertising

Figures taken from What are words worth? (2007)