How to Become a Writer: Education and Training Requirements for Becoming a Professional Writer

Published Aug 12, 2009

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Do you dream of becoming a Writer? There are many kinds of Writers, including journalists, screenwriters, novelists and technical writers. Professional Writers usually hold bachelor's degrees in English, Journalism or Communications. Some technical writers have an undergraduate degree in technical writing. No matter what type of professional Writer you dream of becoming, you should develop strong computer skills and gain experience writing whenever you can.

Professional Writer Career Summary

While many people write as part of their job, professional Writers are those who receive pay for their work. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),, there are two main types of writers. First, there are Writers and authors who develop nonfiction and fiction for newspapers, magazines, online publications, moves, radio, television and books. These Writers are often labeled by the kind of writing they do, such as novelists, screenwriters and reporters. Second, there are technical writers who document products, usually technology products such as software and computer programs. Often working with technical personnel such as computer programmers and engineers, technical writers translate technical information so that it may be understand by a general audience.

Education Required to Become a Professional Writer

In general, a college degree is required to be professional Writer, according to the BLS. Some employers prefer those with a Bachelor of Arts in English, Journalism or Communications, while other employers look for a broad background in the liberal arts. For Writers who wish to specialize in an area, such as healthcare or business, a degree or coursework in that field is helpful. Those who wish to become technical writers can obtain a Bachelor of Science in Technical Writing, although many technical writers have undergraduate degrees in the liberal arts. All professional Writers need to have strong computer skills; many writers do research on the Internet as part of their work and transmit their work via email.

Job Training and Certifications Required to Become a Professional Writer

Those who are considering a career as a professional Writer can gain invaluable experience working for high school and college newspapers, radio stations and television stations. Some newspapers, magazines, radio stations and TV stations offer internships for college students. It is also possible to transfer from other jobs to a writing position. For example, engineers and scientists with writing skills can move into jobs as technical writers.

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