Communication is an essential job skill in a wide variety of careers. Almost every job requires written communication at one time or another in the form of emails sent to clients and coworkers. Many jobs also require workers to produce written content such as books, articles and research papers, which require more advanced writing skills.
Writers and Authors
Writers and authors produce written content such as books, scripts, articles, textbooks and plays. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), writers and authors are often described in terms of the type of content they produce. For instance, a novelist produces books of fiction (novels), and biographers write about the lives of important historical figures (biographies.). The BLS states, "median annual wages for salaried writers and authors were $53,070 in May 2008."
Editors are writing professionals who read written work, check the work for errors and make changes to the work or suggest changes to the writer prior to publication. Editors must have excellent writing skills to find and solve writing errors. According to the BLS, most editors begin as writers and many editors are also writers. BLS data show that median annual wages for salaried editors were $49,990 in May 2008.
Attorneys, also called lawyers, are legal professionals who perform a wide range of legal services for clients. While popular media often glorify the courtroom aspect of the legal profession, many attorneys do not step foot in courtrooms on a regular basis. Attorneys are often responsible for drafting legal documents such as contracts that require superb technical and legal writing skills. The BLS says that first-year law students typically take courses in legal writing.
Postsecondary teachers or professors are educators who work at institutions of higher education such as colleges and universities. While the primary job responsibility of a professor is to teach subject matter to students, professors must also have excellent writing skills. The BLS states professors are often expected to conduct research, write articles and essays and publish findings in scholarly journals, books and electronic media. Publishing papers is a way professors can establish themselves as leaders in their fields.