Career summary: Writers and Authors
National Average, Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
3% job growth by 2022, which is below average
Earn a degree in english from an accredited college
Why would I want an English degree?
Many people don’t realize that a degree in English is very marketable in today’s job market, and salaries for English majors are most likely higher than one would expect. In fact, many recruiters believe that one of the important things that is missing among many college graduates is writing skills. If you enjoy reading, writing, thinking, and creating, then a degree in English would be a good fit for you.
What do people with English degrees do?
People who get their degrees in English have a variety of job choices when they graduate. As one might guess, most jobs for English majors involve a lot of reading or writing or both. Some of the most common careers that people with English degrees go into are listed below.
- Technical Writers: They are professional writers who write papers and documents that are technical in nature. Examples of papers and documents that they write include user guides, design specifications, system manuals, etc.
- Paralegals: They assist lawyers in their legal work. In some areas of the world, they are considered officers of the court, like lawyers are. In the United States, however, they are not. Their work involves obtaining documents, summarizing documents, scheduling appointments, consulting with their lawyers, and preparing documents for court.
- Copywriters: They are in charge of creating and writing content for copy. This may be any content that is prepared for print, but usually copywriters create content for promotional situations such as print ads, television, radio, or other media.
- Proofreaders: They are in charge of reading documents, books, ads, or anything that is to be published to check for errors. Errors may range from grammar, spelling, or stylistic mistakes. Proofreaders are relied on to be accurate, so they must be very meticulous about their work.
- Publications Editors: Essentially they are in charge of managing the publications process. This includes recruiting and hiring staff, making sure publication runs smoothly, and making sure that publications are printed on time.
Other common options for English graduates include going into the education field, moving on to law school, or going into public relations.
How much do people with English degrees make?
Due to the various career options for English majors, there is a large spread of average salaries among those who have earned English degrees. The average salaries given below are figures from payscale.com.
- Editorial Assistant: $30,800
- Assistant Editor: $39,100
- Proofreader: $45,100
- Web Content Editor: $50,000
- Copywriter: $51,100
- Publications Editor: $52,100
- Managing Editor: $59,000
- Technical Writer: $67,900
- Senior Copywriter: $70,700
- Senior Technical Writer: $73,900
How popular are jobs for people with English degrees?
Jobs for English majors are more popular than most people think. Although some big publishing and public relations companies are downsizing, job growth rate is holding steady at around 8%, while jobs for creating web content, blogging, and other online material continue to rise. Jobs for English teachers and English as a second language (ESL) teachers continue to be popular as well.
How do I know an English degree is right for me?
An English degree isn’t right for everybody, but it fits like a glove for other people. Some of the things you will want to ask yourself before making the decision to become an English major include: Do I like to read? Do I like to write? Can I handle criticism that is sometimes more subjective than objective? Do I like being creative? Am I a deep thinker? If you can answer “yes” to at least 3 of these questions, then you may want to strongly consider a degree and career in English.
Salary and career outlook data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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