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Authors and Writers

What they do?

The following is a summary of the main duties of some occupations in this unit group:

A. Novelists, playwrights, script writers, poets and other creative writers conceive and write novels, plays, scripts, poetry and other material for publication or presentation and may conduct research to establish factual content and to obtain other necessary information.

B. Technical writers analyze material, such as specifications, notes and drawings, and write manuals, user guides and other documents to explain clearly and concisely the installation, operation and maintenance of software and electronic, mechanical and other equipment.

C. Copywriters study and determine selling features of products and services and write text for advertisements and commercials.

D. Authors and writers may specialize in a particular subject or type of writing.

Where they find work?

1. Arts entertainment and recreation - 39.0%
2. Information and cultural industries - 20.0%
3. Public administration - 15.0%
4. Computer systems design and related services - 6.0%
5. Advertising and related services - 6.0%
6. Administrative and support waste management and remediation services - 3.0%

What education do I need?

Educational requirements vary, depending on your specialization.

1. To be a technical writer, you usually need a university degree in an area of specialization such as computer science or engineering.

2. To be a copywriter, you usually need a university degree or college diploma in English, French, marketing, advertising or another field.

3. To be a creative writer, you may want to take a creative writing program offered by a university or college.

4. To succeed in this occupation, you need talent and ability, demonstrated by a portfolio of work, in order to be hired.

5. You may also need to be a member of a guild or union related to the occupation.

High School Subject that will help:

1. Computer-related courses
2. Family Studies
3. Journalism
4. English (Composition)

What can you expect to make:

The average hourly wages for Authors and Writers is $23.00/HR, which is above average for occupations in the art, culture, recreation and sport sector and are below average for all professional occupations. These wages grew at a below-average rate from 2002 to 2004.

Average Wage

Authors and Writers wages

Expected Wage by Age

Authors and Writers Wage By Age


5% of Authors and Writers are unemployed. This rate is above the average for professional occupations.


Authors and Writers Unemployment

Trends in Unemployment

Authors and Writers Trends in Unemployment

Current Job Outlook:

The job outlook for Authors and Writers is considered Average because:

1. Employment grew at an average rate.

2. Hourly wages ($23.00) are close to the average ($18.07), and the rate of wage growth is below average.

3. The unemployment rate (5%) is close to the 2004 average (7%).

Future Job Prospects:

Your job outlook will continue to be Average because:

1. The employment growth rate will likely be average because of an aging population interested in reading material.

2. Although the retirement rate will likely be average, the number of retiring workers should contribute to job openings.

3. The number of job seekers will likely exceed the number of job openings.

Highest Concetration:

The highest concentrations (per 10,000 people) of Authors and Writers are found in Ontario and British Columbia while the lowest concentrations are in New Brunswick and Newfoundland.

Unionization Rate:

The unionization rate (19%) is below the average (32%) for all occupations.

Useful Experience:

1. Researching

2. Writing

3. Publications

Part Time Workers

Authors and Writers Part Time Workers

Part time workers:

26% of Authors and Writers are employed only on a part-time basis. There were 25,800 workers employed in these occupations in 2004, an increase of 22% since 1997.

Age Demographics

Authors and Writers Age Demographics

Age Demographics:

The relatively low percentage of younger workers suggests few entry-level job openings, and could point to a greater need for workers with experience or a number of years of training. The retirement rate to 2009 will likely be average reflecting the age/retirement structure of the occupation.

Self Employed

Authors and Writers Self Employed

Self Employed:

Roughly 62% of Authors and Writers are self-employed. This is considered Above average for the industry as a whole.

Men vs Women

Authors and Writers Men vs Women

Men vs Women:

63% of the individuals employed as Authors and Writers are women. Compared to other industries, this is Above average.