Description: Screenwriters develop scripts and screenplays for film, television, and video games.
Knowledge Required: English, communications, journalism, film
Skills: Research and computer skills are necessary for writers in the creative process. Writers must be able to express ideas clearly and logically and should enjoy writing. Creativity, curiosity, a broad range of knowledge, self-motivation, and perseverance are also valuable skills.
Career Path: Because writing skills are essential in this occupation, many employers like to hire people with degrees in communications, journalism, film, or English. An increasing number of writers today are freelance writers. Being able to network and get people to read your screenplay is essential. Writers often work as “script doctors” that attempt to alter scripts to suit directors or studios. Most screenwriters are unionized under the Writer’s Guild of America.
Best Cities for this job: Cities with a concentration of media activity, such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and New York, are best. However, many writers now live outside of these cities and travel to meet clients.
Median Annual Income: National: $53,900 CA: $63,800
Future Growth: The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts growth to be steady over the next decade.
From the field: "If you write something that is more personal to yourself, you are more likely to succeed than if you were to write a big action movie.” - Jason Dean Hall, Screen writer on SpreadView more Day in the Life videos »