Becoming a Creative Writer via Online Education?

At the very least, online education can help you lay a foundation and/or open up alternate career paths. Penn Foster Career School, one of the highest ranking online schools, is a US school (accredited) offering creative writing courses to train individuals to become top-notch creative writers, writers, storytellers, freelances, etc. Currently, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics there are 43,390 people employed as writers and authors alone in America, and their average annual salary is $64,560. Editors make on average $58,440 per year and there are about 105,040 of them employed today. Colleges and universities like Penn Foster Career School that provide online education are successfully launching workers into this field.

Typical Work Locations for a Creative Writer
  • Magazine
  • Institution
  • Advertising agency
  • University
  • Writer's workshops
  • Newspaper
  • Website design companies
  • Video/multimedia productions
  • Graphic design firm
  • School
Potential Advantages and Benefits of Working as a Creative Writer
  • Freedom to use creativity
  • High job satisfaction
  • Choose subject matter and suitable form to express personal feelings and experiences or ideas
  • Plan project arrangements or outlines, and organize material accordingly
  • Confer with clients, editors, publishers, or producers to discuss changes or revisions to written material
  • Build a personal portfolio
  • Write fiction or nonfiction prose such as short stories, novels, biographies, articles, descriptive or critical analyses, and essays
  • Conduct research to obtain factual information and authentic detail
  • Write narrative, dramatic, lyric, or other types of poetry for publication
  • Establish and maintain relationships
Potential Drawbacks
  • Continually develop new ideas
  • Follow appropriate procedures to get copyrights for completed work
  • Finding interesting ways to approach existing issues and topics
  • Work in this area is often difficult to attain
  • Requires excellent communication skills
  • Submitting your work for approval
  • Organize, plan and prioritize work
  • Writing about contemporary issues that will interest your target audience
  • Working on a typewriter or while looking at a computer screen
  • Competitive nature of work
Related Professions to Consider
  • Associate Creative Directors
  • Creative Writers
  • Creative Article Writers
  • Newspaper Editors
  • Freelance Creative Writers
  • Technical Writers
  • Creative Directors
  • Corporate Marketing Writers
  • Web Writer Editors
  • Creative Services Project Managers
Possible Interview Questions When Applying to be a Creative Writer
  • How long have you been writing professionally?
  • Have you any recognizable published works?
  • What is your favorite piece of written work?
  • Who is your favorite writer?
  • Are you able to work under deadlines?
  • Do you like everything you've ever written?
  • Who is your least favorite writer?
  • What is your expected salary?
  • Have you been paid by salary or by piece in the past?
  • Are you comfortable with extreme editing of your work?
Common Collaborating Professions
  • Novelists
  • Playwrights
  • Biographer
  • Textbook Writer
  • Songwriters
  • Screen Writers
  • Script Writers
  • Technical Writers
  • Freelance Writers
  • Editors
Creative Writer Training books Creative Writer (More) Popular books Potential Companies to Work For Common College Majors
  • Journalism
  • Communication
  • English
  • American Literature
  • Theater Arts
  • Poetry
  • Film Studies
  • Comparative Literature
  • Speech and Rhetorical Studies
  • Linguistics

Creative Writer Salary Information

Category: Editors

Total # Employed in the US 105,040
Average Hourly Wage: $28.1/hr
Hourly Wage Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$13.67 $17.95 $24.42 $34.18 $46.81
Average Yearly Salary $58,440
Yearly Salary Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$28,430 $37,340 $50,800 $71,090 $97,360
Employment Demographics
% OF WORKERS WITH
< High School Diploma High School Diploma Some College Associate Degree Bachelor Degree Master Degree Doctoral Degree
0.7% 3.9% 10.9% 4.0% 55.6% 20.3% 4.6%
Editors — WAGES BY STATE, SORTED BY SALARY
STATEAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Oklahoma $37.05/hr $77,060
Virginia $33.34/hr $69,340
Florida $32.61/hr $67,830
Hawaii $31.23/hr $64,960
Delaware $30.36/hr $63,140
Missouri $29.63/hr $61,640
District of Columbia $29.59/hr $61,540
North Dakota $29.24/hr $60,830
Colorado $29.2/hr $60,740
Idaho $28.37/hr $59,020
Connecticut $27.16/hr $56,490
North Carolina $27.1/hr $56,360
Mississippi $27.02/hr $56,190
Kansas $26.17/hr $54,430
New York $25.46/hr $52,950
Oregon $25.4/hr $52,830
Utah $25.37/hr $52,780
Alaska $25.01/hr $52,020
Michigan $24.93/hr $51,860
Ohio $24.48/hr $50,920
Wyoming $24.16/hr $50,250
Guam $24.07/hr $50,060
Indiana $24.05/hr $50,020
Arkansas $24.04/hr $50,010
New Hampshire $23.55/hr $48,990
Tennessee $23.5/hr $48,880
Nebraska $23.43/hr $48,730
Kentucky $22.89/hr $47,610
Montana $22.88/hr $47,590
Louisiana $22.8/hr $47,420
Washington $22.33/hr $46,450
West Virginia $22.29/hr $46,360
South Carolina $21.98/hr $45,710
Maryland $21.21/hr $44,120
Wisconsin $20.94/hr $43,560
Puerto Rico $20.89/hr $43,450
Alabama $20.75/hr $43,160
California $20.27/hr $42,160
Massachusetts $20.12/hr $41,850
Maine $19.9/hr $41,390
New Jersey $19.49/hr $40,530
New Mexico $19.1/hr $39,720
Pennsylvania $18.79/hr $39,070
Iowa $18.2/hr $37,850
Nevada $18.14/hr $37,730
South Dakota $17.26/hr $35,900


Category: Technical writers

Total # Employed in the US 46,270
Average Hourly Wage: $31.55/hr
Hourly Wage Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$17.82 $22.94 $30.16 $38.7 $48.09
Average Yearly Salary $65,610
Yearly Salary Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$37,070 $47,710 $62,730 $80,490 $100,020
Employment Demographics
% OF WORKERS WITH
< High School Diploma High School Diploma Some College Associate Degree Bachelor Degree Master Degree Doctoral Degree
0.8% 4.9% 14.1% 6.1% 48.9% 18.8% 6.4%
Technical writers — WAGES BY STATE, SORTED BY SALARY
STATEAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Missouri $38.41/hr $79,900
Colorado $38.4/hr $79,880
North Carolina $35.65/hr $74,150
Florida $34.76/hr $72,310
North Dakota $33.35/hr $69,360
Ohio $33.12/hr $68,890
Idaho $33.06/hr $68,760
Oklahoma $32.77/hr $68,160
Mississippi $32.69/hr $68,000
Connecticut $32/hr $66,570
Oregon $31.3/hr $65,100
Tennessee $30.86/hr $64,180
Nebraska $30.53/hr $63,510
Kansas $30.53/hr $63,500
Arkansas $29.94/hr $62,270
Alaska $29.84/hr $62,070
Utah $29.61/hr $61,580
Virginia $29.41/hr $61,180
Kentucky $29.12/hr $60,580
Wyoming $28.78/hr $59,860
District of Columbia $28.34/hr $58,940
Delaware $28.32/hr $58,910
Wisconsin $28.19/hr $58,640
Montana $27.86/hr $57,950
Louisiana $26.8/hr $55,750
Washington $26.73/hr $55,600
South Carolina $26.47/hr $55,050
Hawaii $26.36/hr $54,840
New Hampshire $26.36/hr $54,830
Iowa $25.84/hr $53,740
Maryland $25.65/hr $53,350
New York $25.63/hr $53,300
Guam $25.54/hr $53,120
Alabama $25.35/hr $52,730
Massachusetts $24.48/hr $50,920
New Mexico $24.09/hr $50,100
Maine $24.08/hr $50,090
Puerto Rico $23.45/hr $48,770
Michigan $23.36/hr $48,580
California $22.79/hr $47,410
Pennsylvania $21.49/hr $44,690
South Dakota $21.48/hr $44,680
Nevada $21.26/hr $44,220
West Virginia $21.16/hr $44,010
New Jersey $18.66/hr $38,800
Indiana $17.42/hr $36,220


Category: Writers and authors

Total # Employed in the US 43,390
Average Hourly Wage: $31.04/hr
Hourly Wage Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$13.5 $18.63 $25.91 $36.41 $50.82
Average Yearly Salary $64,560
Yearly Salary Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$28,070 $38,760 $53,900 $75,740 $105,710
Employment Demographics
% OF WORKERS WITH
< High School Diploma High School Diploma Some College Associate Degree Bachelor Degree Master Degree Doctoral Degree
0.6% 3.4% 9.6% 3.2% 47.9% 26.2% 9.0%
Writers and authors — WAGES BY STATE, SORTED BY SALARY
STATEAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Colorado $42.11/hr $87,600
Oklahoma $40.48/hr $84,200
Florida $37.42/hr $77,820
Alaska $33.59/hr $69,860
Delaware $33.38/hr $69,440
Connecticut $31.52/hr $65,570
Mississippi $31.37/hr $65,260
Virginia $31.3/hr $65,110
Arkansas $30.29/hr $63,000
Kansas $30.28/hr $62,990
New York $30.19/hr $62,790
Missouri $30.14/hr $62,690
North Dakota $29.57/hr $61,500
Nebraska $27.56/hr $57,320
District of Columbia $27.31/hr $56,810
Wyoming $26.9/hr $55,960
Indiana $26.37/hr $54,850
Ohio $25.89/hr $53,860
New Mexico $25.69/hr $53,440
New Hampshire $25.69/hr $53,430
Idaho $25.68/hr $53,420
Utah $25.57/hr $53,190
Oregon $25.31/hr $52,650
North Carolina $25.09/hr $52,180
Michigan $24.81/hr $51,610
South Carolina $24.7/hr $51,380
Tennessee $24.23/hr $50,400
Nevada $23.01/hr $47,860
Washington $22.98/hr $47,800
Montana $22.83/hr $47,480
Hawaii $22.69/hr $47,190
California $22.5/hr $46,800
Alabama $22.46/hr $46,710
Maine $21.93/hr $45,610
Puerto Rico $21.16/hr $44,010
Louisiana $20.69/hr $43,040
New Jersey $20.55/hr $42,740
Wisconsin $19.82/hr $41,220
Massachusetts $19.53/hr $40,620
South Dakota $19.32/hr $40,180
Kentucky $19.29/hr $40,120
Maryland $19.23/hr $39,990
West Virginia $18.63/hr $38,750
Iowa $18.18/hr $37,820
Pennsylvania $15.65/hr $32,560


Category: Proofreaders and copy markers

Total # Employed in the US 14,050
Average Hourly Wage: $15.63/hr
Hourly Wage Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$8.56 $11.07 $14.76 $19.38 $24.13
Average Yearly Salary $32,500
Yearly Salary Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$17,810 $23,020 $30,700 $40,320 $50,190
Employment Demographics
% OF WORKERS WITH
< High School Diploma High School Diploma Some College Associate Degree Bachelor Degree Master Degree Doctoral Degree
3.0% 19.2% 20.9% 7.0% 35.3% 13.0% 1.6%
Proofreaders and copy markers — WAGES BY STATE, SORTED BY SALARY
STATEAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Missouri $19.63/hr $40,830
Virginia $19.02/hr $39,560
Kansas $18.81/hr $39,130
Florida $18.15/hr $37,760
Colorado $17.93/hr $37,280
Mississippi $17.34/hr $36,060
Oklahoma $17.27/hr $35,930
North Dakota $17.13/hr $35,630
Connecticut $16.85/hr $35,050
Guam $16.22/hr $33,750
Oregon $15.84/hr $32,940
New York $15.78/hr $32,810
Puerto Rico $15.41/hr $32,060
Utah $15.32/hr $31,870
Montana $15.28/hr $31,780
Washington $15.17/hr $31,560
Delaware $15.1/hr $31,420
Alabama $15.09/hr $31,390
North Carolina $14.99/hr $31,180
Nebraska $14.98/hr $31,160
Nevada $14.69/hr $30,550
South Carolina $14.6/hr $30,370
Hawaii $14.53/hr $30,230
Maryland $14.4/hr $29,940
Tennessee $14.3/hr $29,740
Wisconsin $14.29/hr $29,720
New Hampshire $14.15/hr $29,430
Michigan $13.8/hr $28,710
Louisiana $13.71/hr $28,520
Idaho $13.65/hr $28,400
Wyoming $13.29/hr $27,650
Kentucky $13.09/hr $27,230
Iowa $12.97/hr $26,990
New Mexico $12.21/hr $25,400
California $12.2/hr $25,370
Maine $12.13/hr $25,220
South Dakota $11.92/hr $24,790
Arkansas $10.35/hr $21,520
Pennsylvania $9.37/hr $19,480


Creative Writing Programs by State & City