Authors and Writers

(NOC 5121)

in All Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport

Authors and writers plan, research and write books, scripts, storyboards, plays, essays, speeches, manuals, specifications and other non-journalistic articles for publication or presentation. They work for advertising agencies, governments, large corporations, private consulting firms, publishing firms, multimedia/new-media companies and other businesses, or they may be self-employed. Authors and writers may specialize in a subject or type of writing.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Stable employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 65 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport

  • Estimate 60 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 765 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia, with employment around 750. The number employed in this occupation is expected to remain largely the same over the next few years. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Authors and Writers may either be working full-time or part-time hours. Also, a large percentage of the workforce is self-employed which should be an important consideration for those thinking about employment in the occupation.

The median employment income for 43% of Authors and Writers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $48,246. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$18.04

Minimum

$25.64

Median

$38.46

Maximum

Annual Pay

N/A

Minimum

$19,623

Median

$74,645

Maximum

Compared to: All Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport

Hourly Pay

$12.55

Minimum

$24.73

Median

$36.29

Maximum

Annual Pay

$945

Minimum

$11,712

Median

$60,447

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Authors and writers plan, research and write books, scripts, storyboards, plays, essays, speeches, manuals, specifications and other non-journalistic articles for publication or presentation. They work for advertising agencies, governments, large corporations, private consulting firms, publishing firms, multimedia/new-media companies and other businesses, or they may be self-employed. Authors and writers may specialize in a subject or type of writing.

Job duties

Novelists, playwrights, script writers, poets, and other creative writers:

  • Conceive and write novels, plays, scripts, poetry and other material for publication or presentation.
  • May conduct research to verify factual content and to get other necessary information.

Technical writers:

  • Analyze material like specifications, notes, and drawings and write manuals, user guides, and other documents to explain the installation, operation and maintenance of software and electronic, mechanical, and other equipment clearly and concisely.

Copywriters:

  • Study and determine selling features of products and services and write text for advertisements and commercials.

Sample job titles

  • advertising copywriter
  • author
  • multimedia writer
  • playwright
  • poet
  • publicity writer
  • screen writer
  • script and dialogue writer
  • technical writer
  • writer

Skills

You should be organized, resourceful, and creative. A critical mind, excellent writing ability, and language skills are also necessary. At times, writing requires patience, self-discipline, and perseverance. Strong keyboarding and word processing skills are a definite asset.

Job requirements

  • Technical writers usually require a university degree in the area of specialization, like computer science or engineering.
  • Copywriters usually require a university degree or college diploma in French, English, marketing, advertising or another discipline.
  • Creative writing programs are offered by universities and colleges.
  • Membership in a guild or union related to the job may be required.

Other considerations

Both part-time employment and self-employment are relatively common for this group. Some people in these jobs work irregular hours, including evenings and weekends. Talent and ability, as demonstrated by a portfolio of work, are important hiring criteria.

By the numbers

Quick look

725

employed in 2016

57.9%

employed full-time

59.3%

self employed

58.6%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
41.4%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
52.3

median age

Compared to: All Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport

11,000

employed in 2016

53.3%

employed full-time

29.3%

self employed

55.6%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
44.4%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
38.2

median age

Where will I likely work?

60.0%

Halifax

16.6%

North Shore

11.0%

Annapolis Valley

6.9%

Southern

5.5%

Cape Breton

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

42.6%

Arts, entertainment and recreation

17.8%

Professional, scientific and technical services

17.1%

Information and cultural industries

4.7%

Manufacturing

3.9%

Educational services

What is the age of Employment?

24.0%

55-64

22.0%

45-54

21.0%

35-44

19.0%

65+

10.0%

25-34

3.0%

15-24

Compared to: All Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport

29.7%

15-24

15.9%

35-44

15.7%

45-54

15.4%

25-34

14.9%

55-64

Top levels of education

48.3%

Bachelor

$20,452 median annual income
14.5%

College Diploma

$48,252 median annual income
11.7%

Master

N/A
9.0%

High school

$57,957 median annual income
6.2%

Doctorate

N/A

Compared to: All Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport

26.4%

Bachelor

$17,829 median annual income
24.9%

High school

$7,552 median annual income
19.5%

College Diploma

$22,120 median annual income
13.7%

Less than high school

$2,922 median annual income
7.9%

Master

$36,173 median annual income

Education & training

Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures and Linguistics

College or University Program

These programs focus on the literary culture of the ancient Graeco-Roman world and the Greek and Latin languages and literatures and their development prior to the fall of the Roman Empire.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Communications and Media Studies

College or University Program

These programs focus on the study of communications mass communication/media studies, old and new media technologies, social and political applications, and speech communication and rhetoric. They include courses in interpersonal, group, organizational, and intercultural communication, theories of communication, critical thinking, argumentation, and persuasion, written communication, print, electronic, and digital media, rhetorical tradition and criticism, media, society, and culture, consequences and effects of mass media, media social science and criticism, and quantitative and qualitative methods of inquiry.

Institutions providing this program

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

English Creative Writing

College or University Program

These programs focus on the process and techniques of original composition in various literary forms such as the short story, poetry, the novel, and others. They include courses in technical and editorial skills, criticism, and the marketing of finished manuscripts.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

English Language and Literature

College or University Program

These programs focus on the English language, including its history, structure and related communications skills, and the literature and culture of English-speaking peoples.

Institutions providing this program

Academy of Learning Career College - Halifax

Halifax, NS

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

Halifax, NS

French Language and Literature (Canada)

College or University Program

These programs focus on the French language, including its history, structure and related communications skills, and the literature and culture of French-speaking peoples.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Technical and Scientific Communication

College or University Program

These programs focus on communicating technical and scientific knowledge to a variety of audiences through print, video, and digital media and prepares students to function as technical writers and editors, documentation developers, web designers, and usability specialists. They include courses in scientific and technical writing and editing, graphic and information design, web design, audience analysis, document usability and field testing, publications management, and applications to specific technical fields.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia
Halifax, NS
Canadian Authors Association
Toronto, ON
Writers' Union of Canada
Toronto, ON
Canadian Media Guild
Toronto, ON
Society for Technical Communication
Fairfax, VA - USA

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.