Authors and Writers

(NOC 5121)

in All Arts, 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 are employed by advertising agencies, governments, large corporations, private consulting firms, publishing firms, multimedia/new-media companies and other establishments, or they may be self-employed.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 45 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 735 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

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 600. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment. 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. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common. 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 46% 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

N/A

Minimum

N/A

Median

N/A

Maximum

Annual Pay

N/A

Minimum

$19,623

Median

$74,645

Maximum

Compared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

Hourly Pay

$10.81

Minimum

$16.00

Median

$31.00

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 are employed by advertising agencies, governments, large corporations, private consulting firms, publishing firms, multimedia/new-media companies and other establishments, or they may be self-employed.

Job duties

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

  • Novelists, playwrights, script writers, poets, and other creative writers conceive and write novels, plays, scripts, poetry and other material for publication or presentation. They may conduct research to establish factual content and to obtain other necessary information.
  • 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.
  • Copywriters study and determine selling features of products and services and write text for advertisements and commercials. // Authors and writers may specialize in a particular subject or type of writing.

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, such as 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

635

employed in 2016

61.7%

employed full-time

60.6%

self employed

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

median age

Compared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

11,000

employed in 2016

59.4%

employed full-time

33.3%

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%

Northern

11.0%

Annapolis Valley

6.9%

Southern

5.5%

Cape Breton

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

59.2%

Information, Culture & Recreation

10.8%

Other Professional Services

4.6%

Computer System Design Services

3.8%

Educational Services

3.1%

Professional Business Services

What is the age of Employment?

32.5%

65+

22.5%

25-34

20.0%

35-44

15.0%

45-54

10.0%

55-64

5.0%

15-24

Compared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

43.8%

35-44

35.4%

45-54

12.5%

25-34

8.3%

55-64

4.2%

65+

Top levels of education

48.8%

Bachelor's degree

$32,424 median annual income
16.5%

College certificate or diploma

$36,629 median annual income
11.6%

Doctorate

$1,857 median annual income
9.9%

High school

$25,596 median annual income
6.6%

Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometry

N/A

Compared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

27.5%

Bachelor's degree

$19,705 median annual income
26.2%

High school

$7,127 median annual income
20.3%

College certificate or diploma

$20,158 median annual income
10.2%

Less than high school

$2,298 median annual income
8.0%

Master's degree

N/A

Education & training

Classics and classical languages, literatures and linguistics - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any general program that focuses 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

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Communication, general

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the comprehensive study of communication, and that spans the study of mass communication/media studies, old and new media technologies, social and political applications, and speech communication and rhetoric. These programs include courses in interpersonal, group, organizational, and intercultural communication; theories of communication; critical thinking, argumentation, and persuasion; written communication; printed, 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

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

English creative writing

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the process and techniques of original composition in various literary forms such as the short story, poetry, the novel, and others. These programs include courses in technical and editorial skills, criticism, and the marketing of finished manuscripts.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

English language and literature - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any general program that focuses 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

Acadia University

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

English writing

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any general program that focuses 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

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

French language and literature (Canada) - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any general program that focuses 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

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Technical and scientific communication

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the communication of technical and scientific knowledge to a variety of audiences through print, video, and digital media; and that prepares individuals to function as technical writers and editors, documentation developers, web designers, and usability specialists. These programs 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

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia
1113 Marginal Road
Halifax, NS B3H 4P7
Tel: (902) 423-8116
Fax: (902) 422-0881
Canadian Authors Association
6 West Street N, Suite 203
Orillia, ON L3V 5B8
Tel: (705) 325-3926
Writers' Union of Canada
600-460 Richmond St. W.
Toronto, ON M5V 1Y1
Tel: (416) 703-8982
Fax: (416) 504-9090
Periodical Writers Association of Canada
, ON
Tel: (416) 504-1645
Society for Technical Communication
9401 Lee Highway, Suite 300
Fairfax, VA - USA 22031
Tel: (703) 522-4114
Fax: (703) 522-2075

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

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