Science Writer: Training and Salary Information

(Last Updated On: September 2, 2021)

If you are looking for a career with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, one option is to use your knowledge of psychological science to become a science writer. Science writers research, write, and edit various types of science writing including articles for newspapers and trade publications as well as information published by corporations and government agencies.

Professionals in this field might work for a newspaper to translate complex scientific information into stories that can be understood and enjoyed by a lay audience. In other cases, they might write for a business or government entity to draft reports and articles that are targeted toward a more professional audience.

What Does a Science Writer Do?

Some of the typical duties of this position include:

  • Reading research articles published in scientific journals
  • Pitching story ideas to editors
  • Researching background information about scientific topics
  • Writing articles for newspapers, magazines, science journal, and other publications
  • Editing material written by other contributors
  • Attending press conferences
  • Attending professional conferences
  • Meeting with colleagues, clients, and editors
  • Interviewing sources
  • Selecting artwork or photos to accompany a story

What Training Does a Science Writer Need?

Science writers often have diverse educational backgrounds, but some mixture of scientific training and communications is usually recommended. Science writers must have a solid grasp of research methods, scientific processes, and scientific terminology. They also must have strong written and oral communication skills. A bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, or English is recommended, or a degree in a specialized area such as biology or chemistry with a strong writing background.

How Much Does a Science Writer Earn?

Salaries can vary widely based on experience and area of employment. Some writers work freelance, while others work for a specific publication or agency. The Council for the Advancement of Science Writing suggests that entry level science writers employed by newspaper average around $40,000 per year, while those who work freelance average around $54,000 per year.