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Writer or Editor: An Alternative Career Option for Psychology Majors

Writer or Editor: An Alternative Career Option for Psychology Majors

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When looking for a career with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, you might quickly find that many options are not directly related to the field of psychology. If you are looking for an out-of-the-box career with your psychology degree, then you might want to think about a career as a writer or editor.

Psychology students learn a great deal about communication, writing, and presentation during their undergraduate years. If you are interested in a profession that combines your knowledge of human behavior with the written word, a career in writing and editing might be of interest.

Writers craft materials for books, magazine, online websites, trade journals, newspapers, and other publications. Editors review and revise materials prior to publication and often perform duties such as assigning stories to writers and creating editorial and publication calendars. Writers and editors sometimes work full-time for a single client or may work independently as a freelancer juggling several different clients.

What Do Writers and Editors Do?

Writers and editors need to:

  • Be able to communicate well in writing
  • Pay attention to detail
  • The ability to read and correct content for punctuation, spelling, and grammar errors
  • The ability to make content easy to understand
  • Strong fact-checking skills
  • Choose interesting subjects and topics that will interest readers
  • Conduct research and find factual details
  • The ability to work well with other writers and editors and the ability to interview others

What Education Do Writers and Editors Need?

Many writers hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in English, communications, or journalism. However, some writers hold a background in a specific area that allows them to specialize in the subject they are writing about. Psychology majors, for example, might focus on scientific writing while someone with a degree in computer programming might specialize in writing technical manuals.

How Much Do Writers and Editors Make? suggests that the average salary for a writer/editor is around $50,000 as of February 2015, but it is important to note that salaries vary depending upon a number of variables including the type of writing, employer, and years of experience.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistic, the average salary for a writer or author in 2012 was $55,940 per year, while the average salary for an editor was slightly lower at $53,880 per year. The average salary for a technical writer in 2012 was somewhat higher at $65,500 per year. Advancement in the field is often dependent upon building a solid reputation and continually crafting compelling work.