30 Best Professional and Creative Writing Degree Online Programs

best online creative writing degree

Do your friends and teachers say you have a way with words?

Want to get paid for the stories you tell?

The best jobs in writing need a writing degree. But where do you find a good writing program?

This article lists the 30 best online bachelor’s in creative writing and professional writing programs. It discusses what makes each program unique. It also talks about the common courses you’ll take.

Methodology for Best Online Writing Degree Programs

We looked at about 90 colleges and universities that offer online writing degree programs.

To cut our original number of schools, we looked at certain criteria.

First, we chose only schools with creative writing degree online programs or other writing programs, such as professional writing.

Second, we looked at the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) College Navigator for tuition and other data. We also looked at:

  • accreditation
  • affordability
  • school rankings with U.S. News & World Report

Lastly, we listed the schools by cost.

Below you’ll find the 30 best online creative writing programs and online professional writing programs.

#30 – California Baptist University

Online Bachelor of Arts in English

Riverside, California

Website

A logo for CBU for our ranking of the 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Creative Writing or Professional Writing
Finish an online writing degree in just 16 months from California Baptist University.
Undergraduate Tuition: $36,340

California Baptist University (CBU) is an affordable school for an English degree. It offers a Bachelor of Arts in English with creative writing courses.

With one of the best online writing degrees, you’ll be prepared for a career in writing. For example, you’ll take classes like:

  • Creative writing
  • Literary writing
  • Writing workshop

You’ll also study literary theory and analysis if you love to read.

In addition, the program will only take you 16 months to finish. And if you have transfer credits, you’ll cut that time even shorter.

Lastly, CBU ranks #40 in best regional schools in the West by U.S. News & World Report.

#29 – Colorado Christian University

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing

Lakewood, Colorado

Website

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Offering a Christian focus, CCU offers creative writing degree programs.
Undergraduate Tuition: $34,750

Colorado Christian University offers a bachelor’s in creative writing. The creative writing degree online program is led by Christian author Jerry B. Jenkins.

This program helps you improve your writing. It also helps you understand the publishing world if you plan to author books.

The program also has writing workshops and short classes. For instance, classes run for five weeks. They are also taken online.

Additionally, courses cover topics like:

  • Author and book marketing
  • Intro to creative writing
  • Nonfiction writing

And to help pay for college, financial aid packages are offered.

#28 – King University

Online Bachelor’s in English

Bristol, Tennessee

Website

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16 months and entirely online! King University’s online writing and English program.
Undergraduate Tuition: $31,840

King University is an affordable school for online writing degrees. The school offers an online bachelor’s in English program with classes in creative writing and writing for professionals.

The program helps you learn how to write creatively and formally. The program also helps you become a better writer through writing workshops.

However, much of your writing will happen in the classroom. Courses cover topics like:

  • Adolescent literature
  • Appalachian literature
  • Creative writing

Additionally, classes run for five weeks. They also move at a fast pace so you earn your degree in 16 months.

Lastly, King ranks #3 in best value schools by U.S. News and World Report.

#27 – Maryville University of Saint Louis

Online BA in English

Saint Louis, Missouri

Website

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100% online English program for writers – Maryville University.
Undergraduate Tuition: $27,166

Maryville University is a good school for those seeking online writing degrees. It offers a bachelor’s in English program with creative writing studies.

The program helps you develop your writing. The program also improves your research skills. Additionally, your critical thinking skills will also improve.

Also, the program offers flexible classes. You also get to start the program in any term.

Graduates of the online writing program work in fields like:

  • higher education
  • government
  • private business

In addition to all the school offers, it’s also ranked. Specifically, it’s ranked #196 in best national schools by U.S. News & World Report.

#26 – Liberty University

Online Bachelor of Arts in English and Writing – Creative Writing

Lynchburg, Virginia

Website

A logo of Liberty University for our ranking of the 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Creative Writing or Professional Writing
Study English and writing online at Liberty University.
Undergraduate Tuition: $21,587

Liberty University is an affordable Christian school for a creative writing degree. It offers a bachelor’s in English and writing with a concentration in creative writing.

The program helps you learn rules of grammar. It also helps you read as a writer. For example, you’ll take classes in both literature and creative writing.

Courses cover topics like:

  • American realism and naturalism
  • Composition and literature
  • Modern grammar

Additionally, all classes are online. These classes also run for eight weeks. Students have no set login times, which works well for those with jobs.

Finally, Liberty’s online degree programs rank with U.S. News & World Report.

#25 – Mercy College

Online BA in English

Dobbs Ferry, New York

Website

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Ranked with U.S. News, Mercy College offers an online English program with writing classes.
Undergraduate Tuition: $20,558

Mercy College is an affordable school for English and writing. It offers a bachelor’s in English with creative writing and other writing courses.

The program also helps you prepare for a master’s degree in English or writing. For example, you’ll take classes like:

  • Business writing
  • Creative writing
  • Creative writing poetry
  • Nonfiction
  • Writing for the Web

Additionally, you’ll learn how to communicate complex ideas in both your writing and speech.

Lastly, if you plan to go into teaching, the program is a good fit. A five-year plan helps you earn an English teaching degree and a master’s degree.

#24 – University of Virginia

Online Bachelor of Arts in Writing

Charlottesville, Virginia

Website

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Earn a bachelor’s in writing online at UVA!
Undergraduate Tuition: $18,960

University of Virginia is a cost-effective school for a writing degree. It offers an online bachelor’s in interdisciplinary studies with a writing concentration.

The program helps you learn how to write for different careers. The program also helps you qualify for jobs like:

  • advertising supported site writers
  • editors
  • publishers
  • technical writers

The program also offers courses like:

  • Creative writing workshops in poetry
  • Roots and stems of effective writing
  • Writing creative nonfiction

Lastly, the school ranks #26 in national schools by U.S. News and World Report.

#23 – Regent University

Online BA in Communication Studies – Professional Technical Writing

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Website

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Professional and technical writing online at Regent University.
Undergraduate Tuition: $18,720

Regent University is an affordable college for an online writing degree. It offers a bachelor’s in communication studies with a concentration in technical writing.

This program helps you understand how to communicate ideas through your writing. It also shows you how to write for different audiences.

In this program, you’ll take classes like:

  • Creative nonfiction
  • English composition
  • Nonfiction and feature fiction writing
  • Research and academic writing
  • Screenwriting
  • Writing workshop

Lastly, the program is both online and on-campus.

#22 – Grand Canyon University

Online BA in Professional Writing

Phoenix, Arizona

Website

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Earn an online degree in professional writing at Grand Canyon University.
Undergraduate Tuition: $17,800

Grand Canyon University is a good school for online writing degrees. It offers a bachelor’s in English with professional writing concentration.

The program helps you learn about writing for new media. It also covers writing topics like:

  • Argumentation and advocacy
  • Art and craft of creative writing
  • Multi-media journalism
  • Writing workshop

Finally, all courses for online creative writing degree students run eight weeks. Shortened class lengths help you earn your degree fast. They also prepare you for a writing career sooner than traditional writing programs would.

#21 – University of Massachusetts

Online Bachelor in English

Lowell, Massachusetts

Website

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100% online English program for writers – UMASS Lowell.
Undergraduate Tuition: $15,698

The University of Massachusetts at Lowell is an affordable college for a writing degree. It offers an online English bachelor’s degree with courses in writing.

This program prepares you to enter a career in writing. For example, you’ll take courses that improve your:

  • critical thinking skills
  • research
  • writing skills

The program also helps you earn your degree fast. For instance, classes move quickly. In a matter of weeks, you finish a course. Also, the entire program takes only 12 to 36 months.

Finally, the program’s courses are taken online. You won’t need to make it to class. In fact, you’ll be able to work and balance a life outside the classroom.

#20 – National University

Online Bachelor in English

La Jolla, California

Website

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Ranked by U.S. News, National University offers an online English degree with writing courses.
Undergraduate Tuition: $13,320

National University is an affordable college for online writing degrees. It offers a Bachelor of Arts in English with classes you’d find in an online creative writing degree program.

This program prepares you for writing careers, such as teaching English. The program also covers topics like:

  • fiction writing
  • information literacy
  • poetry writing
  • screenwriting
  • writing workshop

Additionally, National University is accredited and ranks with U.S. News and World Report.

#19 – Washington State University

Online Bachelor of Arts in English

Pullman, Washington

Website

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Flexible and affordable! WSU’s online writing program (English degree).
Undergraduate Tuition: $12,170

Washington State University (WSU) is a good school for an online English degree. It offers a bachelor’s in English with classes in rhetoric and professional writing.

This program helps you improve your writing and reading ability. It also prepares you with writing skills needed for a career.

Additionally, you’ll learn skills in classes like:

  • Intro to English studies
  • Writing and rhetorical conventions

Lastly, the program is also flexible. Its classes are online, but are the same as those taught on campus.

WSU is also ranked with U.S. News and World Report as a top national school.

#18 – Louisiana State University

Online Bachelor of Arts in English

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Website

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LSU offers an online English degree with writing components.
Undergraduate Tuition: $11,962

Louisiana State University (LSU) is an affordable college for online creative writing degrees. It offers a Bachelor of Arts in English with creative writing classes.

This program helps you become a creative writer. It also improves your writing skills through workshops and peer reviews.

The program also offers classes like:

  • Intro to creative writing
  • Literary history
  • Literary theory
  • Studies in drama and poetry

But to be admitted to the online English program, you’ll need writing samples. However, students work with an enrollment counselor at LSU who helps with the process.

Lastly, LSU ranks with U.S. News as a top national school. It’s also one of the most cost-effective online colleges for creative writing.

#17 – Texas Tech University

Online Bachelor in English

Lubbock, Texas

Website

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100% online English and writing courses – Texas Tech University!
Undergraduate Tuition: $11,600

Texas Tech University is a cost-effective school for a writing degree. It offers a 100% online bachelor’s in English degree with a concentration in creative writing.

This program helps you become a strong creative writer. It also improves your communication skills through creative writing workshops and classes.

In fact, creative writing courses cover topics like:

  • Aspects of fiction
  • Nonfiction writing
  • Poetry

In addition to creative writing, TTU offers concentrations in English teaching and literature and language. However, all concentrations prepare you for a writing career.

Finally, Texas Tech ranks #217 in best national schools by U.S. News & World Report.

#16 – Arizona State University

Online Bachelor’s in Technical Communication

Tempe, Arizona

Website

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Study technical communication and writing online at ASU.
Undergraduate Tuition: $11,338

If you’re interested in a professional writing degree, Arizona State University has options. ASU offers a Bachelor of Science in Technical Communication.

This program helps you improve your communication and writing abilities. It also helps you learn how to write technically.

You’ll also learn how to write things like:

  • grants
  • instruction manuals
  • proposals
  • social media content
  • training programs

Additionally, classes are online, but mirror the same classes taught on campus.

Lastly, ASU ranks #1 in most innovative schools by U.S. News and World Report.

#15 – Indiana University

Online Bachelor in English – Professional and Technical Writing

Bloomington, Indiana

Website

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The online English degree at Indiana University offers professional and technical writing!
Undergraduate Tuition: $11,221

Indiana University is an affordable school for online writing degrees. It offers an online bachelor’s in English with a professional and technical writing concentration.

The program helps you develop your writing for a career. It also improves your reading ability. For example, you’ll read technical guides and then learn how to write them.

The program also offers courses like:

  • digital writing
  • technical editing
  • writing how to guides

Additionally, students will complete a minimum of 120 credit hours. However, 90 credits may be transferred from an accredited schools.

And to help you afford the online English degree, financial aid packages are awarded.

Lastly, IU ranks with U.S. News & World Report as a best value school.

#14 – Old Dominion University

Online Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing

Norfolk, Virginia

Website

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Earn an online professional writing degree at ODU!
Undergraduate Tuition: $10,800

Old Dominion University (ODU) is an affordable school for professional online writing degrees. It offers a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing with a technical writing certificate.

This program helps prepare you for careers in many writing areas. You’ll learn how to:

  • write grants
  • write social media posts
  • write technical communication

You’ll also learn how to write advertising copy and other professional content.

Lastly, ODU is accredited. It also ranks with U.S. News as a top national school.

#13 – Southern New Hampshire University

Online Bachelor in Creative Writing

Manchester, New Hampshire

Website

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SNHU offers an online degree in creative writing.
Undergraduate Tuition: $9,650

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is an affordable college for an online creative writing degree. It offers a bachelor’s in creative writing with four concentrations.

These four concentrations include:

  • fiction
  • nonfiction writing
  • poetry
  • screenwriting

This program also offers courses that cover topics like:

  • advanced creative writing
  • fiction writing
  • literary theory

If you have a passion for storytelling and want to explore your talents, SNHU offers one of the best creative writing programs online.

Finally, SNHU ranks #1 in most innovative schools with U.S. News & World Report.

#12 – University of Iowa

Online Bachelor’s in English and Creative Writing

Iowa City, Iowa

Website

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English and creative writing online bachelor’s programs offered at the University of Iowa!
Undergraduate Tuition: $9,606

University of Iowa is one of the best online colleges for creative writing. It offers a bachelor’s in English and creative writing program with many writing courses.

These courses will help you improve your writing skills. For instance, you’ll improve your writing by taking classes like:

  • Fiction writing
  • Intro to screenwriting
  • Playwriting
  • Writing for film and television

The program will also help your writing through summer writing festivals and workshops.

Students will complete 120 credit hours, a capstone project, and a senior seminar. But since the program is online, you’ll be able to complete your online creative writing degree on your time.

#11 – University of Maine

Online Bachelor Writing in English

Presque Isle, Maine

Website

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Ranked and accredited! The University of Maine’s bachelor’s in English.
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,585

University of Maine at Presque Isle is an inexpensive school for a writing degree. It offers a bachelor’s in English with writing study areas.

This program helps you gain skills needed to write on the job. It also helps you learn how to read and understand business and professional writing.

During this program, you’ll take classes like:

  • Creative writing
  • Critical reading
  • Professional writing

You’ll also complete 120 credits. But if you have transfer credits, you can apply to have those transferred.

Finally, you’ll graduate ready to apply for writing jobs. In fact, you will qualify for jobs in education, nonprofit, and professional writing settings.

#10 – Central Washington University

Online Bachelor’s in Professional and Creative Writing

Ellensburg, Washington

Website

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Central Washington University offers a bachelor’s in professional and creative writing online!
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,444

Central Washington University is an affordable school for best online creative writing degrees. It offers a bachelor’s in professional and creative writing.

This program prepares you for careers in both professional and creative writing. It also teaches you to write for different mediums.

Courses you’ll take for the creative writing degree cover topics like:

  • Fiction writing
  • Rhetoric
  • Writing for film

Also, professional writing courses dig into business and technical writing.

Additionally, you’ll complete the online writing program in just two years. However, transfer credits are accepted and will cut that time even shorter. You’ll also cut the program length if you have a transferable associate degree.

Finally, CWU ranks with U.S. News as a top school. It’s also one of the top online colleges for writing under $9,000 per year.

#9 – University of Arkansas

Online BA in Professional and Technical Writing

Little Rock, Arkansas

Website

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Online professional writing available at University of Arkansas!
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,366

University of Arkansas is an affordable college for a writing degree. It offers an online bachelor’s in professional writing with concentrations in nonfiction writing and technical writing.

This program prepares you to write professionally. It also prepares you to understand professional writings, such as grants and technical reports.

In this program, you’ll take classes like:

  • Intro to professional and technical writing
  • Theories of rhetoric and design

You’ll also participate in writing exercises and writing workshops at this best online college for writing.

Lastly, you’ll graduate ready for work as an editor, freelance writer, grant writer, or another writing role.

#8 – University of Wisconsin

Online BA in Writing

Superior, Wisconsin

Website

A logo of University of Wisconsin for our ranking of the 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Creative Writing or Professional Writing
Earn a bachelor’s in writing online from the University of Wisconsin.
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,140

University of Wisconsin is a cost-effective school for an online writing degree. It offers a bachelor’s in writing that’s for working students because of its online option.

This program helps you learn to write in different genres. For example, you’ll take classes like:

  • Cross-genre
  • Fiction
  • Poetry
  • Nature writing
  • Nonfiction

You’ll also read many different types of texts.

Online classes are taught by the same professors who teach on campus. As a result, you’ll graduate with the same degree as your on-campus peers.

You can also take advantage of the school’s transfer policy by transferring credits from a community college. In doing so, you’ll graduate in less than four years.

Lastly, the college ranks #13 in top public schools by U.S. News & World Report.

#7 – Missouri State University

Online Bachelor in Professional Writing

Springfield, Missouri

Website

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Recognized and ranked! Missouri State’s online writing program.
Undergraduate Tuition: $7,938

Missouri State University is an affordable college for professional writing degrees. It offers a bachelor’s in professional writing.

This program helps you learn how to write for business and other industries. For example, students learn how to write for areas like:

  • education
  • higher education
  • health care
  • law
  • military

The program also offer classes that cover topics like:

  • creative writing – nonfiction
  • great books and instant classics
  • intro to careers in technical writing
  • writing for the professions

Additionally, all writing courses are delivered online.

#6 – University of Maryland Global Campus

Online Bachelor of Arts in English

Adelphi, Maryland

Website

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Earn a bachelor’s in English online with writing components from UMGC.
Undergraduate Tuition: $7,560

University of Maryland Global Campus offers a type of writing degree. Its bachelor’s in English has writing courses for aspiring authors.

In addition to English classes, the program covers topics found in bachelor’s in creative writing online programs.

These courses cover topics like:

  • Critical approaches to literature
  • History of the English language
  • Intro to fiction writing and poetry
  • Standard English grammar

Additionally, UMGC is fully accredited. It also ranks with U.S. News & World Report.

#5 – American Public University

Online Bachelor’s Degree in English

Charlestown, West Virginia

Website

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An English program for aspiring writers at APU!
Undergraduate Tuition: $7,360

American Public University (APU) is a good school for an online writing degree. It offers a BA in English with a concentration in writing.

The English program is for students who want careers as writers. The program is also flexible due to its online format. As a result, you can work while earning your writing degree.

Additionally, courses cover topics like:

  • Grammar usage
  • Literature
  • Writing for business

Lastly, there’s no application fee, no cost for transfer credit evaluation, and no charges for textbooks. As a result, APU offers one of the most affordable writing programs on our list.

#4 – Thomas Edison State University

Online Bachelor of Arts in English

Trenton, New Jersey

Website

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An online English degree that helps aspiring writers – Thomas Edison State University.
Undergraduate Tuition: $7,182

Thomas Edison State University is an inexpensive college for writing degrees. It offers an online English degree (bachelor’s) with classes in creative writing and literature.

The program prepares you for a writing career with classes and workshops. Classes also cover writing topics that improve your communication skills.

These courses cover topics like:

  • advanced persuasive writing
  • creative writing
  • literary criticism
  • science fiction
  • technical writing
  • women in literature

The program also requires students complete 120 credit hours and a final project.

#3 – Western New Mexico University

Online Bachelor Degree in English

Silver City, New Mexico

Website

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Online bachelor’s in English for future writers! Western New Mexico University.
Undergraduate Tuition: $6,574

Western New Mexico University is an affordable school for a writing degree. It offers a bachelor’s in English program with professional writing courses.

In addition to core courses, you’ll complete electives. These elections help you explore who you are as a writer. In fact, writing electives will also help you find your voice.

You’ll also figure out what kind of writing you like to do.

Graduates of the writing program often land jobs in areas like:

  • editing
  • grant writing
  • publishing
  • teaching

Lastly, Western New Mexico ranks #95 in regional schools with U.S. News & World Report.

#2 – Florida International University

Online Bachelor’s Degree in English – Writing and Rhetoric

Miami, Florida

Website

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Earn an English degree online with writing and rhetoric focus – FIU!
Undergraduate Tuition: $6,368

Florida International University is a cost-effective school for an online writing degree. It offers an online bachelor’s in English program with writing and rhetoric or creative writing tracks.

This program prepares you to research topics related to your writing. The program also teaches you to edit and proofread your writing.

Additionally, classes cover topics like:

  • advanced business writing
  • advanced writing and research
  • professional technical writing
  • rhetorical theory and practice
  • writing workshops

Classes are also taught online by the same professors who teach on campus.

Lastly, FIU ranks with U.S. News & World Report as a top national school.

#1 – University of Central Florida

Online Bachelor’s Degree in English – Creative Writing

Orlando, Florida

Website

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#1 most affordable online degree in writing – UCF!
Undergraduate Tuition: $6,368

University of Central Florida (UCF) is the most affordable school for a writing degree. It offers an online bachelor’s in English with a creative writing concentration.

This creative writing degree online program will teach you to write better. It will also teach you to communicate concise narratives through your storytelling.

The program also offers classes to improve your writing. For example, students take classes like:

  • creative nonfiction writing
  • fiction writing
  • writing scripts

Creative writing majors also gain skills needed for advanced MFA programs. They also gain skills needed to enter the publishing world.

In addition to its affordable tuition, UCF ranks with U.S. News and World Report as a top school.

_________________________

Frequently Asked Questions

What you can do with an online writing degree?

Professional writers write different texts.

Some write plays and poetry. Others write technical manuals.

What you do with your writing degree depends on your talent and interests.

Below are different career paths for writers.

  • Author

With a best online creative writing degree, you can author texts. However, what you publish might vary.

Most book authors also have a creative writing degree. Creative writing majors write things like:

  • books
  • magazines, online posts
  • scripts (movies, plays, or television)

They also research, conduct interviews, and revise content. This is also part of the writing process.

Authors also work with editors to improve their own writing.

  • Editor

Editors work for publishing organizations. They help proof writing for books, journals, magazines, and other media.

Editors in creative writing careers are responsible for things like:

  • checking citations
  • proofreading
  • reworking written content

In book publishing, editors work with authors. They read manuscripts and proof work. They also help promote books.

  • Technical Writer

Technical writers create technical materials. They also write how-to guides and product brochures.

They research topics for accuracy before writing drafts. Then, they edit their work.

What’s the salary and career outlook for writing jobs?

Salary Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the median annual salary for writers as $67,120. However, the highest earners made more than $133,460.

Two things affect wages. Location and industry.

This means where you work affects the money you make.

The BLS reports three top-paying industries for writers. These include industries like:

  • performing arts and spectator sports
  • religious, grantmaking, civic, and trusted partner programs
  • professional services

These industries also offer average wages of about $80,000 per year.

Wages for writers also vary by state.

Five top-paying states for writers include:

  • Washington, D.C.
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • New York
  • Massachusetts

In D.C., writers with a degree in creative writing an average wage of $104,720. California writers also earn high wages. For example, these writers earn $102,230 per year.

Career Outlook

The job outlook for the next ten years looks good for writers and authors. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), says job growth will go up over the next decade.

The BLS also predicts about 15,000 job openings each year.

Job growth will result from the need to replace workers. Job openings will also occur from workers who retire.

Additionally, growth is really good for writers with specialized training. For example, writers with technical writing skills and medical writing knowledge will qualify for most jobs.

In summary, you should earn a degree and get training to land a job as a writer. You should also try to earn a certification in writing. Then, you’ll qualify for the most writing jobs.

BDP Staff
September 2021

Related resources:

This concludes our list of the 30 best online professional and creative writing degrees.

Brenda Rufener
Author

Julie McCaulley
Expert

Carrie Sealey-Morris
Editor-in-Chief