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Is writing right for you?

Let’s start with the obvious: a career in writing is suited best to those who have a way with words! If you love the written word, read every chance you get, and relish the art of a well-crafted sentence, this career path is perfect for you.

Writers are highly creative people and extremely strong communicators who can get their message across effectively, whether on-screen or on the physical page. Writing involves a lot of drafting, redrafting and editing, so you’ll need to be a methodical worker with confidence in your own abilities, as well as the willingness to polish and perfect your work until it’s fit for publication.

Depending on the type of writing job, some writers have to juggle multiple deadlines and projects simultaneously, so these roles are best suited to people who have sound organisational and planning skills. If you choose to be a freelance writer, you’ll also need to have basic business skills in order to operate as a successful sole trader, and you must have the drive and dedication to seek out new clients and projects.

Job opportunities

According to the government’s Job Outlook initiative, the writing and journalism industry is relatively large in Australia, currently employing some 25,000 workers. Here are a few other facts about writing careers in Australia:

  • There is about a 70/30 split between full-time and part-time workers respectively in this industry.
  • Around 11,000 job openings are expected over the next few years leading up to 2022.
  • According to Payscale, the average salary for a writer in Australia is around $50,000 per year, but can range greatly depending on the type of writing job.

Types of courses

There’s such a wide range of writing courses available Australia-wide that it can be difficult to know which one to choose. However, writing short courses are often a great place to start, offering a variety of different topics for people of all different skill levels. There are also higher-level courses such as Certificates, which prepare students to enter particular areas of the writing world. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of courses available, and what you might study in each.

Short courses

Writing short courses are available from many different providers. There are short courses available for beginners, hobbyists and professionals who wish to brush up on or expand their skills. Short course content can range from creative writing topics through to specialisation areas such as copywriting, content marketing and technical writing.

Certificate III

Certificate III courses usually offer a broad overview of a related industry with some units covering writing specifically. These courses provide students with an entry-level qualification into an industry and often pave the way for further study.

Certificate IV

A Certificate IV qualification often specialises solely in writing. These types of courses cover a variety of different avenues in the field of writing, from fiction to creative non-fiction to content for the web and other media, equipping students with a broad skillset to set them on any writing career path they choose.

Career Outcomes

When it comes to writing career paths, there are so many options. You might choose to work in-house at a publication; join a company’s marketing or content team; work as a freelancer and choose your own clients and projects… The possibilities are virtually endless. Here are some potential job titles:

  • Writer
  • Journalist
  • Copywriter
  • Editor
  • Author
  • Playwright
  • Screenwriter
  • Poet