High school grads, college freshmen and sophomores: It’s time to make some choices about your future. It’s never too early to start thinking about the things you enjoy and how you can use your knowledge, skills, and abilities in those areas to make a living. If you are an avid reader, there are a variety of career choices for you. In many of these fields, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BSL) reports that competition is tight. However, if you educate and apply yourself you can find a field in which you will be happy and be able to enjoy your love of the written word.
According to the BSL, careers for people who love reading include writing, desktop publishing, secretarial work, librarian, and journalist or reporter. Some colleges have specialized tracks for students who wish to teach reading. English, journalism, and communication are good majors for students who wish to pursue a career in writing. The great thing is that for readers and writers all areas of the liberal arts are wide open.
The most obvious career for someone who enjoys reading is writing. Authors write books, or short stories. Freelance writers write for magazines, newspapers, websites, and other publications. Journalists record and analyze facts for newspapers and news broadcasts. Writers may also write television scripts, screenplays, or dramas.
Writing is an exciting career in which you are always learning. The hours may be 9-5 in an office, or you may work from home, or a remote location and send your work to an editor. One of the most difficult obstacles to overcome in writing is accepting criticism and editing of your written work. However, in order to pursue writing as a career, you must be willing to be flexible. Overtime hours may be required to meet a deadline.
If you prefer, you may work toward becoming an editor. An editor is responsible for assigning and compiling articles. The editor is also the one who gives your written copy the final okay. Editors correct grammar, spelling, and syntax errors. Sometimes editors have assistants who do the corrections, while the editor manages the entire publication, making sure that the stories flow, and the text is easy to read and makes sense.
Writers and editors generally make between $30,000 and $60,000 a year. Beginning writers may make less, more advanced writers and editors with lots of experience make more. Technical writers, who write directions for software, machinery, or other products, usually work for a corporation and make us to $90,000 or $100,000. Job competition is stiff, but the BLS expects this job sector to keep up with general economic growth.
Personal computing has created a surge in the number of desktop publishing jobs. The BLS anticipates this career field to continue growing. Desktop publishers may compile articles, pictures, graphs, and data to prepare publications. Desktop publishers often do their own writing and editing. They may work freelance, or be employed by a large company. Some desktop publishers specialize in a specific area, like graphic design, publication layout, or web design.
Certificates and degrees are not required to become a desktop publisher, but those with an associate or bachelor’s degree have an easier time finding work. Another option is to study graphic art, graphic design, or web design at a technical school. Microsoft offers classes in the use of basic desktop publishing software, and advanced software. Depending on your employer and skill level, you may earn between $20,000 and $40,000 as a desktop publisher.
Where else would you expect to find an avid reader besides the library. Librarians are always in demand, and the job market is expected to grow as current librarians begin to retire. Librarians are specialists at finding information, in books or on the computer. Some corporations require librarians, schools, and public libraries also require librarians. A master’s degree is usually required, although some library positions can be obtained without one. The jobs that pay between $36,000 and $56,000 usually do require a master’s degree, and in some states a teaching certificate.
Readers also make good secretaries. Secretaries are required to file documents, answer the phone, write memos, and keep the office running smoothly and efficiently. Secretaries should enjoy working with people, and be personable. Many secretaries today are known as administrative assistants, working closely with the administrator to be sure important tasks are completed. Secretaries earn between $30,000 and $40,000 a year. Medical secretaries, legal secretaries, or other secretaries that require special skills usually pay more, closer to $50,000.
This list of career opportunities is just a place to start exploring the possibilities for your future. Readers also do well in advertising, marketing, promoting, public relations, as interpreters, translators, teachers, artists, designers, technicians, archivists, curators, and in database administrating. There is also a need for readers who are willing to research and write in the fields of history and other social sciences.
For those who enjoy reading the job possibilities are endless. You are at a distinct advantage because you are probably good at assimilating information and knowledge, and applying it as needed. Consider these and other possible careers without sacrificing your love of reading.