Careers for English Majors

What Can I Do with an English Major?

If you major in Nursing, you’re going to be a nurse.  If you major in Accounting, you’re going to be an accountant.  If you major in Education, you’re going to be a teacher.

If you major in English, you’re going to be . . . anything you want.

That’s right.  Rather than preparing for one, set career, you’re developing a broad, valuable skillset that will prepare you for many, many careers and open all kinds of doors for you.

Listed below are different career categories for you to explore.  Within each category, various careers are described along with which of our concentrations in the English major will prepare you for them: Creative Writing (CW), Literature (LIT), and/or Professional Writing (PW).  Finally, you’ll see the salary range and a link to more information.

As you plan your English major and future career, be strategic with your minor.  For example, if you aspire to a political career as a speechwriter, then you’ll probably want to minor in Political Science, Public Administration, or History.

Lastly, some careers require higher degrees.  If you want to be an attorney, law school is in your future.  Or, if you want to be an English professor, you’ll need a Ph.D.  So, also be sure to do more research and talk to your advisor about potential career paths.

Career

Career Description

Concentration(s) that teach the needed skills

Annual Salary

Salary Source

Production Manager

A Production Manager oversees and coordinates the teams creating content for publication in various forms and media

CW, LIT, PW

$65,958
average

Glassdoor

Permissions Manager

A Permissions Manager is responsible for securing the rights and permissions licenses required to publish certain content

LIT, PW

$51,161
average

Glassdoor

Publicist

A Publicist creates the public image of a company or individual through interviews, media, interviews, etc.

CW, LIT, PW

$118,430
median

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Blogger

A Blogger manages and writes content for a web log (“blog”),  which may be for an individual, company, or business, with the goal of engaging its audience.

CW, PW

$38,440
average

ZipRecruiter

Literary Agent

A Literary Agent may find and sign writers for a publishing company, or represent a writer and assist them in signing contracts with publishing companies.

CW, LIT

$59,433
average

ZipRecruiter

Print Editor

A Print Editor ensures the quality and accuracy of content in print publications

CW, LIT, PW

$73,910
average

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Digital Content Editor

A Digital Content Editor ensures the quality and accuracy of content in digital publications, such as websites, blogs, social media, etc.

CW, LIT, PW

$55,631
average

Glassdoor

Career

Career Description

Concentration(s) that teach the needed skills

Annual Salary

Salary Source

Author of Fiction, Poetry, Drama

An Author writes original works of fiction, poetry, or drama for publication in various media.

CW, LIT

$67,120
median

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Grant Writer

A Grant Writer is responsible for the research, documentation, and writing of grant proposals, which bring funding to anything from public schools to scientific research to nonprofit organizations. Grant Writing is a form of Technical Writing.

LIT, PW

$78,590
average

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Author of Nonfiction

An Author of Nonfiction writes factual content for newspapers, magazines, websites, books, etc.

CW, LIT, PW

$67,120
median

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Scriptwriter

A Scriptwriter writes original scripts for movies, television, commercials, or other venues for the screen or stage.

CW, LIT

$67,120
median

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Video Game Writer

A Video Game Writer creates compelling characters, narratives, plots, and storylines for video games.

CW, LIT

$70,630
median

Salary.com

Career

Career Description

Concentration(s) that teach the needed skills

Annual Salary

Salary Source

Actor

An Actor portrays various characters for the stage and screen in plays, films, TV shows, commercials, etc.

CW, LIT

$40,860
median

U.S. News & World Reports

Critic

A Critic assesses and writes reviews of anything from art, music, film, and books to consumer products, restaurants, and vacation spots, which are then published in print and other media

LIT

$81,738
average

Glassdoor

Director

A Director manages the creative aspects of a production, including interpreting scripts and directing actors and camera work

CW, LIT

$76,400
median

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Producer

A Producer makes the business and financial decisions for a creative work (film, TV show, music, etc.) and has final say on decisions relating to its overall production

CW, LIT

$76,400
median

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Screenwriter

A Screenwriter writes original scripts for movies, television, commercials, or other venues for the screen.

CW, LIT

$67,120
median

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career

Career Description

Concentration(s) that teach the needed skills

Annual Salary

Salary Source

Higher Education Administrator

A Higher Education Administrator oversees one or more aspects of a college or university, such as academics, student life, fundraising, admissions, among many others

LIT, PW

$97,500
median

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Writing Center Director

A Writing Center Director runs the Writing Center at a college or university, overseeing curriculum, tutors, scheduling, and student success

LIT, PW

$49,253
average

ZipRecruiter

English Professor

An English Professor holds a Ph.D. and conducts research and teaches college-level courses in their field, as well as performs service work at their college or university

CW, LIT, PW

$81,340
average

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

English Instructor

An English Instructor holds a master’s degree and teaches entry-level college courses

LIT, PW

$44,863
average

Higher Ed Jobs

Librarian

A Librarian collects, organizes, and distributes library resources in a variety of settings from public libraries to schools

CW, LIT

$60,820
median

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Archivist

An Archivist oversees an institution’s special collections, appraises and researches to document their value, and prepares and restores items in the collection

LIT

$55,470
average

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career

Career Description

Concentration(s) that teach the needed skills

Annual Salary

Salary Source

Editor

An Editor “plans, reviews, and revises written material of all kinds”

LIT, PW

$63,400
median

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Reporter

A Reporter researches, writes, and delivers news, updates, and analysis to the public

CW, PW

$49,300
median

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Podcast Producer

A Podcast Producer researches, writes, and manages the production of a podcast, including all business decisions

CW, LIT, PW

$47,041
average

ZipRecruiter

Fact Checker

A Fact Checker confirms the accuracy of content, including data, statistics, facts, details, historical information, etc.

LIT, PW

$61,890
median

The Balance Careers

Copyeditor

A Copyeditor reviews and revises, if necessary, all written content before publication

LIT, PW

$63,400
median

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Photographer

A Photographer plans, composes, and edits photographs as needed for various purposes

CW, LIT, PW

$41,280
median

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career

Career Description

Concentration(s) that teach the needed skills

Annual Salary

Salary Source

Medical Scribe

A Medical Scribe “listens to voice recordings that physicians and other healthcare workers make and converts them into written reports”

PW

$35,270
median

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Science Writer

A Science Writer researches, writes, and edits scientific content in plain language for a general audience

PW

$56,000
average

Zippia

Technical Writer

A Technical Writer “prepares instruction manuals, how-to guides, journal articles, and other supporting documents to communicate complex and technical information more easily

PW

$74,650
median

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career

Career Description

Concentration(s) that teach the needed skills

Annual Salary

Salary Source

Marketing Manager

A Marketing Manager “estimates the demand for products and services that an organization and its competitors offer, and they identify potential markets for the organization’s products”

LIT, PW

$142,170
median

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Copy Writer

A Copywriter prepares advertisements to promote the sale of a good or service, and they often work with a client to produce written content, such as an advertising slogan

CW, PW

$67,120
median

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Advertising Director

An Advertising Director is responsible for “research, development, and implementation of a client's media plan, and may need to perform additional tasks to achieve a positive outcome for their clients”

CW, LIT, PW

$134,799
median

The Balance Careers

Event Planner

An Event Planner coordinates all aspects of an event from venue to staff, advertising to vendors, etc.

CW, LIT, PW

$51,560
median

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Designer

A Designer “creates graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos”

CW, PW

$58,370
average

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Social Media Manager

A Social Media Manager facilitates a business’s “exposure through social media platforms” and “they work alongside a specialized team to reach the brand's goals”

CW, PW

$53,690
average

Glassdoor

Career

Career Description

Concentration(s) that teach the needed skills

Annual Salary

Salary Source

Politician

A Politician is elected to represent the people in their area when voting on and creating policy

LIT

Varies by Level

ThoughtCo.

Lobbyist

A Lobbyist “is an advocate for a particular side of an issue; someone who articulates and communicates the views of a company or organization to outside stakeholders, such as government agencies, trade associations, and legislative bodies”

LIT

$49,735
average

CareerExplorer

Speechwriter

A Speechwriter crafts language – in written and spoken form – to communicate messaging of a company or individual

CW, LIT, PW

$84,643
average

Glassdoor

Fundraiser

A Fundraiser “organizes events and campaigns to raise money and other kinds of donations for an organization”

CW, LIT, PW

$59,610
median

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Policy Analyst

A Policy Analyst “is responsible for examining the efficacy of existing policies and laying out the groundwork for new programs and legislation to meet objectives and goals”

LIT

$67,941
average

Glassdoor

Spokesperson

A Spokesperson crafts and delivers the messaging of a brand or company

CW, LIT, PW

$70,665
average

ZipRecruiter

Campaign Manager

A Campaign Manager “implements advertisement, sales or political strategies across a market”

LIT, PW

$68,970
average

Glassdoor

Career

Career Description

Concentration(s) that teach the needed skills

Annual Salary

Salary Source

Customer Service Representative

A Customer Service Representative “Interacts with customers to provide basic or scripted information in response to routine inquiries about products and services”

CW, LIT, PW

$ 38,510
average

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Administrative Assistant

An Administrative Assistant “performs routine clerical and administrative duties, and they organize files, prepare documents, schedule appointments, and support other staff

CW, LIT, PW

$40,990
median

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Public Relations Manager

A Public Relations Manager “plans and directs the creation of material that will enhance the public image of their employer or client”

CW, LIT, PW

$118,430
median

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Human Resources Director

A Human Resources Director “oversees the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of new staff; consults with top executives on strategic planning; and serves as a link between an organization’s management and its employees”

PW

$121,220
median

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Sales Representative

A Sales Representative sells their company’s products or services to customers through excellent customer service skills and by negotiating prices.

CW, LIT, PW

$65,420
median

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Recruiter

A Recruiter finds ideal candidates for their company or organization.

LIT, PW

$51,723
average

Payscale

Business Analyst

A Business Analyst evaluates a company’s inner workings to improve efficiency and maximize profits.

LIT, PW

$87,660
median

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career

Career Description

Concentration(s) that teach the needed skills

Annual Salary

Salary Source

Career Counselor

A Career Counselor “helps students and other clients develop skills, explore an occupation, or choose an educational program that will lead to a career”

LIT, PW

$58,120
median

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career

Career Description

Concentration(s) that teach the needed skills

Annual Salary

Salary Source

Law Clerk

A Law Clerk “organizes and maintains records for courts of law; prepares the calendar of cases, also known as the docket, and informs attorneys and witnesses about upcoming court appearances”

LIT, PW

$40,930
median

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Judge

A Judge “applies the law by overseeing the legal process in courts and conducts pretrial hearings, resolves administrative disputes, facilitates negotiations between opposing parties, and issues legal decisions”

LIT

$97,520
median

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Attorney

An Attorney “advises and represents individuals, businesses, and government agencies on legal issues and disputes”

LIT

$126,930
median

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Legal Researcher

A Legal Researcher analyzes evidence and documents and conducts relevant research for a case

LIT

$126,930
median

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Paralegal

A Paralegal “performs a variety of tasks to support lawyers, including maintaining and organizing files, conducting legal research, and drafting documents”

LIT, PW

$52,920
median

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics