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Career and Education Opportunities for Writers in Birmingham, Alabama

Writers can find many career and educational opportunities in the Birmingham, Alabama area. There are currently 1,510 working writers in Alabama; this should grow 8% to 1,630 working writers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for writers are expected to grow by about 14.8%. In general, writers create original written works.

A person working as a writer can expect to earn about $18 per hour or $37,540 per year on average in Alabama and about $25 hourly or $53,070 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Writers earn less than people working in the category of Writing and Editing generally in Alabama and less than people in the Writing and Editing category nationally. Writers work in a variety of jobs, including: scenario writer, publications writer, and radio script writer.

There are fifteen schools of higher education in the Birmingham area, including two within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can get a degree to start your career as a writer. Writers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a writer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Writer

In general, writers create original written works.

Writers revise written material to meet personal standards and to satisfy needs of clients or producers. They also choose subject matter and suitable form to express personal feelings and experiences or concepts, or to narrate stories or events. Equally important, writers have to formulate project arrangements or outlines, and organize material accordingly. They are often called upon to collaborate with other writers on specific projects. They are expected to ready works in appropriate format for publication, and send them to publishers or producers. Finally, writers talk with clients or producers to consider changes or revisions to written material.

Every day, writers are expected to be able to write clearly and communicate well. They need to be creative and generate new ideas.

It is important for writers to conduct research to obtain factual data and authentic detail, using sources such as newspaper accounts and interviews. They are often called upon to follow appropriate procedures to get copyrights for completed work. They also attend book launches and publicity events, or conduct public readings. They are sometimes expected to design factors such as themes and dialogue, to generate material. Somewhat less frequently, writers are also expected to collaborate with other writers on specific projects.

Writers sometimes are asked to teach writing classes. And finally, they sometimes have to revise written material to meet personal standards and to satisfy needs of clients or producers.

Like many other jobs, writers must be persistant in the face of problems and impediments and want to innovate to meet new challenges.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Actor. Play parts in stage, television, or motion picture productions for entertainment, information, or instruction. Interpret serious or comic role by speech, gesture, and body movement to entertain or inform audience. May dance and sing.
  • Copy Writer. Write advertising copy for use by publication or broadcast media to promote sale of goods and services.
  • Editorial Specialist. Perform variety of editorial duties, such as laying out, indexing, and revising content of written materials, in preparation for final publication.
  • Film or Videotape Editor. Edit motion picture soundtracks, film, and video.
  • Fine Artist. Create original artwork using any of a wide variety of mediums and techniques.
  • Music Composer. Write and transcribe musical scores.
  • Music Director. Direct and conduct instrumental or vocal performances by musical groups.
  • News Analyst. Analyze, interpret, and broadcast news received from various sources.
  • Radio and Television Announcer. Talk on radio or television. May interview guests, act as master of ceremonies, read news flashes, identify station by giving call letters, or announce song title and artist.
  • Reporter. Collect and analyze facts about newsworthy events by interview, investigation, or observation. Report and write stories for newspaper, news magazine, or television.
  • Singer. Sing songs on stage, radio, or motion pictures.
  • Technical Writer. Write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions. May assist in layout work.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Writer Training

Samford University - Birmingham, AL

Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, AL 35229-2240. Samford University is a small university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,469 students and an admission rate of 89%. Samford University has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated twelve students in 2008.

University of Alabama at Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Administration Bldg Suite 1070, Birmingham, AL 35294-0110. University of Alabama at Birmingham is a large university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 16,149 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Alabama at Birmingham has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated 115 and thirteen students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Fiscal Services - Accelerated Package: Fiscal Services - Accelerated Package course list: Better Requests for Proposals for Better Projects; Continuous Improvement Through Monitoring; Contracting; New Coding System for the 21st Century; Procurement; and Writing Winning Grant Proposals.

For more information, see the Dynamic Works Institute website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.