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Career and Education Opportunities for Writers in Des Moines, Iowa

There are many career and education opportunities for writers in the Des Moines, Iowa area. There are currently 1,650 working writers in Iowa; this should grow 9% to 1,800 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%. Writers generally create original written works.

Income for writers is about $18 per hour or $38,490 yearly on average in Iowa. Nationally, their income is about $25 per hour or $53,070 per year. Incomes for writers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Writing and Editing in Iowa, and not quite as good as the overall Writing and Editing category nationally. People working as writers can fill a number of jobs, such as: playwright, magazine writer, and game author.

There are four schools within twenty-five miles of Des Moines where you can study to be a writer, among fifteen schools of higher education total in the Des Moines area. Writers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so it will take only a short time to learn 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 Des Moines 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

Central College - Pella, IA

Central College, 812 University, Pella, IA 50219. Central College is a small college located in Pella, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,558 students and an admission rate of 77%. Central College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric.

Drake University - Des Moines, IA

Drake University, 2507 University Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50311-4505. Drake University is a medium sized university located in Des Moines, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,753 students and an admission rate of 69%. Drake University has 2 areas of study related to Writer. They are:

  • Mass Communication/Media Studies, master's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.
  • Creative Writing, bachelor's degree which graduated 10 students in 2008.

Simpson College - Indianola, IA

Simpson College, 701 North C St, Indianola, IA 50125. Simpson College is a small college located in Indianola, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,052 students and an admission rate of 88%. Simpson College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated three students in 2008.

Grand View University - Des Moines, IA

Grand View University, 1200 Grandview Ave, Des Moines, IA 50316. Grand View University is a small university located in Des Moines, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,936 students and an admission rate of 95%. Grand View University has a bachelor's degree program in Mass Communication/Media Studies which graduated one student 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: Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa photo by BinaryBoyXP

Des Moines is located in Polk County, Iowa. It has a population of over 197,052, which has shrunk by 0.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Des Moines, 79, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Des Moines cost $175,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred sixty-five new homes were built in Des Moines, down from three hundred nine the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Des Moines are finance and insurance, health care, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 21.8% of Des Moines residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Des Moines is 7.1%, which is greater than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Des Moines residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Epworth United Methodist Church, Union Park Baptist Church and Seventh Day Adventist Church are all churches located in Des Moines. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Des Moines is home to the Activities Center and the Blank Park Zoo as well as M L King Park and Des Moines Botanical Garden. Shopping centers in the area include Merle Hay Mall, Des Moines Park Fair Mall and Southridge Mall. Visitors to Des Moines can choose from Palace Inn, Holiday Inn Express Des Moines and Casa Bella Motel for temporary stays in the area.