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Career and Education Opportunities for Writers in Billings, Montana

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for writers in the Billings, Montana area. Currently, 950 people work as writers in Montana. This is expected to grow 13% to 1,070 people 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 $21 per hour or $43,980 per year on average in Montana. Nationally, their income is about $25 per hour or $53,070 annually. Incomes for writers are better than in the overall category of Writing and Editing in Montana, 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: crossword puzzle maker, author, and comic writer.

The Billings area is home to four schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Billings where you can get a degree as a writer. The most common level of education for writers is a high school diploma or GED. 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 Billings 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

Rocky Mountain College - Billings, MT

Rocky Mountain College, 1511 Poly Drive, Billings, MT 59102-1796. Rocky Mountain College is a small college located in Billings, Montana. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 872 students and an admission rate of 68%. Rocky Mountain College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated two students in 2008.

Montana State University-Billings - Billings, MT

Montana State University-Billings, 1500 University Drive, Billings, MT 59101-0298. Montana State University-Billings is a small university located in Billings, Montana. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,598 students and an admission rate of 100%. Montana State University-Billings 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: Billings, Montana

Billings, Montana
Billings, Montana photo by Pruhter

Billings is situated in Yellowstone County, Montana. It has a population of over 103,994, which has grown by 15.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Billings, 88, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Billings are valued at $132,200 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred nineteen new homes were built in Billings, down from six hundred four the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Billings are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 16 minutes. More than 28.5% of Billings residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Billings is 4.4%, which is less than Montana's average of 5.8%.

The percentage of Billings residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.6%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Billings is home to the Twin Pines Ranch and the Hilands Golf Club as well as Cobb Field and Pioneer Park. Visitors to Billings can choose from Western Executive Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Big 5 Motel for temporary stays in the area.