Career and Salary Info for a Masters Degree in English
Holding a master's degree in English provides opportunities for a career in multiple industries, including publishing, advertising, marketing, education and media. Career opportunities vary depending on the sector, but individuals have the knowledge and skills to work in teaching, writing and editing positions.
Editors are found in many sectors, including newspapers, magazines, publishing companies, businesses and organizations. These professionals edit writers' work, help develop content for a publication and may even do some writing themselves. Typically, editors work with a production team to ensure articles and content are completed on schedule. Some editors choose to freelance, doing project work either with one or more companies or organizations.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for editors is projected to see minimal growth at only one percent from 2010-2020 (www.bls.gov). The rise of websites and other new technology could see a growing need for editors, especially as businesses, organizations and educational institutions begin to utilize the Internet and other electronic media. In that respect, it could be useful to have knowledge of electronic media and an understanding of software or other digital tools.
In 2012, editors in the newspaper, book and periodical publishing industry averaged $30.02 an hour, based on BLS data. Salaried editors working for software publishers had an average salary of $87,060. Freelance editors typically acquire income through many companies and might be paid on a project-basis, which can vary depending on the organization or the project.
Writers work in many industries, such as publishing, technology, business, not-for-profit, advertising and media. They might write technical manuals, website copy, company newsletters or magazine articles. Just like editors, some writers choose to freelance as a source of income.
Employment for writers is projected to grow by just six percent within the 2010-2020 period, although technical writers might see an 17% growth in employment, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Science and technology might see rapid growth in employing writers. This growth is due to the advancement of technology and the need for skilled people to write manuals and other literature on the topic.
In 2010, the BLS reported that salaried writers and authors had a median income of $55,940, while technical writers' median income was $65,500, with ranges from $38,700 to $101,660. Electric power generation companies and software publishers were the top two employers of technical writers, paying $104,100 and $78,110 respectively. Writers in the advertising and public relations sector had a mean salary of $76,790.
Individuals holding a master's degree in English can choose to teach in colleges and high schools. They might teach English, writing and literature classes, depending on the areas studied during graduate school. English teachers are responsible for planning lessons, giving lectures and grading papers.
While teaching full-time at the college and university level usually requires a Ph.D., individuals might be able to find work at community colleges. They can teach high school English courses by completing additional education, such as pursing a dual teaching degree and acquiring a teaching license. Employment growth for college teachers is projected to grow 17% between 2010-2020, according to the BLS. Employment for secondary school teachers is projected to grow seven percent within the same time period, based on the BLS' data.
The BLS indicates in 2012 the median salary for college teachers was $64,290. English teachers within junior colleges averaged $67,620 a year, and high school teachers earned salaries ranging from $36,930 to $85,690 and over. As of May 2012, the median wage for high school teachers was $55,050.
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