Multimedia Writer: Salary and Career Facts
Research what it takes to become a multimedia writer. Learn about career options along with degree requirements, responsibilities, and career growth to find out if this is the career for you.
What Is a Multimedia Writer?
Multimedia writers create content of all types, but they often focus on writing that is used in conjunction with technology. Like any writer, they must choose subjects to write about that interest their target audiences. They may conduct research or work with editors to develop ideas and prepare material for publication. Multimedia writers may work as freelance writers or for a business or other organization, and they must provide accurate and original work in order to become reputable. Multimedia writers typically create material for online publication via videos and blogs. The table below provides information that can prepare you for a career in multimedia writing.
|Degree Required||Bachelor's degree|
|Education Field of Study||Journalism, English, technical writing, communications|
|Key Responsibilities||Create content for magazines, newspapers, and online media; work with technical staff on the outlets' needs|
|Job Growth (2018-2028)||8% growth (for all technical writers)*|
|Average Salary (2018)||$75,500 (for all technical writers)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Do Multimedia Writers Do?
Multimedia writers typically create content for more than one form of media. While this could indicate writing for magazines, newspapers and printed books, multimedia writing most commonly refers to writing for formats that aren't print-based. As a multimedia writer, you could write for a multitude of formats, such as video games, film and television, websites, online advertising or online academic courses. If you write Web-based content, you may be required to know basic programming skills, such as how to use hypertext.
Unlike writing for traditional print media, you'll be expected to adapt your style and content for the medium in which you're writing. For example, writing for video games requires you to understand the structure and pacing of a particular game. You may write dialogue for the interstitial scenes of a detective game that takes place between sections of active user play; alternatively, you may write the script for an announcer's pre-recorded sound clips in a football video game, requiring you to account for the myriad potential actions that will need to be described.
What Might I Earn?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, writers and authors in general had an average annual salary of $73,090 in May 2018 (www.bls.gov). Technical writers, who may write multimedia content, made an average annual income of $75,500 in the same year.
Your possible earnings can vary widely based on the type of media for which you write, or even from project to project. For example, the BLS reported that as of May 2018, technical writers in the specialized design industry earned an average salary of $78,630, while technical writers working independently earned $69,850 on average. Also in 2018, the San Jose, California, metro area had the highest average salary for technical writers, at $110,160 per year.
What Type of Education Will I Need?
There is no specific degree that you'll need in order to become a multimedia writer. However, pursuing formal education in a field related to multimedia writing can help you to hone your skills and may boost your chances for employment. Relevant programs at the bachelor's degree level include English, creative writing and screenwriting. Some schools offer degree programs in a field such as communications that allow you to select an emphasis in multimedia writing. Such programs might include courses such as technical writing, electronic pagination, digital imaging and computer software. At the graduate level, you can pursue a Master of Fine Arts in Writing, or a master's degree in a more specialized branch of writing.
What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?
Some related careers requiring a bachelor's degree include interpreters and translators, public relations specialists and editors. Interpreters and translators convert spoken or written language, respectively, into another language. Public relations specialists develop a positive public image for an organization. They typically do this through media releases and increasing awareness of an organization's services. Editors revise written material in preparation for publication. They work closely with writers and may edit material for things like books, magazines and more.