Creative Jobs for English Majors

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Because of their valuable skills in writing, reading, persuasion, research, and analysis, there are a multitude of potential jobs for English majors. The number of industries that value the competencies associated with English is nearly limitless.

As an English major, you can develop your expertise in important areas like marketing products, conveying complex ideas, providing comprehensive instructions, generating engaged audiences, and telling stories.

If you’re wondering what you can do with an English degree, there are many possible career paths that offer a growing number of job opportunities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), careers in fundraising, marketing, public relations, and technical writing are growing quickly. Other rewarding career opportunities, which may require further education or experience, include becoming a law editor, advertising manager, public relations manager, and more.

An English major works on a laptop in a cafe.

What industries are hiring graduates with English degrees?

While graduates with an online bachelor’s degree in English can pursue careers in a number of fields. Many industries seek employees who can communicate effectively — something English majors are well equipped to do. Some of the most common options include:

  • Marketing
  • Law
  • Journalism
  • Publishing
  • Creative writing
  • Science and medicine
  • Technology

What are some popular careers for English majors?

English degree holders are not limited to careers at for-profit organizations such as corporations or small businesses. They may also find fulfilling jobs in the government and nonprofit sectors.

The following list of careers for English majors provides an array of exciting, diverse career paths. While a bachelor’s degree is an appropriate starting place for each of these positions, additional experience, training, and certifications will allow for advancement in the field.

Author or Writer

Authors and writers are ideally situated to inform, inspire, and engage audiences through the written word. These creative professionals develop original ideas, research them, and then write original content.

As a writer, you may be tasked with writing diverse content like biographies, novels, nonfiction books, speeches, essays, plays, screenplays, marketing copy, and more. Because their opportunities are so varied, writing skills apply to a wide variety of subjects and purposes. Many authors and writers work under deadlines, making time management skills a necessity.

Growth and Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), two-thirds of authors and writers are self-employed, and an anticipated 10,000 new opportunities will develop between 2016 and 2026. Their median pay in 2017 was approximately $62,000 a year.

Skills recommended to succeed:

  • Writing
  • Research
  • Creativity
  • Time management
  • Organization

Managing Editor

In today’s content-driven world, managing editors play an essential role in curating content. Highly organized and strategic, these individuals must oversee the creation of content that helps further the goals of their organization — including magazines, newspapers, marketing and advertising campaigns, and blogs.

Managing editors maintain creative oversight while also managing those who contribute to the process. These team members may include writers, editors, designers, contractors, desktop publishers, and more. In addition, managing editors serve as liaisons with other departments and stakeholders in the organization. Deadlines are often tight, so managing editors must have excellent time management skills, while also adapting to new challenges as they arise.

Growth and Salary

The position of managing editor is typically not an entry-level one and often requires additional training and experience. The number of new employment opportunities for editors and managing editors is projected to remain flat according to the BLS. But compensation for this position is good: Data compiled by shows that the average salary for managing editors is $60,000, with a typical range depending on location and experience of $39,000 to $97,000.

Skills recommended to succeed:

  • Communication
  • Management
  • Creativity
  • Organization
  • Editing
  • Proofreading
  • Time management

Public Relations Specialist

In an effort to increase transparency and communication with the public, organizations call on the expertise of public relations specialists. Their job is to develop a positive image for their employer by showcasing its most admirable traits and actions. From drafting speeches and press releases to working directly with the news media, public relations specialists are both proactive and reactive, ready to respond at a moment’s notice.

As a PR specialist, you’ll be tasked with working closely with executives, advertisers, marketers, social media managers, and others to ensure all communications remain on-message. By leveraging data from many sources, public relations specialists pay attention to the public’s opinion and adjust accordingly.

Growth and Salary

The BLS estimates nearly 23,000 new public relations specialist positions to become available between 2016 and 2026. The median pay for a public relations specialist in 2016 was just over $59,000.

Skills recommended to succeed:

  • Communication
  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Creativity
  • Proofreading

Legal Editor

Legal editors are essential for interpreting the law and providing resources for attorneys, paralegals, and other professionals in the field. While some legal editors find employment as news correspondents or bloggers, others work in the legal publishing industry, corporations, or law firms.

Regardless of industry, legal editors must have a solid grasp of the law and how to perform legal research, in addition to advanced writing skills. And wherever legal editors base their careers, they are responsible for ensuring clear communication of complex legal ideas and concepts.

Growth and Salary

According to data compiled by, the average salary for a legal editor is $68,000, with some highly experienced professionals earning $20,000 to $30,000 more. According to the BLS, employment opportunities for writers and editors will grow by 10% from 2016 to 2026.

Skills recommended to succeed:

  • Understanding of law
  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Legal research
  • Persuasive writing
  • Legal analysis

Digital Marketing Specialist

A large number of businesses are turning to digital marketing to boost revenue and raise public awareness, driving demand for digital marketing specialists. Digital marketing includes all advertising and marketing efforts that leverage electronics or the internet, including social media, digital advertisements, search engines, email, websites, blogs, and mobile apps.

When you earn your English degree, you’ll have the opportunity to build and develop a skill set suited to connect with audiences, build awareness, and generate higher profits through digital marketing strategies.

Growth and Salary

The BLS anticipates 9% growth in this and other public relations specialists fields from 2016 to 2026. The 2017 median salary is just under $60,000. According to the American Marketing Association, social media managers’ salaries increased by 20% from 2016 to 2017, and the highest-earning marketers specialize in conversion rate optimization, content marketing, and search engine optimization.

Skills recommended to succeed:

  • Understanding of digital marketing
  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Proofreading

Investigative Journalist

The public relies on investigative journalists to keep them informed about current events and major stories. Investigative journalists may find work with newspapers, magazines, television stations, radio, websites, books, or other media sources.

In our increasingly digital world, reporters sometimes contribute a more diverse array of content types, including articles, videos, blog posts, and social media posts. Sometimes they create and pitch ideas, and other times editors provide assignments with a deadline. From there, investigative journalists interview sources, conduct in-depth research, and put together a story.

Investigative journalists also must cultivate professional relationships with fellow news professionals, as well as trusted contacts and experts. After writing their stories, reporters must review them for accuracy, style, and grammar, and then update them if additional information becomes available.

Growth and Salary

While limited job opportunities exist along this career path, the increasing consumption of digital news indicates there are more ways for investigative reporters to ensure their work reaches the public. In 2017, the BLS reported the median pay for reporters was over $40,000.

Skills recommended to succeed:

  • Writing
  • Interviewing
  • Researching
  • Communication
  • Time management

Discover what you can do with an English degree.

Jobs for English majors are plentiful and diverse, and this list is just a sample of the opportunities available.

At Maryville University, our online bachelor’s degree in English can help you build valuable writing, analysis, critical thinking, communication, and research skills to pursue a variety of career opportunities.

If you’re interested in exploring these opportunities, you can begin your educational journey by learning more about our online Bachelor of Arts in English program.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Editors

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Public Relations Specialists

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Reporters, Correspondents, and Broadcast News Analysts

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Writers and Authors

Forbes, “14 Jobs For English Majors That Pay At Least $60,000

Inc., “Just-Released Salary Info: Here’s What Digital Marketers Really Earn in 2018”

PayScale, Average Managing Editor Salary

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