If you love science and have a talent for writing, then science writing jobs may be the perfect career choice for you.
These jobs are highly sought-after, and the good news is that the demand for science writers is increasing every year.
But I know that breaking into a new industry can be intimidating. So I’m here to help.
In this blog post, we’ll explore everything you need to know about science writing jobs, including:
- What they are
- How to become a science writer
- What kind of salaries you can expect
Science writing journey, here we go!
What Is Science Writing?
Science writing is a specialized field of writing that focuses on communicating scientific concepts and research to a broader audience.
This broad writing field includes specializations such as medical writing, grant writing, and technical writing, in addition to scientific writing in general.
Compared to other writing specializations, science writing requires a deep understanding of scientific concepts and jargon.
Plus, the ability to translate this information into engaging and accessible content.
How Do You Become a Science Writer?
To become a science writer, there are two main pathways:
- Scientists who want to transition to writing: These individuals typically have scientific credentials and a desire to communicate discoveries and ideas to a wider audience.
They may have experience writing scientific papers, grant proposals, or other technical documents. Still, they may need to develop skills in writing for a lay audience.
- Writers with a specialized interest in science: These individuals may have a background in writing, journalism, or communication and a strong interest in science.
They may have developed their skills through writing about science for a general audience or have pursued formal training in science writing.
Prospective science writers will benefit from taking writing courses, attending workshops, and networking to pursue either pathway.
Building a portfolio of published work is also important to showcase your writing skills to potential employers or clients.
Additionally, keeping up with the latest scientific discoveries and trends is essential for producing compelling and relevant science writing.
What Are the Main Careers in Science Writing?
Science writing is a broad field with many career paths. Each offers unique opportunities to communicate complex scientific concepts to various audiences.
Here are some of the main careers in science writing:
Freelance Science Writer
Freelance writers are hired on a per-project basis by publications or organizations to write articles, blog posts, or other science-related content. Most freelance writing positions are remote jobs.
Staff writers work for a specific publication or organization. They are responsible for producing regular content on a range of scientific topics.
Science communicators work for museums, science centers, and research institutions. A science writer can also get hired as a content writer for scientific publications and popular science magazines.
They create educational materials and share scientific information with the general public in an easy-to-understand way, such as in exhibits.
Technical writers create documentation, such as user manuals and scientific reports, that explain complex scientific concepts to non-expert audiences.
Grant writers work for research institutions, universities, or non-profit organizations. They create compelling proposals that secure funding for scientific research projects.
What Kinds of Companies Hire Science Writers?
Science writers are in demand in a variety of industries, including:
- Pharmaceutical and biotech companies
- Science and medical journals and magazines
- Non-profit organizations and research institutes
- Government agencies and departments, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Science communication and PR firms
- Science museums and centers
- Academic institutions, including universities and research centers
As such, science writers may write about topics ranging from cutting-edge medical research to environmental policy, from space exploration to the latest technological advancements.
So if you’re considering a career as a science writer, it’s essential to explore the different industries and organizations that hire science writers.
Each industry may have unique requirements, expectations, compensation, and work environments.
Understanding the options available can help you identify the type of work you’re interested in and tailor your job search accordingly.
What Types of Content Do Science Writers Create?
Science writers are a versatile bunch!
They create a wide range of content that helps bring complex scientific concepts to life for a variety of audiences.
Here are some examples of the types of content science writers create:
- News articles: Science writers can report on the latest scientific discoveries and breakthroughs, translating technical jargon into accessible language for readers.
- Features: They can write longer, in-depth pieces that explore a particular topic or issue in detail, often including expert interviews.
- Blog posts: Writers can share their opinions or insights on scientific topics or write about emerging trends or ideas.
- Press releases: Science writers can craft press releases that help promote new scientific research or products to the media.
- Grant proposals: Writers can work with researchers to create compelling proposals that secure funding for scientific studies.
- Whitepapers and reports: Science writers can create technical documents summarizing scientific research findings for non-expert audiences.
- Social media content: Writers can create content for social media platforms that promote scientific research and findings in a fun and engaging way.
As you can see, science writers are crucial in communicating complex scientific concepts to the general public.
Given the diverse range of content they produce, there is plenty of opportunities for those looking to break into this exciting and dynamic field.
What Does a Typical Day in the Life of a Science Writer Look Like?
Ah, the life of a science writer!
It’s not all white coats and test tubes, my friend.
In fact, it’s a diverse and exciting world that involves researching, writing, editing, and collaborating with scientists, editors, and fellow writers.
So, what does a typical day in the life of a science writer look like?
Well, it can vary depending on the specific job and company, but some everyday activities might include:
- Conducting research on a topic, such as reading scientific papers or interviewing experts
- Writing articles, reports, or blog posts about scientific findings or topics
- Editing and revising work for accuracy, clarity, and style
- Pitching article ideas to editors or clients
- Attending scientific conferences or events to learn about new research or network with other writers and scientists
- Collaborating with designers, photographers, or other professionals to create multimedia content
- Managing social media accounts or online communities related to science writing
All in all, the life of a science writer can be challenging but also exciting and deeply rewarding as you get to share the wonders of science with the world.
How Much Do Science Writers Make?
And now the million-dollar question you’ve been waiting for:
How much do science writers make?
Well, the answer is a bit complicated.
Salaries for science writers can vary depending on their level of experience, the type of company they work for, and their job location.
However, to give you some idea of what you can expect to earn, here’s what’s being said on the market:
- According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median earnings of writers and authors is $69,510 per year, while media and communication workers earn $62,340.
- According to 4,000 salaries reported by technical writers to Indeed.com, the average salary of a technical writer in the U.S. is $60,499.
- Indeed.com reports the average salary of a scientific writer is $65,468.
So, it’s safe to say as a science writer, you may reasonably expect to earn between $60,000-$65,000 a year.
Where Can I Find the Best Science Writing Jobs?
Looking for science writer jobs can be daunting, but fear not, my fellow wordsmiths!
There are plenty of places where you can find science writing jobs, from traditional job boards to freelance websites.
Here are some top places to look:
Many traditional job boards like Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn regularly post science writer jobs from various industries. These sites allow you to search by job title, location, and salary range.
Science magazines and journals, such as Scientific American, Discover, and Nature, often have open positions for science writers. Check their websites or social media pages for job postings.
Non-profit organizations like The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine often hire science writers to create content for their websites and publications.
If you’re interested in freelance science writing, there are plenty of websites to find gigs. Check out Upwork, Freelancer, and Guru to find freelance opportunities in science writing.
Universities and research institutes often have positions for science writers, especially those with a background in research. Check their career pages for openings.
Where Can I Learn More about Science Writing?
Many resources are available if you want to pursue a career in science writing or learn more about the field.
One great place to start is the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA). They offer a variety of courses, webinars, and networking opportunities for aspiring science writers.
They also have a job board where you can find science writing jobs posted by employers.
Another valuable resource is The Open Notebook. They offer science journalism master classes, webinars, and an online magazine featuring interviews with successful science writers.
In addition, the National Association of Science Writers (NASW) and the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (CASW) are excellent organizations. Join for networking and professional development opportunities.
They also offer workshops, mentorship programs, job listings, and access to a community of fellow science writers.
Science Writing Jobs Are A Hot Commodity. Start Your New Career Now!
Science writing is a fascinating and rewarding career with intellectual and financial benefits.
By knowing where to look for jobs and how to improve your skills through training and education, you can build a successful career as a science writer.
So, get out there and explore the fantastic world of science writing today!