The careers that most often come to mind when you think of an English degree revolve around writing, editing, and teaching. Even within these fields, there are many unique jobs. As a writer, you could become a technical writer, copywriter, online marketing content writer, or freelance writer. As an editor, you could become a copy editor, editorial assistant, associate editor, managing editor, or senior editor. As a teacher, you could become an elementary or secondary teacher or even teach at a college as a professor.
There are other careers you may not have considered. In the field of business you could be an administrative assistant. If you are interested in marketing you could be a marketing coordinator. You could work in the law profession as a legal secretary or paralegal. You could also be a customer service representative, or communications specialist.
High School Teacher
Teachers work in public and private schools helping students to learn objectives in a variety of subject matter. In secondary education, a teacher specializes in a specific subject matter to become proficient in the teaching of that subject. He presents lessons in a variety of formats. He explains things in different ways so that students with different learning styles can understand. He must make lesson plans according to curriculum standards, grade papers and projects, and write report cards. He must also communicate with the parents of his students. Teachers must love students and want to influence them in a positive way.
Secondary teachers must have a strong grasp of the subject matter they will be teaching. They also need to have strong organizational skills and be excellent communicators. Teaching requires patience and perseverance.
Every state requires that public school teachers have a bachelor's degree. Teachers must complete an approved teacher training program as part of their degree along with fulfilling the student teaching component. All states also require public school teachers to have a valid teaching license. Licenses are granted by State Boards or Departments of Education. To hold a license, you typically must pass an exam that shows you are proficient in your area of concentration. Criteria for renewal of licensing vary from state to state. The average salary of a high school teacher is $50,200.
Many offices have changed the title of "secretary" to "Administrative Assistant" to better reflect the many vital roles that this job entails. An Administrative Assistant is the one that keeps an office running efficiently. He is the main information and communication manager for an office. Some of his duties include planning and scheduling meetings and appointments, organizing and maintaining paper and electronic files, and conducting research. He also may manage projects. These are just a few of his many roles.
He is usually in charge of the phone, mail, web communications, and email. He also may handle travel arrangements. He knows every detail of how the office functions and often deals with the public. He will probably need to know how to use a variety of office equipment and will also be in charge of training new office staff when they are hired.
An Administrative Assistant is a multifaceted job and takes a special personality with a keen sense of organization and efficiency. For this career, a bachelor's degree is not required but is helpful. In today's competitive job market a degree will make you more marketable. The average salary of an Administrative Assistant is $35,100.
Technical writing is different from fiction writing. Technical writing is used to explain difficult concepts, pieces of equipment, and/or procedures in a variety of fields such as computer hardware and software, chemistry, robotics, finance, consumer electronics, biotechnology, and more. If you go to English school to become a technical writer, your job will be to inform readers rather than persuade or entertain them. A technical writer's job is to make something very complex seem very understandable. A simple example of technical writing might be the instruction manual for a new electronic device you recently purchased. The technical writing in the manual enables you to understand all of the equipment's features and functions.
Technical writers do not have to be an expert on everything they may have to explain. Instead, they depend on people called "subject matter experts." Subject matter experts have the knowledge and understanding of the topic that needs explaining, but the technical writer has the communication skills to convert that knowledge into everyday language.
A technical writer must be an excellent communicator. He must be able to comprehend very difficult subject matter as well as be able to break down those complex terms and directions so that an everyday person can read and understand it. The average salary of a Technical Writer is $68,900.
Paralegal / Legal Assistant
English schools offer many possibilities, including becoming a Paralegal or Legal Assistant. A Paralegal or Legal Assistant plays an extremely important role in a law office. Paralegals help lawyers prepare for closing, hearings, corporate meetings, and trials. They are vital to the investigating of facts for cases. They look for appropriate laws and judicial decisions that would help with cases. They prepare written reports that help lawyers determine how they should proceed in cases. Many times paralegals help prepare legal arguments, pleadings and motions that are filed in the courts and obtain affidavits. They assist lawyers during trials and keep things organized.
In addition, they also might help draft contracts, mortgages and other agreements. They may be in charge of tax returns, trust funds, and estate planning. Usually, paralegals start with more routine tasks in the beginning; and as they gain experience, they are trusted with more responsibilities. Their hours can be very long, especially when there is a certain court deadline.
One way to become a paralegal is to obtain an associate's degree. Another way, especially if you already have a bachelor's degree in another subject, is to earn a certificate in paralegal studies. The average salary of a Paralegal/Legal Assistant is $53,100.
A marketing coordinator is an entry-level position in the marketing field. A marketing department is a standard business department in most companies. This is because all companies need to have a plan to market their goods and services to potential clients and customers.
The main role of a marketing coordinator is to assist with and deliver marketing information on behalf of the marketing department to the company. For this reason, a marketing coordinator needs to have strong communication skills. He should be able to speak clearly as well as actively listen. He should possess strong writing skills, excellent verbal and presentation skills as well as be able to use logic to identify strengths, weaknesses and solutions.
Within the marketing department, the marketing coordinator will assist with such tasks as customer satisfaction analysis, sales programs, and product development. Sales experience can be an advantage over other candidates.
A bachelor's degree is helpful in this career path. Marketing and sales experience also helps to give you the business knowledge and understanding you will need to do this job. In addition to strong communication skills, this job requires organizational skills and multi-tasking skills. Many companies differ on the qualifications necessary to earn a marketing coordinator position within their business. The average salary of a Marketing Coordinator is $39,700.
Customer Service Representative
There are many fields that need customer service representatives, but in all of them, the main task of a customer service representative is to help the customers. Successful customer service representatives have excellent people skills and excellent manners. They often communicate with the customers through phone, fax, email, standard mail, or in person. They usually need to have some basic, or even advanced, computer skills. The job involves multi-tasking as, more often than not, customer service representatives are typing information while they are talking to a customer. The main goal is to help solve the customer's problem or complaint.
When you call a business, the first individual you speak with is almost always a customer service representative. They help to either solve your problem or refer you to someone else who can help you. A more difficult complaint or issue may be turned over to a manager who has more authority to help solve the customer's problem.
In some positions, the customer service representative might be involved with taking sales orders, and part of their job may be similar to that of a sales person. They might also answer questions about products being sold or services being rendered. Other titles that are essentially the same position are customer assistant, sales support, consumer intake, and service specialist. The average salary of a Customer Service Representative is $34,900.
An editor is a person who corrects, condenses, organizes, and modifies written works and other media. When an author or writer submits an article, novel, or other piece of writing, an editor helps them to perfect their work. There are "light" edits and "heavy" edits. A light edit is known as a "minor change." These are edits that do not change the theme, tone, structure of the work. Examples of "light" edits might be spelling or grammar changes. A heavy edit is one that does change the tone, structure, characters, or theme of the work in a major way. Editing happens in print media as well as other types of media.
There is a hierarchy of editing jobs as well as specific editing jobs that hold a certain purpose. There are technical editors, copy editors, junior editors, assistant editors, managing editors, acquisitions editors, administrative editors and executive editors. All have an important role in the publishing industry.
You must have a bachelor's degree to be an editor. It is helpful to have the degree in English, communications, or journalism. Technical editing requires a degree or some knowledge about a specialized field.
Editors must have excellent writing skills and the ability to express ideas clearly and logically. They must have strong judgment, as they decide what they would like to publish. The average salary of an Editor is $52,400.
A copy editor helps to improve the formatting, style and accuracy of the text. It does not change the content of the text, but he makes changes to help the clarity and the precision of the text. A copy editor is responsible for making the copy correct, concise, complete, clear and consistent.
A copy editor corrects spelling, punctuation, grammar, terminology, and semantics. He may shorten the text to make it fit the length limits or to improve it. He may add headlines and photo captions. He helps to make the text flow and may ask the author to clarify any points that are unclear or questionable. At times, copy editors are also called upon to proofread, although that is a separate job description.
Copy editors must have a strong command of the English language. They also need a broad general knowledge in order to spot factual errors. Critical thinking skills are a must so they can find inconsistencies in the writing. Also, they need to have a keen eye for detail. Because they work in collaboration with others, interpersonal skills are helpful.
Copy editors should have a bachelor's degree in English, journalism or communications. Most newspapers in the United States give copy-editing candidates an editing test. This is to see if they have the necessary skills it takes to do the job.
Copy editors may find jobs in universities, newspapers, magazines, journals, book publishers, websites, or for clients in fields such as technology, medicine and engineering. The average salary of a copy editor is $46,300.
Legal secretaries are responsible to fulfill the daily clerical tasks that make a legal office function efficiently. There are several duties that are unique to legal secretaries. They prepare correspondence and type legal documents. These documents include such things as pleadings, motions, briefs, discovery documents and subpoenas. They also schedule depositions, site inspections, hearings, closings and meetings. They keep filing deadlines organized for lawyers. They might assist lawyers with research and they often communicate with other attorneys, and opposing counsel. They also write correspondence and routine legal documents like legal invoices and deposition notices.
Legal secretaries also file, type, create spreadsheets, take dictation, and answer the phone. To be a legal secretary you must be able to meet deadlines. Missing a deadline can result in automatically losing a case. You also must be familiar with legal terminology. You should know about state and federal court filing rules and basic legal procedures.
There are programs at community colleges designed to help you with becoming a legal secretary. They usually take one to two years to complete. There is also a certification process through the National Association for Legal Professionals (NALS). It is a four-hour, three-part exam. It is not a mandatory certification, but it can be helpful in acquiring a job. The average salary of a Legal Secretary is $52,500.
Copywriting simply defined is using words to promote a person, business or idea. Copywriters may write such persuasive writing in many avenues such as newspapers, advertising, magazines, or books. The Internet has added more opportunities for copywriting in things like web ads and commercial emails.
Some copywriters are independent contractors and write freelance for various clients. Other copywriters are employed by advertising agencies, public relations firms, company advertising departments, newspapers, book publishers, or magazines. In any situation, the main role of the copywriter is to write, especially with the specific purpose to persuade the reader to buy a product or believe a certain viewpoint.
Examples of copywriter's work appears in jingles, web pages, radio scripts, press releases, catalogs, billboards, brochures, and other marketing tactics.
In advertising, the copywriter is usually a part of a team. The copywriter writes the verbal or textual content in ads and collaborates with art directors for the visual component of the ad. They will brainstorm with the client and other team members to come up with the big idea as well as other components for the ad.
A copywriter needs to have strong English skills. He also must be creative and able to work under time deadlines. Copywriters must be able to use language to evoke a certain mood or image. The average salary of a Copywriter is $49,900.
Communications specialists help clients maintain positive relationships with the public. Organizations such as businesses, nonprofit organizations, universities, hospitals and even government entities utilize communications specialists for advice on how they communicate themselves and their policies to the public.
A communications specialist might handle media, conflict mediation, employee and investor relations, community issues, and government relations. They understand the viewpoint of the public and help their clients win the respect and its support.
A communications specialist might prepare speeches or set up speaking engagements. He might make visual presentations or plan conventions. He might represent his employer at a community function. In government, communications specialists may take on the title of press secretary.
Communications specialists must be strong, creative communicators both orally and with the written word. They will make important decisions so they must have good judgment. An outgoing personality and self-confidence are two important qualities. They need to show initiative and be assertive, yet open to the ideas of a team.
There are several boards that offer accreditation for communications specialists. One is the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) designation. To earn this designation, individuals need five years of full-time work in public relations. Teaching experience does count. They also need a bachelor's degree in a communications field, and they must take a readiness review and an examination. Another is the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). Those who meet the criteria earn the designation of Accredited Business Communicator (ABC). Individuals must have at least five years of work experience and a bachelor's degree in a communications field. They must pass a written and oral exam. They must also submit a portfolio of work samples. The average salary of a Communications Specialist is $49,400.
A proofreader's job is to catch errors in the printed text before it is published or distributed to the public. In the publishing industry, manuscripts are read multiple times in order to find errors before the job is typeset. Proofs may be sent to authors, editors and others for final revisions. After everyone has collaborated and made a master set, proofreaders check it for errors and send it to be typeset. Even after it is typeset, the proofs are read again. This is called the galley stage, and the galleys are checked line for line to catch any additional errors. The proofreader also checks that the same fonts, spacing and sizes are used on each page, just as the page designer planned. They need to be slow and methodical in their checking for details. There are special marks used for proofreading.
- Proofreaders need have excellent spelling skills. They need a strong grasp of the mechanics and conventions of the language and a keen eye for detail.
Usually proofreaders must take an aptitude test to see if they have the skills it takes to do the job. They need a high school diploma as a minimum requirement to do this job. Proofreaders usually work for publishing companies. The average salary of a proofreader is $44,800.
Online Marketing Content Writer
The Internet has changed how many companies do business. It has also created new positions in recent years like the position of Online Marketing Content Writer.
Online marketing content writers help companies promote their businesses on the Internet. By teaming up with web designers, they create effective websites for clients that will achieve high search engine rankings and profitably promote their clients' businesses.
Online marketing technical writers must have strong English writing and editing skills. They need excellent computer skills and advanced knowledge of the Internet. They must be able to proofread their work for accuracy and functionality. They also must be organized, be able to work under pressure, and be able to adhere to tight deadlines. It is extremely important that the content writer be creative as well as have an entrepreneurial spirit to market their work.
Web content writers also develop copy for:
- Email inquiries
- Email marketing
- Banner ads
- Contact info
- User directions
This is called secondary content. They also assist in the upkeep and renewal of the site once it is up and running and continue to work with the business on a long-term contract basis.
Content writers have many different backgrounds. A bachelor's degree in journalism or English is common. Business, marketing, and public relations coursework is helpful if the content you are writing is for advertising. Computer training or knowledge of computers is essential. The average salary of an Online Marketing Content Writer is $50,900.
Last Updated: 09/12/2012