Television Writer

Spin memorable stories for TV audiences.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$29,000 – $109,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Television Writers do?

Although they get all the credit for the best lines — whether it’s “No soup for you!” from Seinfeld, “Danger, Will Robinson!” from Lost in Space, or “D’oh!” from The Simpsons — don’t thank Actors for your favorite TV zingers. Instead, thank the Television Writers who create them.

There are two main types of Television Writers. If you’re a Nonfiction TV Writer, you write for documentary and news programs. In that case, you act a lot like a Journalist, researching stories and interviewing subjects. You then write scripts for Newscasters, and other TV personalities, like TV Hosts and Voice-Over Artists.

If you’re a Fiction TV Writer, on the other hand, you create situations, characters, and dialogue for scripted TV series.

Either way, you’ll probably start your television career as a Staff Writer, then work your way up the chain of command to Writer/Producer. In this position, you’re both a Television Writer — in charge or writing dialog and storylines — as well as a Television Producer, in charge of managing staff and production processes. (The most senior Writer/Producer is the Executive Producer, sometimes known as the Head Writer.)

No matter your seniority, you often write alongside other Television Writers, since TV episodes are typically written in teams. You also generate plot ideas, oversee casting, and — if you do your job well — walk the red carpet when your TV series wins an award!

Should I be a Television Writer?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.

  • Also known as: Television Script Writer

    How to become a Television Writer

    Most Television Writers have a Certificate or no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Bachelor's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9matdd&chl=no+college+%2848%25%29|certificate+%2810%25%29||bachelor%27s+%2835%25%29|master%27s+%283%25%29|doctorate+%283%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,48,48
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