Communications Careers in the Outdoor Industry
Description of this career group:
Whether it is the written word, the spoken word, or a visual presentation, these careers are centered around communicating a message or a story.
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The following is a partial list of communications careers in the outdoor industry
Book or magazine editor
Book or magazine publisher
Social media manager
Public relations specialist
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What people in these careers do:
Writers and authors develop written content for advertisements, books, magazines, movie and television scripts, songs, blogs, or other types of media. Editors plan, review, and revise content for publication. Public relations specialists create and maintain a favorable public image for the organization they represent. They design media releases to shape public perception of their organization and to increase awareness of its work and goals.
Most jobs in this career group work indoors, either in an office or at home. However, as a writer, blogger, or podcaster you may have the freedom and opportunity to work in the outdoors that you love so much. Imagine sitting outside on a beautiful fall day with your pad and pen or laptop and writing about what you see or what is on your mind. Many of these roles will very likely involve the use of a computer and working with a team of people, especially as the level of responsibility increases. Writers and authors work in an office, at home, or anywhere else they have access to a computer. Most work full time. However, self-employed and freelance writers usually work part time or have variable schedules. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, about 2 in 3 were self-employed in 2014.
How to get started:
The barrier to get started in this field is very low, so just get started writing or blogging. Someone interested in starting a podcast will likely need some training to get started, but there are many free resources to learn how to do this. YouTube.com is one place to start searching for free podcasting tutorials. A bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, or English are typically required to become an editor, communications director, copywriter, or publisher.
If you are starting your own blog or podcast, no experience is necessary. As the level of responsibility increases, then work experience of those jobs that you will be managing would be helpful. For example, if you aspire to be an editor, you should have some writing experience.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor in 2016, the median pay for writers and authors was $61,240 ($29.44 per hour). In May 2016, the median annual wage for all workers was $37,040 ($17.81 per hour).
The following information is from the Occupational Outlook Handbook. About 1 in 4 writers and authors worked part time in 2014. Some writers keep regular office hours, either to stay in contact with sources and editors or to set up a writing routine, but many writers set their own hours.
Freelance writers are paid per assignment; therefore, they work any number of hours necessary to meet a deadline. As a result, they must be willing to work evenings and weekends to produce something acceptable to an editor or client. Although many freelance writers enjoy running their own business and working flexible hours, most routinely face the pressures of juggling multiple projects or continually looking for new work. This is a very common situation for almost any profession where you have your own business or are a freelancer. You may be great at what you do, but getting your work in front of people that will pay you in the ongoing challenge.
Most editors work full time, and their schedules are generally determined by production deadlines and the type of editorial position. Editors typically work in busy offices and have to deal with production deadline pressures and the stresses of ensuring that the information they publish is accurate. As a result, editors often work many hours, especially at those times leading up to a publication deadline. These work hours can be even more frequent when an editor is working on digital material for the Internet or for a live broadcast.
Important qualities to have:
- Detail oriented
- Creative and critical thinker
- Knowledge of grammar and punctuation
- Interpersonal skills
- Determination and drive