National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2011


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5121 - Authors and writers

Authors and writers plan, research and write books, scripts, storyboards, plays, essays, speeches, manuals, specifications and other non-journalistic articles for publication or presentation. They are employed by advertising agencies, governments, large corporations, private consulting firms, publishing firms, multimedia/new-media companies and other establishments, or they may be self-employed.

  • Illustrative example(s)

    • advertising copywriter
    • copywriter
    • essayist
    • interactive media writer
    • literary writer
    • medical writer
    • novelist
    • playwright
    • poet
    • scientific writer
    • script writer
    • specifications writer
    • speech writer
    • technical writer
    • writer

    All examples

  • Exclusion(s)

    • Editors (5122)
    • Journalists (5123)
    • Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations (1123)
    • Song writers (See 5132 Conductors, composers and arrangers)
    • Translators, terminologists and interpreters (5125)
  • Main duties

    The following is a summary of the main duties of some occupations in this unit group:

    Novelists, playwrights, script writers, poets and other creative writers

    • Conceive and write novels, plays, scripts, poetry and other material for publication or presentation
    • May conduct research to establish factual content and to obtain other necessary information.

    Technical writers

    • Analyze material, such as specifications, notes and drawings and write manuals, user guides and other documents to explain clearly and concisely the installation, operation and maintenance of software and electronic, mechanical and other equipment.


    • Study and determine selling features of products and services and write text for advertisements and commercials.

    Authors and writers may specialize in a particular subject or type of writing.

  • Employment requirements

    • Technical writers usually require a university degree in the area of specialization, such as computer science or engineering.
    • Copywriters usually require a university degree or college diploma in French, English, marketing, advertising or another discipline.
    • Creative writing programs are offered by universities and colleges.
    • Talent and ability, as demonstrated by a portfolio of work, are important hiring criteria.
    • Membership in a guild or union related to the occupation may be required.
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