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NOC 2016 Version 1.3


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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.


Example titles

  • 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

Main duties

This group performs some or all of the following duties:
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.

Additional information


Breakdown summary

Broad occupational category
5 – Occupations in art, culture, recreation and sport
Skill level
A – Occupations usually require university education.
Major group
51 – Professional occupations in art and culture
Minor group
512 – Writing, translating and related communications professionals
Associated Career Handbook profiles
5121.1 – Authors and Other Creative Writers 5121.2 – Technical writers 5121.3 – Copywriters
NOC 2016 Version 1.3
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