Biology and medicine are both fields that require the work of writers. There are so many biology and medical textbooks, it would be impossible to count them. Also, there are countless reports on biology and medicine written every year for publications. Another way writing is used in biology and medicine is with communications. Many communications specialists are hired to organize research efforts, to keep teams together, and to manage workflow. Below, we will explore these professions in depth.
As biology and medical writing jobs come, being a textbook writer is profitable and often interesting, despite what is usually said about the content. Commonly, all that is required of textbook writers is that they should have a bachelor’s degree in English, journalism, communications, or technical writing. Experience in writing technical documents during one’s undergraduate study is also preferred, with a focus on the subject that you will write about for your career. In terms of skills, one needs to be good at critical thinking, writing, decision-making, and creative thinking. In addition, it helps to know how to use software programs that compose, edit, and revise content. In regard to pay, in 2015, the median salary of a textbook writer was $60,250 annally. As you can see, you can make a fine career out of being a textbook writer.
It might be obvious, but you should be quite knowledgeable in the subject matter you will be writing about. For biology and medicine, there is quite a bit to study. Even if you get only a bachelor’s degree, it is important that you do a lot of outside study on the subject and can pass certain comprehension and proficiency tests. Completing an internship in your field for textbook writing will be a big plus if you can find one. Your self-study might also entail reading existing textbooks and seeing what works and what does not. Being able to assess what is a good textbook and what is not a good textbook is essential.
With biology and medical writing jobs, you need to have an online portfolio of your work. When you are applying to be a textbook writer, there is no exception. To prepare an online portfolio of your technical writing, go through all that you have written over the years that correlates to textbook writing, and sift through the documents to see which ones are the most successful at what they do. Your portfolio might need to be adapted to each job you apply for, so be wary of knowing what else could be put into your portfolio in the event of applying to various positions.
Reports can be written for a myriad reasons. In terms of biology and medical jobs, they are usually written for journals, magazines, and educational or research facilities. If you want to write reports on biology or medicine for journals, you need to be competent in a certain field to be able to report on it. You should at least have a cursory knowledge of the specialization you will be writing about. This is the case for the journalist who wants to write about biology or medicine. Journalists need not be experts in the field, but should at least understand what they are writing about to avoid confusion and mockery. In other words, in order to be a professional journalist, you need to understand your subject well enough to convey a correct view on it and to convey the appropriate information. However, if you want to write reports for educational or research facilities, you will need to know much more than a basic knowledge on a specialization. You will have to be comprehensively competent in what you write about, as many more details will have to be explored. As a writer for educational or research use, you will have to advance the area of study you choose, instead of allowing others to simply understand it. This is a serious task, and one that requires full attention and maybe a lifetime of dedication to a certain specialization.
The best way to earn a living as a report writer is as a columnist. A columnist writes articles for periodicals on a regular basis. Because of this consistent work, you can earn a solid living. If you are writing reports on a freelance basis, it is more difficult to manage a consistent income. In terms of salaries, columnists earn $45,120 annually on average, with the top 10 percent of columnists making more than $78,530 a year. This is not a bad chunk of change for writing about what you love, and what will influence the scientific and medical communities.
Report writing requires a strong attention to detail, methodical thinking, and excellent literary skills (especially concision). Each sentence is essential to a report, and no information should be missing. Being accountable for the information you present is also key. With the attention to detail, having an organizational mindset is important. Each report is sectioned, and should follow a standardized flow. These sections might vary from publication to publication; however, you should be aware and fluent in how to order a report in its correct organization from your education. You should get a degree in either writing, literature, science, medicine, communications, editing, journalism, or a related degree. In these degree programs, you will be asked to write reports that follow specific standards and a structure that is commonplace. In addition, you must develop potent literary skills, such as concision, pacing, sentence variety, tone, style, and much more. Technical writing of this sort lends to the more editorial side of writing, where the exact words must be used and the most appropriate structure of a sentence must be composed in order to convey information in the best way. Report writers are never known to be sloppy writers.
The world of journalism is cutthroat, but with the right portfolio, experience, and education, you can rise to any occasion in the world of periodicals. If you did not take an internship in college, you missed a significant opportunity. Employers enjoy when applicants have done an internship in the field they are applying for. Many companies are searching for recent college graduates, as they know they can be trained well and are eager to grow. However, having the experience of an internship behind you will aid you in landing the job you want. Having previous work experience, besides internships, is of course wonderful, but it is not always necessary.
Though this position might not seem to be intrinsically connected to biology or medicine, they are in fact one out of many biology and medical writing jobs. Sometimes, we need to stretch our imagination a bit when it comes to our careers, and say yes to opportunities that come our way. The position of communications specialist has been on the rise as of late. Many companies seek these professionals to organize teams and to relay information swiftly and correctly. Many people within science and medicine are not the best at sending information across teams and organizing efforts to complete a project. This is where a communications specialist comes in.
In order for projects to run smoothly, communications specialists are hired. Within biology and medicine, research projects within companies are constantly being conducted. Also, teams of people are usually put together to create research studies. Communications specialists keep projects organized and allow each individual to know exactly where he or she stands in the process of completing goals.
This work entails emailing, newsletter writing, and putting together organizational interfaces that employees can use, and managing those systems. It also includes marketing content and getting in touch with executives. It requires a knowledge of social media, project management, and the field in which you are working in. It is a varied position that never gets monotonous.
The average communications specialist makes $50,000 per year, but those working in top companies such as Boeing can make $77,000 annually on average. Also, the path a communications specialist can take is wide: marketing manager, marketing communications manager, communications manager, communications director, senior communication specialist, and onwards to even higher positions such as marketing director, director of communications, executive director, and more. As you can see, there is quite a bit of room for growth and expansion into different positions.
What about other jobs?
Besides these three main biology and medical writing jobs, there are other positions to mention. Many research facilities require notetakers and people who record information in general. There are also people who catalog and keep information tidy within archives known as curators. Furthermore, editors of publications that deal with biology and/or medicine is a great profession. These editors need to first be solid writers and quite knowledgeable in formatting, technical writing rules, and design. These editors, also need to be acquainted with either biology or medicine to properly edit journals dedicated to these subjects. But whatever job dealing with writing you take in biology or medicine, do your best to enjoy the process of work, and the filling of your brain with fresh, inspiring information.