Columnists write opinion pieces for publication in newspapers or magazines. Some columnists work for syndicates, which are organizations that sell articles to many media at once.

Columnists can be generalists who write about whatever strikes them on any topic. Most columnists focus on a specialty, such as government, politics, local issues, health, humor, sports, gossip, or other themes.

Most newspapers employ local columnists or run columns from syndicates. Some syndicated columnists work out of their homes or private offices.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) None
Duties Write opinion pieces for publication in newspapers, magazines, or other publications
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country
Minimum Education Level
  • Bachelor's Degree
School Subjects
  • Computer Science
  • English
  • Journalism
Experience Previous writing experience required
Personality Traits
  • Creative
  • Curious
  • Outgoing
  • Computer
  • Research
  • Writing
Certification or Licensing None
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Fair
Outlook Little Change or More Slowly than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Syndicated Columnist, or Editor, or Foreign Correspondent
  • Columnist
  • Reporter or Freelance Writer

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