Screenwriters write scripts for entertainment, education, training and sales, films and television programs. Screenwriters may choose themes themselves, or they may write on a theme assigned by a producer or director, sometimes adapting plays, novels, or other works into screenplays. Screenwriting is an art, a craft, and a business. It is a career that requires imagination and creativity, the ability to tell a story using both dialogue and pictures, and the ability to negotiate with producers and studio executives.

Quick Facts
Duties Write scripts for television shows, movies, documentaries, and other productions
Alternate Title(s) Continuity Writers, Motion Picture Writers, Playwrights
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $100,000+
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Fair
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Most opportunities exist in New York and Los Angeles
Education and Training
  • High School Diploma
Related School Subjects
  • English
  • Journalism
  • Theater/Dance
Experience Previous writing experience recommended
  • Computer
  • Performance
  • Music
  • and Acting
  • Writing
Personality Traits
  • Creative
  • Enterprising
  • Organized
Licensure/Certification None
Special Requirements Membership in the Writers Guild of America (WGA) may be required for studios and production companies that are signatories of WGA contracts
Career Ladder
  • Director, or Producer, or Award-Winning Screenwriter
  • Screenwriter
  • Writer’s Assistant or Production Assistant

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