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Science Writer

The Growth Of Specialization, Breaking Into The Field, Opportunities In Science JournalismCompensation

All good journalists are storytellers, and science writers are simply journalists who like to tell stories about science. Still, it has only been in the last few decades that science writing has become a profession in its own right, with journalists specifically trained to cover research ranging from genetics to particle physics.

Beginning science writers may earn a starting salary of around $20,000 to $25,000, depending on their training, the type of job, the resources of the employer, and the region of the country. More experienced writers may earn between $35,000 and $60,000, and some writers earn even more. The highest salaries are paid to top-tier writers employed by major publications, or experienced medical writers working for pharmaceutical companies.


Deborah Blum


Blum, Deborah, and Mary Knudson, eds. A Field Guide for Science Writers. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Friedman, Sharon M., Sharon Dunwoody, and Carol L. Rogers, eds. Communicating Uncertainty: Media Coverage of New and Controversial Science. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1999.

Gastel, Barbara. The Health Writers Handbook. Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1998.

Internet Resources

American Association for the Advancement of Science: Media Relations. <http://www.eurekalert.org>.

National Association of Science Writers. <http://www.nasw.org>.

Society of Environmental Journalists. <http://www.sej.org>.

Additional topics

Medicine EncyclopediaGenetics in Medicine - Part 4