Do you want to work as an author?

  • Read about the most important info you need to decide on following this career.
  • ​Follow the 7 points below and search for a tertiary institution near you for future studies. If you already are graduated, you may also search through our list of Jobs in the main menu.
  • If you want to PLAN the way you need to prepare, then join our community in step 8 where you will learn everything, while chatting with other potential authors and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!


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UPDATED: 24 August 2020

1. What is an author?

An author is a person that writes and compiles books for reading or viewing. They might write the entire book themselves, or work together with other authors or writers. They may also write the content part of a book, which is filled with other media, such as photos and illustrations.

There are various kinds of books where animals are the main focus:

  • Novels
  • Educational books
  • Photographic books
  • Multimedia story books

There are other kinds of writers, such as bloggers who write content for blogs, or content writers, who write the content for websites (such as scientific websites), movies and news productions.

Oldest writing?

It is believed that the oldest form of writing dates back to more than 5,500 years ago

Study of writing?

The study of an individual's handwriting is called Graphology

2. What do they do?


Media / Business


Authors write books, or provide the written content for story related books for the readers to get to know the characters and story lines. The story might be fictional, or even educational.

Daily Tasks:

  • Discuss brief with clients
  • Do intensive research on the subjects, in this case animals
  • Develop a storyboard to help the writing idea
  • Write the draft
  • Edit and proofread until the final product
  • Presentation to clients of work done
  • Create and add new work to a portfolio
  • Administration and filing

Where they work:


Most authors work within an office setup, and type their stories or script on a laptop or PC. They can use their research time to visit places where the animals are kept. Most of the best authors also try to interact with the animals to help them in understanding the animals better.

Places of Employment –

Most authors work independently, or may freelance to work under contract. Some of them might already be employed within a different career (such as academic lecturers, or wildlife photographers), while writing a book.

Average Salary:

As most authors are self employed, their income is based on finalizing a book, or obtaining contracts. On average the income per year is around $65,000. This will differ from country to country, and on what kind of book was written.


The most difficult part of being an author is to come up with ideas to write about. Long hours of research is required, and when writing for a client or on contract can mean short deadlines and limited budget.

​Future growth and Possibilities:

Employment of authors, whether by companies that do use writers, or self-employed and writing on contract, is estimated to grow yearly by 8%. The demand for authors to publish online will grow significantly.

3. Which Skills are required?

The skills required for a career as an author can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.

Life Skills:

  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Decision making
  • Problem Solving
  • Effective communication
  • Interpersonal relationship

Career Skills:

  • ​Good business knowledge
  • Good writing skills
  • Basic customer service skills
  • Good health and physical fitness
  • Excellent computer literacy
Life Skills
Career Skills

4. Which Subjects must I have at School?

The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.

OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!

5. What will I need to Study?

Minimum Requirements:

To become an Author doesn’t require formal training, but many do go on to study a College Diploma or even a Bachelor’s Degree.


Major –

Study towards subjects in language, writing, communications.

Short Courses –

Courses in writing fiction or non-fiction will be of tremendous help. If you are thinking of also following other writing career, then you might want to add a few courses in things such as content writing, copywriting and editing.


The duration of College and Bachelor’s Degrees can be up to 3 or 4 years. Short Courses are usually between a few weeks and a year.

Possible Career Preparation Paths:

If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.

Why is planning important?

​To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A Preparation Path is like your road map to where you want to be.

Possible Paths:

Possible Combined Career Paths:

It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.

Possible Alternatives (there are a lot more):

Stepping Stone Career:

Being an author can also be used as a stepping stone career. A stepping stone career is one which is used to help you get to another career, normally because the other career is too difficult to reach (sometimes due to things like high fees etc).

You can begin as a junior writer after basic short courses and expert guidance (maybe working under a mentor). The money made can then be used to pay for studies towards a promotion or another career, and the experience helps in gaining knowledge. One paying to help get to the other.

Some of the possible paths:

Training and apprenticeship:

Even though it is important to study to get into some of the animal careers, most of the skills you will need as an author will be acquired through practice. This means that you will learn how to perform some of the daily tasks by actually doing it a few times and learning the steps.

In some cases entry level positions require training sessions even before you are allowed to actually perform your job duties. These sessions are offered by the place of employment, after you have successfully applied.

Apprenticeship is also possible where you need to learn skills from a more senior author or mentor.

Join the Authors Group in STEP 8 to learn more and even interact with the educational institutions that will help you secure your dream career!

Average level of education of those entering the career:

High School Certificate 0%
Diploma or Short Courses 0%
Degree or Higher Studies 0%

6. Licenses, Certificate, Registration and Professional Associations

Certain animal careers require some form of legal certification to prove that you can indeed do the work, and work with the necessary equipment.

Although not required by law, certifications may help workers establish their credentials and enhance their skills.

Learn more about requirements by joining OZT in STEP 8.

Professional Associations:

7. Where can I study further?

All of the above information will help you understand more about the Career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with High School (Grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies, and WHERE you will study.

See the List of Universities, Colleges and Online Training Academies who offer courses towards writing.

8. Join the OZT community

Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming an author.

Members of the Platform have special access to:

  • Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
  • Expertly designed advice to prepare you for the career, and links to places where you can gain valuable experience. For some career experience is necessary, otherwise you wont get the job!
  • Top notch info on each of the different species you will work with
  • Make friends around the world and share knowledge
  • Compete and win points, badges, games, prizes and certificates. Be the best of the best, while you learn and prepare!

If you have decided on being an Author, please click on the JOIN GROUP button. Members will be directed to the Group, while non-members will be assisted to register first.

If this career is NOT the career for you, then you may return to the MAIN CAREER menu, and search for something different.

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Career Profiles and Resources

Career Mentors are Members who assist by volunteering to keep each Career Page factual and current, while mentoring Students in the related Career Group.

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Contributions by expert members are always appreciated to allow the Students to make informed decisions. Please add your contribution through the attached Form:

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List of Career Mentors/Educators who have contributed to this Career info:


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