Sep 19, 2017

How to Become a Screenwriter

Screenwriting is an essential part of the entertainment industry that involves creating scripts for films, television shows, and video games. Screenwriters are trained professionals that develop and write a variety of scripts for many different purposes.

What does a screenwriter do?

Screenwriters are responsible for creating a variety of new ideas and developing them into stories for many different purposes. They often create scripts for a variety of movies, television shows, and video games, and also create adaptations from books and true stories. They bring their ideas to life by creating interesting characters, plots, and settings. They strive to make their stories believable and present them to producers. Screenwriters often present initial drafts to producers and then perform a variety of changes and edits to their pieces to meet the needs and requirements. Screenwriters often focus on a specific genre such as comedy, horror, romance, drama, and biography.


Click here to request information on the degree that is right for you

What kind of training does a screenwriter need?

Screenwriters typically need at least a high school diploma, but many employers prefer applicants with a bachelor degree in screenwriting, drama, English or other related field. Some screenwriters have a master degree in screenwriting from a professional film school. Prospective screenwriters typically complete courses in creative writing, English, drama, journalism, theater, and acting. Many screenwriters complete internships or formal apprenticeships under experienced screenwriters to gain practical experience and establish valuable contacts. Some screenwriters begin their careers working as story editors for film studios and move into screenwriting positions as they gain the necessary experience. Many screenwriters join the Writer"s Guild of America (WGA) to remain competitive in the field. Screenwriters typically complete continuing education and additional training throughout their careers to keep their skills up to date and stay abreast with advancements in the field.

What are the prospects for a career as a screenwriter?

Employment of screenwriters is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 8% through 2018 (1). The growing population and increased expansion of the entertainment industry will drive job growth.

Job prospects should be good with strong competition. Screenwriters with advanced training and extensive experience will have the best job opportunities.

How much do screenwriters make?

As of 2011, the average annual salary for screenwriters is $29,000; average salaries for nationwide screenwriter job postings are 55% lower than the average salaries for all nationwide job postings (2).

A career as a screenwriter is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in writing scripts for a variety of purposes. Screenwriters must have a solid understanding of the concepts, policies, and procedures related to screenwriting. Creativity, patience, perseverance, detail orientation, good problem solving and a vivid imagination are necessary characteristics. Screenwriters must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to interact with a variety of people. They must also be able to work under stress and pressure to meet strict deadlines.

If you are serious about a career in arts and design, check out our list of the best online graphic design schools.

Becoming a Screenwriter Requires Skills & Training Start Today

Are you serious about becoming a Screenwriter? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the  College Mouse Course Search tool  to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor, who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!


  1. Hello my name is Shomari McCrea. I’am fresh out of school and I decided that screenwriting for video games will be my career. I have a couple question regarding on how to get started, such as what school should I go to in Atlanta, what should Degree should I major in. Basically a path to show me the way for my career.

    • Hi Shomari,

      Thanks for visiting College Mouse. As a first step, you may want to try our degree search tool – You should get a few options under the ‘communication and multimedia’ concentration. There are many colleges that offer bachelor’s degrees in communication with a major in screenwriting or film, so you should be able to find a few options in or near Atlanta.

      Good luck with your search.

      College Mouse Team

Share Your Comments & Feedback:

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.