How to Become a Speech Writer
Speech Writer Careers & Degrees

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Speech Writers use their innate capability and love of language in order to create speeches for a variety of clients and professionals.

Speech writing professionals help their clients take ideas and then create professionally and carefully structured speeches to read to a particular audience.

Speech Writers are a part of a specific niche and have perfected their skills to write for a variety of clients and audiences.

Their work can be considered a part of public relations, communications or writing and editing.

These types of workers can work in a wide range of fields and may write speeches for different purposes.

Speech writing professionals can work for a large company; they may also write speeches for public figures, such as political candidates or government offices.

Students thinking about joining this field need a strong skill set that focuses on communication in order to become a Speech Writer .

Their work goes beyond writing.

They must spend time understanding the person who is giving the speech, the type of audience it is being dictated to and the context or situation it will be given in.

A Speech Writer working for a politician would determine their client’s personality, what situation or type of environment it will be given in and whether the audience is the general public or a room full of potential donors.

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Education Requirements to Become a Speech Writer

In order to become a Speech Writer, candidates must continue their education and seek an advanced degree.

The most useful skill a candidate who wants to become a Speech Writer is whether they can take an idea and present it in a way that will grasp the audience’s attention.

Some helpful majors that can help a student become a Speech Writer include Communications, Public Relations, Journalism, Marketing or English.

Creating a grammatically correct speech is only one of the necessary skills a Speech Writer needs.

They must also learn how to draw the audience’s attention and maintain it through the length of the presentation.

Speech Writers must understand the audience they are writing the speech for and the tone of voice the presenter can recite it with.

They must be able to take a complicated idea and write it in a way that is understandable for the audience.

Students who major in the previously mentioned degrees will be able to learn how to strengthen these types of skills.

In addition, students who want to pursue this career can choose to add a second major to their educational background.

For example, a student can major in English and Journalism or Communications and Public Relations in order to learn techniques from both areas of study.

Students wanting to go into this field have a lot of options to strengthen their command of the English language.

Speech Writer Job Description

A Speech Writer’s goal is to create an oral presentation that is developed around a specific idea or message.

This idea will then be taken and presented in a way that the audience will understand, relate to and stay interested in.

Speech writers will keep the tone of voice, grammar, the message or idea and the audience in mind while writing a speech.

This professional must keep their audience and presenter in mind and may write a speech that is geared to move, inspire and cause the audience to think.

Speech Writers must take the audience in mind in order to create a speech that is relatable and understandable.

A Speech Writer creating a dialogue for the general public will curb the sophisticated and stylish language.

These professionals will focus on a message and write it in an approachable manner.

Speech writers will take an audience into consideration and use what they know about the listeners and create a discourse that would keep their interest.

Speech writers may do all this work under pressure and may required to complete speeches with limited time.

Speech Writer Salary and Career Path

A Speech Writer’s salary will depend on the industry and type of client they work for.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for Speech Writers in the public relations industry is approximately $51,340 annually if they work for a local government.

For those in the business or political sector the median wage is approximately $55,460 per year.

For speech writers who work full time as salaried writing employees, the median wage is approximately $53,070 per year.

The below information is based on the 2019 BLS national averages.
  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary


Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
District of Columbia$103,980
New Hampshire$60,030
New Jersey$80,690
New Mexico$69,330
New York$91,280
North Carolina$67,560
North Dakota$53,350
Rhode Island$67,260
South Carolina$53,430
South Dakota$56,590
West Virginia$65,260
Puerto Rico$43,770

The top earning state in the field is District of Columbia, where the average salary is $103,980.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

District of Columbia - $103,980
New York - $91,280
California - $90,970
Connecticut - $82,750
New Jersey - $80,690
* Salary information based on the May 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Writers and Authors, OCC Code 27-3043, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

QuestionWhat does a speech writer do?

A speech writer is someone who prepares talking points and writes and edits speeches for different clients.

Those can be corporate executives, public relations firms, political officials, and larger organizations.

Professionals can also be responsible for the texts presented in radio or television commercials.

The typical duties of a speech writer usually include conducting research; organizing the data; working directly with the speaker; finalizing drafts; providing advice and feedback on speech presentation, and so on.

Some decide to do speechwriting full-time, while others prefer to do it as a part-time job.

A speech writer can also work in the government, education, and non-profit sectors.

QuestionHow much do speech writers make?

On average, a speech writer can make a little less than $82.000 per year in the United States.

In case you decide to choose this career path, you can expect to earn anywhere between $58.000 and 138.000 annually.

The salary would certainly depend on a variety of factors – your education and experience level, the employer, the location and so on.

Speech writers that work in the District of Columbia, for example, have the highest average salaries.

An entry-level speech writer can earn around $15.00 per hour, while a top-level professional with plenty of experience can make $53.00 and more per hour.

QuestionHow much does it cost to become a speech writer?

In the majority of cases, an aspiring speech writer would have to go for a bachelor’s degree in English, journalism, communications or a related field.

A year in a university can cost you anywhere between $8.000 and $45.000 (and more); the cost depends on a variety of factors (the books, supplies, and accommodation expenses are not included).

To improve job prospects, you can go for a master’s degree in public relations or speech communication; that will cost you $6.000-$70.000 per year.

QuestionWhat is the demand for speech writers?

Between 2018 and 2028, the speech writer job market is expected to grow by 6%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That is a little slower than the average for all occupations in the United States.

The speech writers that specialize in producing speeches for Internet broadcasting platforms will have better job prospects; more positions will be open in the industry as public figures (and businesses) will continue to focus on improving their reputations.

QuestionHow long does it take to become a speech writer?

It will take you 4 years to obtain a bachelor’s degree and 1-2 years to earn a master’s degree.

You can consider seeking an internship during your last years in university to get that on-job experience as the majority of employers prefer the candidates to have at least a few years of experience.

The requirements will vary by position; however, the majority of larger clients prefer the speech writer to have at least 4 years of relevant experience.

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