Top 11 Freelance Writer Certifications
This article explores the most popular and highly-regarded certifications for freelance writers, helping readers to decide which one is right for them.
Published 19 min read
Certifications are an important way for freelance writers to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in a particular area. Having certifications can help freelance writers stand out in the job market, as they can show potential employers that they have the expertise necessary to complete specific tasks or projects. Certifications also provide freelance writers with proof of their qualifications, allowing them to prove their competency and experience to clients. Additionally, certifications can give freelance writers access to exclusive job postings or resources that may not be available to those without such credentials. In short, having certifications is an important way for freelance writers to differentiate themselves from the competition and increase their prospects for success in the job market.
This article reviews the most valuable certifications for Freelance Writers and explains how they can help to enhance a freelance writer's career.
What are Freelance Writer Certifications?
Freelance writer certification is a type of professional credential that demonstrates a writer's proficiency in the field. It is usually achieved by completing an approved course of study from an accredited institution, or through passing an industry-recognized exam. The certification provides assurance to potential employers that the writer has the necessary skills and knowledge to produce high-quality written content.
The benefits of freelance writer certification include increased credibility, better job opportunities, higher pay rates, and improved networking opportunities. Having a recognized certification also gives writers more confidence when negotiating with clients or employers. Additionally, it provides recognition among peers as a professional who meets certain standards and has acquired specialized knowledge in the field of writing.
By having freelance writer certification, writers can demonstrate their commitment to their craft and show potential employers that they are serious about their profession. This can be especially helpful for those just starting out in the field or those looking to make a career change into writing.
Pro Tip: Consider obtaining freelance writer certification to demonstrate your qualifications and knowledge in the field. Certification is a great way to stand out from other freelancers and show potential clients that you are knowledgeable, reliable, and committed to your craft.
Related: What does a Freelance Writer do?
Top 11 Freelance Writer Certifications
Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Freelance Writers today.
1. Freelance Writers Certification Program (FWCP)
The Freelance Writers Certification Program (FWCP) is a program designed to help freelance writers develop their skills and gain recognition as professional writers. The FWCP offers certification in three areas: Creative Writing, Technical Writing, and Copywriting.
The Creative Writing certification requires completion of two courses: Introduction to Creative Writing and Advanced Creative Writing. The Technical Writing certification requires completion of two courses: Introduction to Technical Writing and Advanced Technical Writing. The Copywriting certification requires completion of two courses: Introduction to Copywriting and Advanced Copywriting.
Each course takes approximately 10-12 weeks to complete, depending on the student’s schedule. Courses are taught online through an interactive platform, allowing students to learn at their own pace.
To get certified, students must pass the final exam for each course with a score of 80% or higher. Once all four exams have been passed, students will receive their FWCP certificate in the mail within 4-6 weeks.
The cost of the FWCP varies depending on the type of course taken; however, most courses range from $100-$200 per course.
2. Certified Professional Freelance Writer (CPFW)
Certified Professional Freelance Writer (CPFW) is a certification program designed to recognize the professional achievements of freelance writers. It is an internationally recognized credential that demonstrates a writer’s commitment to excellence in their craft. The CPFW certification is awarded by the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC).
To become a CPFW, applicants must have at least three years of professional writing experience and pass an exam administered by PWAC. The exam covers topics such as grammar, punctuation, style, and ethics. Applicants must also submit two writing samples for review by PWAC’s Certification Committee.
The cost for the CPFW certification is $400 CAD plus applicable taxes. The application process can take up to six weeks depending on the number of applications received and the complexity of each application. Once approved, applicants will receive their official certificate in the mail within four weeks.
The CPFW certification is valid for three years after which time it must be renewed to remain active. Renewal requires applicants to demonstrate continued professional development through activities such as attending workshops or conferences, taking courses, or participating in webinars related to freelance writing.
3. Certified Freelance Writer (CFW)
Certified Freelance Writer (CFW) is a certification program designed to help freelance writers improve their skills and become more successful in the industry. The program is offered by the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC).
The CFW program typically takes about 6-12 months to complete, depending on how much time you are able to dedicate to it. It includes a series of online courses, workshops, and mentoring sessions that cover topics such as business planning, marketing, legal issues, writing techniques, and more. Upon completion of the program, participants will receive a certificate from PWAC indicating they have achieved Certified Freelance Writer status.
To get started with the CFW program, you must first become a member of PWAC. Membership fees vary depending on your location and type of membership (e.g., student or professional). Once you have become a member, you can register for the CFW program online at PWAC's website. You will also need to pay an additional fee for the course materials and any other associated costs.
In total, the cost of becoming a Certified Freelance Writer can range from $200 - $500 USD depending on your location and type of membership chosen.
4. Professional Freelance Writing Certificate Program (PFWCP)
The Professional Freelance Writing Certificate Program (PFWCP) is a comprehensive program designed to help aspiring freelance writers develop the skills and knowledge needed to become successful in the field. The program consists of five core courses that cover topics such as writing for online publications, creating effective proposals and pitches, managing client relationships, and understanding the legal aspects of freelance writing. Each course includes lectures, readings, exercises, and quizzes.
The PFWCP typically takes between three and six months to complete depending on how quickly you work through the material. To get started, you’ll need to register for the program by paying a one-time fee of $499 USD. This fee covers all five courses as well as access to ongoing support from instructors throughout your journey.
Once you’ve registered for the program, you can begin working through the material at your own pace. You’ll also have access to an online community of other students who are taking part in the PFWCP so you can ask questions and get feedback from experienced freelancers.
Upon completion of all five courses, you will receive a Professional Freelance Writing Certificate from PFWCP which will demonstrate your commitment to becoming a successful freelance writer.
5. Advanced Professional Freelance Writing Certificate Program (APFWCP)
The Advanced Professional Freelance Writing Certificate Program (APFWCP) is a comprehensive online training program designed to help aspiring and experienced freelance writers develop the skills necessary to succeed in the competitive world of freelance writing. The program covers topics such as writing for different markets, developing effective pitches, researching and writing articles, editing and proofreading, marketing yourself as a writer, and much more.
The APFWCP consists of 10 modules that can be completed at your own pace over a period of up to 6 months. Each module includes video lessons, audio lectures, practice assignments, and quizzes to ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the material. Once all modules are completed, you will receive an official certificate from the American Writers & Artists Inc., which is recognized by many employers as proof of your professional freelance writing skills.
To get started with the APFWCP, you need to register on the American Writers & Artists Inc. website and pay the registration fee. The cost of the program varies depending on how long it takes you to complete the course; however, it typically ranges from $600-$1200 USD.
Once registered, you will gain access to all 10 modules of the course where you can begin learning about freelance writing from industry professionals. As you progress through each module, you will be able to track your progress and receive feedback on your work from instructors who are available 24/7 via email or phone support. Upon completion of all 10 modules within 6 months or less, you will receive an official certificate from AWAI confirming that you have successfully completed their Advanced Professional Freelance Writing Certificate Program (APFWCP).
6. American Writers and Artists Institute Freelance Writing Course (AWAI)
The American Writers and Artists Institute Freelance Writing Course (AWAI) is a comprehensive program designed to teach aspiring writers the skills they need to become successful freelance writers. The course consists of four modules: Getting Started, Building Your Business, Writing for Clients, and Marketing Your Services. Each module includes video lessons, exercises, and assignments that will help you learn the basics of freelance writing.
The AWAI Freelance Writing Course takes approximately six months to complete. It starts with an introductory module that covers the fundamentals of freelance writing such as understanding the different types of writing jobs available and how to get them. The next three modules focus on building your business, writing for clients, and marketing your services. Finally, there is a closing module that helps you review what you have learned in the course and provides guidance on how to move forward in your career as a freelancer.
To get started with the AWAI Freelance Writing Course, you must first register for an account at their website. Once registered, you can access all of the course materials online or download them for offline use. You can also access additional resources such as webinars and live events that will help you stay up-to-date on industry trends and best practices.
The cost of the AWAI Freelance Writing Course varies depending on which package you choose. The basic package costs $497 while the premium package costs $997. Both packages include access to all four modules plus additional resources such as webinars and live events.
7. International Association of Professional Writers and Editors Certification Program (IAPWE CP)
The International Association of Professional Writers and Editors Certification Program (IAPWE CP) is a professional certification program designed to recognize writers and editors who demonstrate the highest level of proficiency in their craft. The program is administered by the IAPWE, a non-profit organization that promotes excellence in writing and editing.
To become certified, applicants must pass an exam that tests their knowledge of grammar, punctuation, style, usage, research methods, and other areas related to writing and editing. The exam takes approximately two hours to complete. After passing the exam, applicants are awarded the IAPWE CP designation.
The cost for taking the IAPWE CP exam is $125 USD for members of the IAPWE or $150 USD for non-members. To become eligible for membership in the IAPWE, applicants must have at least three years of professional writing or editing experience or have completed an accredited college degree program in English or journalism.
Applicants can register for the exam online through the IAPWE website. Once registered, they will receive an email confirmation with instructions on how to access and take the exam. After completing the exam, applicants will receive their results within 48 hours.
8. The Content Marketing Institute’s Certified Content Marketer Program (CCMP)
The Content Marketing Institute’s Certified Content Marketer Program (CCMP) is a professional certification program designed to help content marketers gain the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in their field. The program provides an understanding of the fundamentals of content marketing, including strategy, planning, execution, measurement and optimization. It also covers the latest trends in content marketing, such as social media, search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing and more.
The CCMP consists of two parts: an online course and an exam. The online course is self-paced and can be completed in approximately 10 hours. It covers topics such as content strategy, audience analysis, content creation and distribution, analytics and more. After completing the coursework, participants must pass a 90-minute exam that tests their knowledge of the material covered in the course.
The cost of the CCMP is $595 USD for individuals or $995 USD for teams of up to five people. This fee includes access to the online course materials and one attempt at the exam. Additional attempts at the exam are available for an additional fee.
Once you have successfully completed all requirements for the CCMP program, you will receive your official certification from Content Marketing Institute (CMI). This certification is valid for two years before needing to be renewed through continuing education credits or retaking the exam.
9. The Copywriter’s Guild Certification Program (CGCertified)
The Copywriter’s Guild Certification Program (CGCertified) is a comprehensive program designed to help copywriters become more successful in their field. It provides professional development, certification and recognition for copywriters who demonstrate a high level of expertise in the craft of copywriting.
The program consists of three levels: Certified Copywriter, Advanced Copywriter and Master Copywriter. Each level requires the successful completion of an online course, which covers topics such as basic grammar and punctuation, writing techniques, marketing principles and more. The courses are designed to be completed at your own pace and can take anywhere from one week to several months depending on your commitment level.
Once you have completed all three levels of the program, you will be eligible for CGCertified membership and receive a certificate of completion. This certificate is recognized by employers as proof that you have achieved a certain level of proficiency in the craft of copywriting.
The cost for the CGCertified program varies depending on the number of levels you choose to complete. Generally speaking, it costs around $500 for all three levels combined.
10. The National Association of Independent Writers and Editors Certification Program (NAIWE CP)
The National Association of Independent Writers and Editors Certification Program (NAIWE CP) is a certification program for freelance writers and editors. The program is designed to help writers and editors build their professional credibility, gain recognition in the industry, and expand their opportunities.
The NAIWE CP consists of three levels: Certified Professional Writer (CPW), Certified Professional Editor (CPE), and Certified Professional Writer/Editor (CPWE). To become certified at any level, applicants must have at least two years of professional writing or editing experience. They must also submit a portfolio that demonstrates their skills in writing or editing.
The application process takes approximately 3-4 weeks. Applicants must submit an online application form along with a portfolio of their work, a resume, references, and payment for the application fee. After the application has been reviewed by NAIWE’s board of directors, applicants will receive notification of acceptance or rejection within two weeks.
Once accepted into the program, applicants can choose to take either a written exam or an oral exam to demonstrate their proficiency in writing or editing. The written exam consists of multiple choice questions about grammar, punctuation, usage, style, and other topics related to writing and editing. The oral exam requires applicants to answer questions about their experience as well as complete an editing task on a sample document.
The cost for the NAIWE CP varies depending on which level you are applying for. The fees range from $50-$100 USD depending on the level you are applying for. Once certified, there is an annual renewal fee of $25 USD per year to maintain certification status.
11. The Society for Technical Communication's Certified Technical Communicator Program (CTC).
The Certified Technical Communicator (CTC) program is a professional certification program offered by the Society for Technical Communication (STC). The CTC program is designed to recognize and promote excellence in technical communication. It is an internationally recognized certification that demonstrates a commitment to the field of technical communication and provides recognition of a high level of expertise.
The CTC program requires applicants to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities in the areas of writing, editing, design, production, management, and usability. To become certified, applicants must pass a comprehensive exam that covers all aspects of technical communication. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and essay questions that assess the applicant’s knowledge and ability to apply it in various situations.
The CTC program takes approximately six months to complete. Applicants are required to submit an application form along with supporting documents such as transcripts, resume/CV, work samples, letters of recommendation from colleagues or employers, and other materials as requested by STC. After submitting their application materials, applicants will be notified within two weeks if they have been accepted into the CTC program.
Once accepted into the CTC program, applicants will be given access to online resources including study guides and practice exams that can help them prepare for the certification exam. Applicants should plan on studying for at least three months before taking the exam. Once they have passed the exam they will receive their official CTC certificate from STC.
The cost for applying to the CTC program is $375 USD for members of STC or $475 USD for non-members. This fee includes access to online resources such as study guides and practice exams as well as one attempt at taking the certification exam. If an applicant does not pass on their first attempt they may retake the exam one more time for an additional fee of $125 USD.
Do You Really Need a Freelance Writer Certificate?
Whether or not you need a freelance writer certificate depends on the type of writing you plan to do. If you are looking to write for publications, magazines, newspapers, etc., then it’s likely that having a certificate in freelance writing will give you an advantage when applying for jobs. Many employers view such certificates as a sign that the applicant is educated and experienced in the field, which can help them stand out from other applicants.
On the other hand, if you are only interested in writing for your own website or blog, then having a freelance writer certificate is likely unnecessary. You can still create good content without one, so there is no need to invest in this type of certification unless you want to pursue more professional opportunities. That said, having a certificate may still be beneficial even if you don’t plan on pursuing publication work. It could give potential clients more confidence in your abilities and demonstrate your commitment to the craft.
Ultimately, whether or not you should get a freelance writer certificate comes down to personal preference and what kind of writing career path you wish to pursue. If becoming a professional writer is something that interests you, then investing in a certificate could be worth it in the long run.
Related: Freelance Writer Resume Examples
FAQs About Freelance Writer Certifications
Q1. What is a freelance writer certification?
A1. A freelance writer certification is an officially recognized credential that demonstrates mastery of the craft of writing. This type of certification can be obtained through a variety of programs and organizations, such as the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC) or the Freelance Writers Union (FWU).
Q2. How do I get certified as a freelance writer?
A2. To get certified as a freelance writer, you will need to complete an approved training program and pass an exam administered by the certifying organization. Most certifications require completion of specific coursework and/or tests in order to demonstrate proficiency in areas such as grammar, style, research and formatting.
Q3. Are there any benefits to obtaining a freelance writer certification?
A3. Yes, there are several benefits to gaining a freelance writer certification. These include improved credibility with clients, increased job opportunities and higher pay rates for your services. Additionally, many organizations offer discounts on memberships and other services if you hold a valid certification from them.
Q4. How long does it take to become certified as a freelance writer?
A4. The amount of time required to obtain your certification will depend on the specific program you choose and how much time you have available for study and practice tests prior to taking the exam. Generally speaking, most programs require at least one month of dedicated effort before attempting the exam.
Q5. Do I need any special equipment or software to become certified?
A5: No special equipment or software is necessary in order to become certified as a freelance writer; however, depending on the program you choose, access to certain resources may be beneficial in preparing for the exam (such as reference books or online courses).