Critics write reviews of literary, musical and artistic works, restaurants, movies, television programs and other themes for newspapers, journals, magazines, radio, television and other media. They evaluate theme, expression and technique. Critics make judgements based on their personal experience and knowledge.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to critic:

theater critic
cinema critic
film critic
television critic
music critic
theatre critic
literary critic
art critic
architecture critic
game critic
architecture & design critic
food critic
TV critic

Minimum qualifications

Bachelor’s degree is generally required to work as critic. However, this requirement may differ in some countries.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Critic is a Skill level 4 occupation.

Critic career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to critic.

foreign correspondent
entertainment journalist
crime journalist
sports journalist

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of critic. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of critic with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of critic.

Interview techniques: The techniques for getting information out of people by asking the right questions in the right way and to make them feel comfortable.
Editorial standards: The guidelines on how to deal with and report on privacy, children, and death according to impartiality, and other standards.
Writing techniques: The different techniques to write a story such as the descriptive, persuasive, first person and other techniques.
Rhetoric: The art of discourse that aims at improving the ability of writers and speakers to inform, persuade or motivate their audience.
Spelling: The rules concerning the way words are spelled.
Grammar: The set of structural rules governing the composition of clauses, phrases, and words in any given natural language.
Copyright legislation: Legislation describing the protection of the rights of original authors over their work, and how others can use it.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of critic.

Participate in editorial meetings: Participate in meetings with fellow editors and journalists to discuss possible topics and to divide the tasks and workload.
Study topics: Carry out effective research on relevant topics to be able to produce summary information appropriate to different audiences. The research may involve looking at books, journals, the internet, and/or verbal discussions with knowledgeable persons.
Evaluate writings in response to feedback: Edit and adapt work in response to comments from peers and publishers.
Interview people: Interview people in a range of different circumstances.
Stay up to date with social media: Keep up with the trends and people on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Consult information sources: Consult relevant information sources to find inspiration, to educate yourself on certain topics and to acquire background information.
Apply grammar and spelling rules: Apply the rules of spelling and grammar and ensure consistency throughout texts.
Critically reflect on artistic production processes: Critically reflect upon processes and outcomes of the artisitc production process in order to ensure quality of experience and/or product.
Develop professional network: Reach out to and meet up with people in a professional context. Find common ground and use your contacts for mutual benefit. Keep track of the people in your personal professional network and stay up to date on their activities.
Follow ethical code of conduct of journalists: Follow the ethical code of conduct of journalists, such as freedom of speech, right of reply, being objective, and other rules.
Use specific writing techniques: Use writing techniques depending on the type of media, the genre, and the story.
Build contacts to maintain news flow: Build contacts to maintain a flow of news, for example, police and emergency services, local council, community groups, health trusts, press officers from a variety of organisations, the general public, etc.
Write to a deadline: Schedule and respect tight deadlines, especially for theatre, screen and radio projects.
Follow the news: Follow current events in politics, economics, social communities, cultural sectors, internationally, and in sports.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of critic. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Literature: The body of artistic writing characterized by beauty of expression, form, and universality of intellectual and emotional appeal.
Musical instruments: The different musical instruments, their ranges, timbre, and possible combinations.
Food materials: Quality and range of raw materials, half finished products and end products of a specific food sector.
Photography: Art and practice of creating aesthetically appealing images by recording light or electromagnetic radiation.
Musical genres: Different musical styles and genres such as blues, jazz, reggae, rock, or indie.
Art history: The history of art and artists, the artistic trends throughout centuries and their contemporary evolutions.
Food science: The study of the physical, biological, and chemical makeup of food and the scientific concepts underlying food processing and nutrition.
Food hygiene rules: The set of national and international regulations for hygiene of foodstuffs and food safety, e.g. regulation (EC) 852/2004.
Types of literature genres: The different literary genres in the history of literature, their technique, tone, content and length.
History of dance style: The origins, history and development of the dance styles and forms used, including current manifestations, current practices and methods of delivery in a chosen dance style.
Multimedia systems: The methods, procedures and techniques pertaining to the operation of multimedia systems, usually a combination of software and hardware, presenting various types of media such as video and audio.
Film studies: The theoretical, historical, and critical approaches to films. This includes the narrative, artistic, cultural, economic, and political implications of cinema.
Desktop publishing: The creation of documents using page layout skills on a computer. Desktop publishing software can generate layouts and produce typographic quality text and images.
Musical theory: The body of interrelated concepts that constitutes the theoretical background of music.
Press law: The laws concerning the licensing of books and the freedom of expression in all products of the media.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of critic. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Create online news content: Create and upload news content for e.g. websites, blogs and social media.
Apply desktop publishing techniques: Apply desktop publishing techniques and software to create page layouts and typographic quality text.
Check correctness of information: Check if the information contains factual errors, is reliable, and has news value.
Analyse trends in the food and beverage industries: Investigate trends in foodstuffs related to consumers preferences. Examine key markets based on both product type and geography as well as technological improvements in the industry.
Attend performances: Attend concerts, plays, and other cultural performances.
Proofread text: Read a text thoroughly, search for, review and correct errors to ensure content is valid for publishing.
Manage writing administration: Manage the financial and administrative side of writing including making up budgets, maintaining financial records, checking contracts, etc.
Manage personal finances: Identify personal financial objectives and set up a strategy to match this target in seeking support and advice when necessary.
Promote your writings: Talk about your work at events and conduct readings, speeches and book signings; establish a network among fellow writers.
Rewrite manuscripts: Rewrite unpublished manuscripts to correct errors and to make them more appealing to the target audience.
Watch video and motion picture production products: Watch films and television broadcasts closely and with attention to detail to give your objective view on them.
Write headlines: Write” titles to accompany news articles. Make sure they are to the point and inviting.
Address problems critically: Identify the strengths and weaknesses of various abstract, rational concepts, such as issues, opinions, and approaches related to a specific problematic situation in order to formulate solutions and alternative methods of tackling the situation.
Read books: Read the latest book releases and give your opinion on them.
Provide written content: Communicate information in written form via digital or print media according to the needs of the target group. Structure the content according to specifications and standards. Apply grammar and spelling rules.
Write captions: Write captions to accompany cartoons, drawings, and photographs. These captions can be humorous or explanatory.

ISCO group and title

2642 – Journalists





  1. Critic – ESCO
Last updated on August 8, 2022

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