According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) writers and authors (the category that includes playwrights) held about 123,200 jobs in 2019. However, since most playwrights are self-employed freelancers it is difficult to tell how many individuals are really in this occupation.
Anyone who has the technical knowledge and means to write a script can write a play. To become a successful playwright, however, an individual must find producers willing to use the script and produce the show.
Prospects for production range from poor to fair. It is extremely difficult to get a major producer to use the script of an unknown playwright because there is a great deal of competition for producers even among those playwrights who are successful. Sales do occur. However, it is difficult.
Individuals aspiring to be playwrights have better luck submitting their scripts to experimental theaters, community theaters, college theaters, and to producers who are also trying to make a name for themselves.
Another form of possible employment for individuals is to become a playwright in residence for a community school or repertory theater.
Many aspiring playwrights have other jobs both in and out of the theatrical world. They write in their spare time until their big break comes along.
Advancement prospects are poor for playwrights. Career advancement can take a number of different paths. Some playwrights advance their career by writing for television or the movies. Others climb the career ladder by having their scripts produced by a major producer on Broadway. While this is rare, it can happen.
Look for seminars, courses, and workshops in script writing. These will provide you with an opportunity to learn, write, and be reviewed.
Write as much as you can in all areas of the writing field. The writing experience in invaluable.
Read a variety of scripts. These will give you inspiration as well as teach you how scripts are developed.
Join dramatist associations and other professional groups. These organizations will help put you in touch with others interested in the same field as well as well as giving you the opportunity to make important contacts.