What Does it Take to Be a Technical Writer?
Career Description Write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions. May assist in layout work.
Life As a Technical Writer
- Confer with customer representatives, vendors, plant executives, or publisher to establish technical specifications and to determine subject material to be developed for publication.
- Organize material and complete writing assignment according to set standards regarding order, clarity, conciseness, style, and terminology.
- Study drawings, specifications, mockups, and product samples to integrate and delineate technology, operating procedure, and production sequence and detail.
- Review published materials and recommend revisions or changes in scope, format, content, and methods of reproduction and binding.
- Select photographs, drawings, sketches, diagrams, and charts to illustrate material.
- Interview production and engineering personnel and read journals and other material to become familiar with product technologies and production methods.
Technical Writer Required Skills
These are the skills Technical Writers say are the most useful in their careers:
Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Types of Technical Writer
- Medical Writer
- Expert Medical Writer
- Senior Technical Writer
- Health Science Writer
- Narrative Writer
Is There Job Demand for Technical Writers?
In the United States, there were 52,400 jobs for Technical Writer in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 10.9% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 5,700 new jobs for Technical Writer by 2026. There will be an estimated 5,700 positions for Technical Writer per year.
The states with the most job growth for Technical Writer are Nevada, Utah, and Washington. Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Hawaii, or Illinois. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Technical Writer Average Salary
The average yearly salary of a Technical Writer ranges between $43,110 and $114,930.
Technical Writers who work in California, Washington, or Massachusetts, make the highest salaries.
How much do Technical Writers make in each U.S. state?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$86,120|
What Tools & Technology do Technical Writers Use?
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Technical Writers:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Hypertext markup language HTML
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Outlook
- Web browser software
- Microsoft Access
- Data entry software
- Microsoft Project
- Autodesk AutoCAD
- Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
- Microsoft Visio
- Microsoft SharePoint
- Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
- Structured query language SQL
- IBM Notes
Becoming a Technical Writer
Individuals working as a Technical Writer have obtained the following education levels:
How Long Does it Take to Become a Technical Writer?
Who Employs Technical Writers?
The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.
Image Credit: KOKUYO via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International
More about our data sources and methodologies.