Technical writers put scientific and technical information into easily understandable language. They prepare operating and maintenance manuals, catalogs, parts lists, assembly instructions, sales promotion materials and project proposals. They also plan and edit technical reports and oversee preparation of illustrations, photographs, diagrams and charts. Some technical writers work on websites and help develop multimedia programs on the computer.
Technical writers usually work standard hours. They work indoors.
The middle 50 percent of technical writers earn between $27,030 and $49,380 per year.
Helpful Skills and Subjects to Study
Writers must be able to express ideas clearly and logically and should love to write. A broad range of knowledge, self-motivation and perseverance are valuable.
Other communication occupations include news analysts, reporters and correspondents, and advertising and public relations workers.
Education & Training
Technical writing requires a degree in, or some knowledge about, a specialized field such as engineering, business or one of the sciences. In many cases, people with good writing skills can learn specialized knowledge on the job. Some transfer from jobs as technicians, scientists, or engineers. Others begin as research assistants, or trainees in a technical information department, develop technical communication skills, and then assume writing duties.
Despite projections of fast employment growth and high turnover, the outlook for most writing jobs is expected to be competitive. Opportunites should be best for those who are not only technically skilled, but are able to keep pace with changing technology.
Sources for Additional Information
Society for Technical Communication, Inc.
901 North Stuart Street, Suite 904
Arlington, VA 22203