TECHNICAL WRITERS develop technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions. They put scientific and technical information into easily understandable language accurately and clearly. Technical writers prepare operating and maintenance manuals, catalogs, parts lists, assembly instructions, sales promotion materials, and project proposals. They prepare written interpretations of engineering and design specifications. Technical writers plan and edit technical materials and oversee the preparation of illustrations, photographs, diagrams, and charts.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $65,000 average per year ($31.25 per hour)
- A medium occupation (44,000 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (1.8% per year)
Increasingly, TECHNICAL WRITERS require a degree in, or some knowledge about, a specialized field such as engineering, business, or one of the sciences. Although some employers look for a broad liberal arts background, most prefer to hire people with degrees in communications, journalism, or English. No special licensing or certification is required for technical writers. In many cases, people with good writing skills can learn specialized knowledge on the job. Some begin as research assistants in a technical information department, develop technical communication skills, and then assume writing duties.