Technical Writing Careers

technical-writer-500Technical writers transform complex content that is developed by industry experts into instructions, guides, or articles for the general public to understand. The combination of an understanding of specific fields and well-developed communication skills enables technical writers to share the information people need to do everything from program a DVD player to furniture assembly.

Manufacturing companies, law firms, insurance agencies, educational institutions, health care operations, and more utilize technical writers to disseminate information to staff, consumers, and clients.

Technical Writing Career Snapshot

Technical writers typically work in an office, although hands-on collaboration with engineers, production workers, researchers, and clients often requires time spent at various on-site locations. A 40-hour work week is average, and technical writers have opportunities for employment as on-site staff or as contracted employees. Technical writers are also able to work as freelancers.

Further details on a career as a technical writer are listed below (statistics from the May 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the average yearly salary for technical writers.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have an Associate’s degree while 33% have a Bachelor’s degree.

Technical Writing Education

A bachelor’s degree in English, technical writing, or professional writing is the most common requirement to enter into the field. Additionally, a minor or specialization in an industry-specific area, such as science or finance, is helpful. Professional development through organizations such as the Society for Technical Communication can be beneficial for candidates seeking employment or continuing to hone skills, too.

Technical Writing Job Outlook

Job opportunities for technical writers are expected to increase at an above average rate. If you are thinking about pursuing this profession, by 2024, there will be about a 10 percent growth in positions.

Technical Writing Salaries

In 2015, according to, technical writers earned between $41,610 to $112,220 per year, with an average annual salary of $52,592. Higher salaries likely reflect years of experience or holding a master’s or doctorate degree in either technical writing or a specific discipline such as engineering, physics, health care, business, computer science, or other.

Technical Writing Job Duties

In addition to completing the writing process from brainstorming to revision, technical writers spend much of their work day researching a particular process or topic, including product or system testing. Technical writers also conduct usability testing on the content they have developed to ensure that audiences comprehend the steps or information that has been created. Other duties you are likely to perform include document design and communication with clients, co-workers, and contributors.

Technical Writing Skills & Traits

Technical Writer Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Technical Writer:Typical Work Activities:
• Writing
• Reading Comprehension
• Active Listening
• Speaking
• Critical Thinking
• Written Expression
• Written Comprehension
• Near Vision
• Oral Comprehension
• Deductive Reasoning
• Desktop/notebook computers
• Compact digital cameras
• USB flash drives
• Computer data input scanners
• Working with Computers
• Getting Information
• Identifying Objects/Actions
• Updating Relevant Knowledge
• Communicating with Others

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