Technical writers must have both a firm grasp of the language in which they write and the subject area around which their work centers. They write documents, journal articles, and instruction manuals. Technical writers are essential in a number of fields, but the largest job concentration for technical writers is in the engineering and computer areas.
These well-trained individuals also play a role in the realm of construction. They may work as construction writers or construction proposal writers. Their ability to organize and set out in-depth information and guidelines is often vital to the smooth operation of a construction project.
Technical Writer Job Education Requirements
Most employers require that their technical writers have at least a bachelor's degree in English, communications or a related area. Specialized knowledge that pertains to the employer's industry is also essential.
On the job training helps technical writers fall into a good rhythm with their area of expertise. Some technical writers even start out as research specialists before they begin writing, which ensures that they have a firm grasp of the subject matter. Within some companies, new technical writers may work for a short time alongside more experienced peers to learn the writing specifications to which the business adheres.
Some technical writers choose to pursue certification. The Society for Technical Communication and the American Medical Writers Association offer certificate programs. Technical writers generally do not need certification in order to get a job, but it can give candidates a competitive edge.
Technical Writer Job Market
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for technical writers will increase by 15 percent between 2012 and 2022. This is faster than the predicted average for all occupations, which is around 11 percent. Rapidly growing and changing scientific and technology fields is part of the reason behind the increasing demand.
The demand for technical writers who specialize in construction will ride the tides of the construction industry, which is likely to do well in upcoming years, thanks to the significant population growth taking place in many metropolitan areas.
Technical Writer Job Salary Information
The median annual wage for technical writers is around $65,000, which is almost twice as much as the average pay across all occupations. The top 10 percent of earners in the technical writer field earn more than $100,000 annually, and the bottom 10 percent earn less than $38,700. It is not uncommon for technical writers to work as freelancers who determine their own rate of pay.