Training Requirements for Technical Writers

Technical writers need a bachelor's degree, less than 5 years experience and short-term on-the-job training.

Degrees for Technical writers
Percent
Less than High School 0.6
High School 4.2
Some College 11.3
Associates Degree 6.9
Bachelors Degree 45.2
Masters Degree 24.1
Doctorate or Professional Degree 7.8

Employment Outlook for Technical Writers

This represents about 52,000 people in the United States.

Over the next 10 years there will be aproximately 5,000 more technical writers but, because of expected growth and replacement needs in the United States, we will need 17,000 more.

Typical Income for Technical Writers

Hourly Income

On average,technical writers make $35.18 per hour.

Bottom 10% Bottom 25% Median Top 75% Top 90%
Technical writers $20.05 $25.96 $33.58 $43.14 $53.49
Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations $10.20 $14.69 $22.69 $34.33 $49.69
Media and communication workers $12.88 $18.20 $26.34 $37.17 $50.89
Writers and editors $15.39 $21.25 $29.59 $40.03 $54.31
National Average $9.27 $11.60 $17.81 $28.92 $45.45

Annual Salaries

On average, technical writers make $73,160 per year.

Bottom 10% Bottom 25% Median Top 75% Top 90%
Technical writers $41,700 $53,990 $69,850 $89,730 $111,260
Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations $21,210 $30,560 $47,190 $71,410 $103,360
Media and communication workers $26,800 $37,860 $54,780 $77,310 $105,850
Writers and editors $32,010 $44,210 $61,550 $83,270 $112,960
National Average $19,290 $24,140 $37,040 $60,150 $94,540

This data is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics

Technical Writers: What Is This Career Like?

Technical writers produce instruction manuals and documentation for a wide variety of industries.The writer communicates complex information in a manner easily understood by customers and staff members.

While technical writers work within many industries, most find work in engineering or computer services. A Blue Ray player's instruction manual is an example of technical writing. So too is a software guide or maintenance manual for aircraft engines.

A college degree in English, communications or journalism is a prerequisite for the career. Experience in specific industries is an asset. An seo optimization company, for instance, may look for a technical writer with website optimization experience.

Technical writers usually work in office settings, although gathering and compiling information may require meetings with staff members in the field. While many work directly for companies, some technical writers work as freelancers.

In addition to a thorough knowledge of work processing software, a technical writer also works with document creating software such as Adobe Acrobat or Dreamweaver.

At present, industrial demand for technical writers runs approximately 17 percent higher than average job growth. The median salary for a technical writer in 2012 was $63,280 a year according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Similar Occupations

Is This Your Career?

Can we ask you a couple questions about technical writers?

Tell us a little about this career