Information About 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.

Training

Technical writers need bachelor's degree.

Degrees for Technical writers
Training for Technical Writers
Percent
Less than High School 0.8
High School 4.9
Some College 14.1
Associates Degree 6.1
Bachelors Degree 48.9
Masters Degree 18.8
Doctorate or Professional Degree 6.4

Employment

Represents about 48,000 people in the United States- 2.0% of which are self-employed

Employment prospects are up Over the next 5 years there will be aproximately 8,000 more technical writers but, because of expected growth and replacement needs in the United States, we will need 16,000 more.


Hourly Income

On average, technical writers make $32.35 per hour.

Hourly Income Distribution in U.S. Dollars ($)
Bottom 10% Bottom 25% Median Top 75% Top 90%
Technical writers $18.20 $23.50 $31.00 $39.60 $49.10
Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations $9.38 $13.70 $20.90 $31.70 $45.40
National Average $8.65 $10.70 $16.50 $26.60 $41.00

Annual Salaries

On average, technical writers make $67,280 per year.

Annual Salary Distribution in U.S. Dollars ($)
Bottom 10% Bottom 25% Median Top 75% Top 90%
Technical writers $37,990 $48,920 $64,610 $82,530 $102,250
Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations $19,520 $28,640 $43,640 $66,080 $94,470
National Average $18,000 $22,380 $34,460 $55,470 $85,280

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

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