Career Advice on How to Become A Technical Writer

General Career Information

Do you miss high school and/or college and the seemingly never-ending array of meaningless papers you wrote? If so, the career of technical writer may be for you.  Once you have integrated technical writer into your job search, you will never feel as though you are lacking something pointless about which to write.  Just make sure that you truly like to write or else you are going to be in for some very long and painful nights sitting by your laptop.

Career Facts:

Technical writers take technical information and try to put it into readable language for the layman to digest.  Of course, this means that if you don’t like technology, this is probably not the career for you.  At bare minimum an interest in technology is a must.

Often the items written by technical writers include manuals, catalogs, and instruction books.  Most technical writers have some background in computers or engineering that allows them to actually have some semblance of understanding of whatever they are writing about.  After all, it is tough to write an entire manual when you don’t even know what the blazes you are getting at. 

Often technical writers also edit confusing diagrams and charts.  Before you factor this job into your career planning, make sure that you don’t easily get migraines.  You will be spending a lot of time staring and numbers and charts.


Career Opportunities and Job Outlook- Average:

This field is expected to grow about 10%, which is average for all careers. Technical writers will typically have the best job outlook compared to other types of writers.  Their background in a specialized field gives them a leg up.  There will be an increasing need in the coming years to take complicated material and dumb it down for the masses.  This technique is the specialty of the technical writer.
Job Outlook is Fair

A Day in The Life:

The good news is that many technical writers can enjoy the pleasure of their migraine in a quiet and comfortable environment.  Many writers either work from home or in an internet café, while downing cup after cup of dark coffee.  Since deadlines are frequent, technical writers will often write well into the evening or wake up early to complete an assignment.

Average Salary:

The average salary for a technical writer is $57,000.  The top percent can earn as much as $91,000.  On the other hand, the lowest 10% can earn about $35,000.



Career Training and Qualifications:

Communications, English and Journalism degrees are all helpful prerequisites for these careers.  Technical writers will also frequently need degrees in engineering or science to have a clue about what they are actually writing about.

Want to learn more about these careers?

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