Monday, January 12, 2009

PWC Featured Career: Technical Editing

What is a Technical Editor?
Technical editors make sure that technical documents are concise and easily understandable. Technical documents usually inform people how to perform a specific task. Technical editors help to make the format as well as the content of a technical piece of writing easy to read and comprehend.

Job Duties
Technical editors perform many job duties:

· Suggest format to communicate messages effectively (Information taken from

· Rewrite and restructure text to fit the format (

· Review all aspects of production and making sure that standards stay consistent throughout documents (

· Ensure communication between all members of production (

· Delete content that is outdated or does not enhance the meaning of the passage

Job Outlook
From 2006 – 2016, the number of employment opportunities in editing should rise 2.3% nationally.

The number of employment opportunities in Minnesota is expected to fall 2.4%.

· National average hourly wage is $27.32
· Minnesota average hourly wage is $25.04
· Seven County Mlps – St. Paul, MN average hourly wage is $25.98
· Southwestern average hourly wage is $17.55
(Information from

“Employment of salaried writers and editors is expected to increase as demand grows for web-based publications... Online publications and services are growing in number and sophistication, spurring the demand for writers and editors, especially those with Web experience.” -The Bureau of Labor Statistics

Example Job Ad
RTI is an independent organization dedicated to conducting innovative, multidisciplinary research that improves the human condition. With a worldwide staff of more than 4,000 people, RTI offers innovative research and development and a full spectrum of multidisciplinary services on an International level.

Job Description

The Program Development Office within the Social and Statistical Sciences Division at RTI International is seeking an experienced editor to provide publications support to research staff in the production of technical reports, white papers, proposals, journal articles, presentation materials, guidelines documents, outreach materials, newsletters, and brochures in a fast-paced, deadline-driven setting.

This position requires extensive knowledge of:

• fundamental principles, terminology, and methodology of technical editing and/or writing and document organization
• style guides and/or other writing conventions
• grammar and punctuation rules
• word processing, graphics, and printing processes and software for document roduction.

In addition, qualified candidates must demonstrate effective communication skills including but not limited to:

• providing diplomatic and constructive comments to clients
• providing project leadership on publications teams
• developing and maintaining strong client base
• observing detail
• managing and prioritizing multiple tasks
• making sound judgment to analyze tasks and determining appropriate level of effort required for completion.
• independently organizing and prioritizing work
• adapting to changes in priorities, workload, and workflow.


• Editing complex technical reports for heavy reorganization and rewriting as required, with attention to grammar, style, format, and consistency according to appropriate style guide or knowledge of client
• Writing or assembling new material from client-supplied information
• Coordinating all phases of document production, using a thorough knowledge of publication processes
• Coordinating proposal production efforts
• Developing style guidelines as needed


• Bachelor’s degree in English or related writing discipline
• Five years of editing/writing experience
• Master’s degree in related discipline
• Four years of relevant experience

Editors are needed everywhere, in every field of expertise!