Overview of Technical Writers
Technical writers translate technical jargon into natural language that the broad public can easily understand (iseek.org). Technical writers create manuals that give instructions to customers, technical reports, newsletters, and variety of other documents. Technical writers normally work in information-technology fields, but may also work to solve business communications issues within many different industries (bls.gov). Information regarding working conditions, skills needed, wages, employment growth, employment opportunities, and further reading options can be found below.
Interpersonal relations are needed for technical writers, as they will be communicating with scientists, engineers, and others who need their information written down. Technical writers must also write weekly memos or letters, as well as be in contact with editors daily (iseek.org).
Technical writers must be precise in their work as many people are relying on their documents for correct information. Technical writers use computers on a a daily basis and should be familiar with a variety of software. Technical writers must be able to make decisions alone and must meet strict deadlines (iseek.org).
Most technical writers work with a set schedule of 40 hours per week, but may work some overtime on certain projects. Overtime could include nights and weekends (iseek.org).
Technical writers need a bachelor's degree in some related field such as English, journalism, or Professional Writing and Communication (bls.gov). A degree and experience in a specialized technical field may also be required for technical writers.
Technical writers need to have communication skills, problem-solving skills, personal and time management skills, and be able to work with others (iseek.org). Technical writers must also have knowledge of the English language, computers and electronics, and engineering and technology (iseek.org).
Wages are over the median at $31.00 an hour in Minnesota (iseek.org).
Wages range from $66,540 in a computer systems design and related services job to $71,590 as a software publisher (bls.gov).
The employment growth for technical writers is 12.8% in Minnesota and 19.5% nationally from 2006-2016 (iseek.org).
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