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Become A Content Writer

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Working As A Content Writer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $82,350

    Average Salary

What Does A Content Writer Do

Technical writers, also called technical communicators, prepare instruction manuals, how-to guides, journal articles, and other supporting documents to communicate complex and technical information more easily. They also develop, gather, and disseminate technical information through an organization’s communications channels.

Duties

Technical writers typically do the following:

  • Determine the needs of users of technical documentation
  • Study product samples and talk with product designers and developers
  • Work with technical staff to make products easier to use and thus require fewer instructions
  • Organize and write supporting content for products
  • Use photographs, drawings, diagrams, animation, and charts that increase users’ understanding
  • Select appropriate medium for message or audience, such as manuals or online videos
  • Standardize content across platforms and media
  • Gather user feedback to update and improve content
  • Revise content as new issues arise

Technical writers create paper-based and digital operating instructions, how-to manuals, assembly instructions, and “frequently asked questions” pages to help technical support staff, consumers, and other users within a company or an industry. After a product is released, technical writers also may work with product liability specialists and customer-service managers to improve the end-user experience through product design changes.

Technical writers often work with computer hardware engineers, scientists, computer support specialists, and software developers to manage the flow of information among project workgroups during development and testing. Therefore, technical writers must be able to understand complex information and communicate the information to people with diverse professional backgrounds.

Applying their knowledge of the user of the product, technical writers may serve as part of a team conducting usability studies to help improve the design of a product that is in the prototype stage. Technical writers may conduct research on their topics through personal observation, library and Internet research, and discussions with technical specialists.

Technical writers are also responsible for managing the consistency of technical content and its use across business departments including product development, manufacturing, marketing, and customer relations.

Some technical writers help write grant proposals for research scientists and institutions.

Increasingly, technical information is being delivered online and through social media. Technical writers are using the interactive technologies of the Web and social media to blend text, graphics, multidimensional images, sound, and video.

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How To Become A Content Writer

A college degree is usually required for a position as a technical writer. In addition, experience with a technical subject, such as computer science, Web design, or engineering, is important.

Education

Employers generally prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, English, or communications. Many technical writing jobs require both a degree and knowledge in a specialized field, such as engineering, computer science, or medicine. Web design experience also is helpful because of the growing use of online technical documentation.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Some technical writers begin their careers as specialists or research assistants in a technical field. They eventually develop technical communication skills and assume primary responsibilities for technical writing. In small firms, beginning technical writers may work on projects right away; in larger companies with more standard procedures, beginners may observe experienced technical writers and interact with specialists before being assigned projects.

Training

Many technical writers need short-term on-the-job training to adapt to a different style of writing.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Some associations, including the Society for Technical Communication, offer certification for technical writers. In addition, the American Medical Writers Association offers extensive continuing education programs and certificates in medical writing. These certificates are available to professionals in the medical and allied scientific communication fields.

Although not mandatory, certification can demonstrate competence and professionalism, making candidates more attractive to employers. It can also increase a technical writer’s opportunities for advancement.

Advancement

Prospects for advancement generally include working on more complex projects and leading or training junior staff. Some technical writers become self-employed and produce work on a freelance basis.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Technical writers must be able to take complex, technical information and translate it for colleagues and consumers who have nontechnical backgrounds.

Detail oriented. Technical writers create detailed instructions for others to follow. As a result, they must be detailed and precise at every step so that the instructions can be useful.

Imagination. Technical writers must be able to think about a procedure or product in the way a person without technical experience would think about it.

Teamwork. Technical writers must be able to work well with others. They are almost always part of a team: with other writers; with designers, editors, and illustrators; and with the technical people whose information they are explaining.

Technical skills. Technical writers must be able to understand highly complex information. Many technical writers need a background in engineering or computer science in order to do this.

Writing skills. Technical communicators must have excellent writing skills to be able to explain technical information clearly.

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Content Writer jobs

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Content Writer Career Paths

Content Writer
Media Coordinator Marketing Manager
Associate Director, Marketing
8 Yearsyrs
Media Coordinator Account Executive Product Manager
Brand Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Technical Writer Senior Writer Creative Director
Brand Strategist
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Technical Writer Communications Manager Content Manager
Content Director
7 Yearsyrs
Content Editor Writer And Editor
Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Copywriter Creative Director Marketing Communications Manager
Content Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Copywriter Content Manager
Digital Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Content Manager Marketing Manager
Digital Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Social Media Manager Digital Marketing Manager Marketing Director
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Web Content Writer Senior Technical Writer Communications Manager
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
7 Yearsyrs
Social Media Manager Marketing Director Director Of Sales
Director Of Sales And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Staff Writer Communications Specialist Marketing Specialist
Marketing Communications Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Communications Manager Marketing Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Senior Technical Writer Business Analyst
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Communications Specialist Account Manager Marketing Consultant
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Content Manager Program Manager Business Developer
Marketing/Business Development
8 Yearsyrs
Web Content Writer Writer And Editor Social Media Manager
Marketing/Social Media Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Communications Specialist Marketing Director Search Engine Optimizer
Online Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Content Editor Technical Writer Program Manager
Product Marketing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Staff Writer Managing Editor Communications Director
Vice President Of Communication
5 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Free Lance Writer 4.0 years
Senior Writer 3.4 years
Editor/Copy Writer 3.3 years
Technical Writer 3.2 years
Publicity Writer 3.1 years
Chief Writer 3.1 years
Writer And Editor 3.1 years
Designer/Writer 2.8 years
Editor 2.6 years
Copy Writer 2.3 years
Content Developer 2.3 years
Research Writer 2.1 years
Digital Editor 2.1 years
Marketing Writer 2.1 years
Content Producer 2.1 years
Creative Writer 2.1 years
Web Editor 2.0 years
Writer 2.0 years
Content Manager 2.0 years
Content Editor 2.0 years
Ghost Writer 1.9 years
Web Content Editor 1.9 years
Content Strategist 1.8 years
Assistant Writer 1.6 years
Web Writer 1.6 years
Web Content Writer 1.6 years
Writer/Blogger 1.6 years
Content Creator 1.4 years
Junior Copywriter 1.4 years
Blog Writer 1.1 years
Content Writer 1.0 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 14.0%
Editor 7.7%
Writer 7.6%
Teacher 4.7%
Volunteer 3.1%
Cashier 2.6%
Top Employers After
Writer 10.3%
Editor 7.7%
Internship 5.5%
Teacher 3.6%
Volunteer 3.5%
Owner 3.3%
Server 3.0%
Consultant 2.5%

Content Writer Demographics

Gender

Female

60.6%

Male

38.1%

Unknown

1.3%
Ethnicity

White

78.3%

Asian

10.2%

Hispanic or Latino

9.1%

Unknown

1.8%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

39.8%

French

17.1%

Japanese

7.4%

Portuguese

4.6%

Mandarin

4.2%

Italian

4.2%

Hindi

3.7%

Russian

3.2%

German

2.8%

Korean

1.9%

Chinese

1.9%

Hebrew

1.9%

Urdu

1.4%

Arabic

1.4%

Turkish

0.9%

Dutch

0.9%

Bengali

0.9%

Persian

0.9%

Swedish

0.5%

Gujarati

0.5%
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Content Writer Education

Schools

University of Texas at Austin

9.3%

New York University

7.3%

DePaul University

6.0%

Brigham Young University

5.6%

San Jose State University

5.6%

University of California - Los Angeles

5.3%

Temple University

5.0%

Pennsylvania State University

5.0%

University of California - Santa Cruz

5.0%

University of California - Berkeley

4.7%

San Diego State University

4.7%

University of Florida

4.7%

University of South Florida

4.3%

University of Central Florida

4.3%

University of Iowa

4.0%

University of Utah

4.0%

University of Oregon

4.0%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.0%

California State University - Fullerton

3.7%

Michigan State University

3.7%
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Majors

English

24.4%

Writing

13.3%

Communication

11.4%

Journalism

11.1%

Business

5.4%

Psychology

3.7%

Public Relations

3.7%

Marketing

3.7%

Political Science

3.3%

Fine Arts

2.3%

History

2.2%

Photography

2.2%

Law

2.2%

Agricultural Public Services

1.9%

Liberal Arts

1.9%

Education

1.8%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.8%

Management

1.4%

Graphic Design

1.4%

Advertising

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

58.1%

Masters

20.8%

Other

12.1%

Doctorate

3.0%

Certificate

2.9%

Associate

2.7%

Diploma

0.4%

License

0.0%
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Real Content Writer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Integrated Content Writer J Walter Thompson USA, Inc. New York, NY Nov 14, 2016 $88,150
Senior Scientific Content Writer TRM Oncology, LLC Atlanta, GA May 20, 2016 $85,000 -
$125,000
Senior Scientific Content Writer TRM Oncology, LLC Atlanta, GA May 15, 2016 $80,000 -
$125,000
Medical Content Writer Usmleworld, LLC Irving, TX Jul 01, 2011 $78,263
Specialist Content Writer Dinkum Interactive New York, NY Mar 01, 2011 $70,000
Specialist Content Writer Dinkum Interactive New York, NY Mar 31, 2011 $70,000
Writer/Content Writer Intrigue, Inc. Santa Monica, CA Sep 01, 2014 $62,610
Content Writer Infinite Computer Solutions Parkton, NC Sep 30, 2012 $61,589
Content Writer Infinite Computer Solutions, Inc. Macomb, MI Jan 12, 2015 $61,000
Content Writer Infinite Computer Solutions, Inc. Macomb, MI Dec 14, 2015 $61,000
Content Writer Infinite Computer Solutions, Inc. Parkton, NC Sep 29, 2015 $57,000
Mathematics Content & Media Writer and Developer Owen Software Development Company Limited Rockville, MD Sep 16, 2014 $55,000
Medical Content Writer Usmleworld, LLC Irving, TX Sep 16, 2010 $50,297 -
$30
Medical Content Writer Usmleworld, LLC Irving, TX Sep 09, 2010 $50,088 -
$30
Content Writer Online Guru, Inc. Encinitas, CA Aug 12, 2013 $46,958 -
$54,132
Writer, Media Content Raad Productions, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Sep 03, 2014 $46,405
Staff Advertorial and Sales Content Writer Barkbox, Inc. New York, NY Oct 09, 2016 $45,000 -
$60,000
Staff Advertorial and Sales Content Writer Barkbox, Inc. New York, NY Sep 12, 2015 $43,000 -
$60,000
Content Writer Online Guru, Inc. Encinitas, CA Aug 12, 2013 $42,000 -
$49,800
Content Writer Robert Sharp & Associates Rapid City, SD Oct 01, 2012 $41,072
Content Writer/Editor-Marketing SPRK'd LLC Chicago, IL Jan 12, 2016 $35,797 -
$37,000
Content Writer Infinite Computer Solutions Parkton, NC Oct 01, 2009 $35,479
Media Marketing Content Writer Soltech Us Corp Fairfield, NJ Sep 09, 2016 $35,000
Search Relevance Content Writer Netclearly Oakland, CA Jul 15, 2010 $34,436
Search Relevance Content Writer Netclearly Oakland, CA Aug 02, 2010 $34,436

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Top Skills for A Content Writer

WebContentOnlineContentTopicsBlogPostsPressReleasesFacebookTwitterSearchEngineOptimizationProductDescriptionsInternetOriginalContentHtmlSubjectMatterExpertsRealEstateCompanyWebsiteLinkedinWebPagesWebTrafficWebCopyInstagram

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Top Content Writer Skills

  1. Web Content
  2. Online Content
  3. Topics
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Work with others to plan and bring to fruition web content
  • Managed and edited published online content Revised content according to customer and employer needs
  • Enhanced firm's web presence and marketing with legal content on Bankruptcy and Financial topics.
  • Managed social media channels for company brands, wrote corporate blog posts, and took photographs for company use at annual convention
  • Determined proposal concept by identifying and clarifying opportunities and needs Wrote articles and press releases covering a variety of subjects.

Top Content Writer Employers

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Content Writer Videos

Introduction to Content Writing

Job Roles For Content Writer – Technical writer,editors,professional writing

A Day in the Life of Our Writing Workshop

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