0 selections
0 selections

What is a Technical Writer

Technical writers have a specific area that they are very knowledgable about. And that means they're desperately sought after by companies. Not only are technical writers knowledgable about a certain subject, but they're able to write clearly about it, too. Talk about being talented.

A lot of the time, you'll review documents that may prove difficult to digest, due to technical terminology. However, with your expertise you should be able to figure it out in no time. And then, of course, write about it in a way that's digestable for the public.

Technical writing is a great job, due to how many jobs there are out there. You could be a technical writer for anything from an auto shop to the medical industry. Plus, the career is growing every day. You should see where technical writing can take you. We'll bet it'll surprise you.

What Does a Technical 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.

Learn more about what a Technical Writer does

How To Become a Technical 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.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Microsoft Jobs (253)
  2. Intel Jobs (116)
  3. Cisco Systems Jobs (126)
  4. Oracle Jobs (99)
  5. IBM Jobs (233)
Average Salary
$73,703
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
8%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
101,278
Job Openings
resume document icon

Don't Have A Professional Resume?

0 selections

Technical Writer Career Paths

Technical Writer Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Technical Writer

Technical Writers in America make an average salary of $73,703 per year or $35 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $103,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $52,000 per year.
Average Salary
$73,703
Find Your Salary Estimate
How much should you be earning as an Technical Writer? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.
See More Salary Information

Calculate your salary

Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to see how your pay matches up.

12 Technical Writer Resume Examples

Learn How To Write a Technical Writer Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Technical Writer resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Technical Writer Resume Examples And Templates

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Microsoft Jobs (253)
  2. Intel Jobs (116)
  3. Cisco Systems Jobs (126)
  4. Oracle Jobs (99)
  5. IBM Jobs (233)

Choose From 10+ Customizable Technical Writer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Technical Writer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Technical Writer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Technical Writer Resume
Technical Writer Resume
Technical Writer Resume
Technical Writer Resume
Technical Writer Resume
Technical Writer Resume
Technical Writer Resume
Technical Writer Resume
Technical Writer Resume
Technical Writer Resume
Technical Writer Resume
Technical Writer Resume
Technical Writer Resume
Technical Writer Resume
Technical Writer Resume
Technical Writer Resume

Technical Writer Demographics

Technical Writer Gender Distribution

Male
Male
50%
Female
Female
50%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among Technical Writers, 50.3% of them are women, while 49.7% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among Technical Writers is White, which makes up 78.4% of all Technical Writers.

  • The most common foreign language among Technical Writers is Spanish at 39.9%.

Job Openings

Find the best Technical Writer job for you

0 selections
0 selections

Technical Writer Jobs You Might Like

Technical Writer Education

Technical Writer Majors

24.4 %
11.4 %
7.8 %

Technical Writer Degrees

Bachelors

72.5 %

Masters

11.7 %

Associate

11.4 %

Top Colleges for Technical Writers

1. University of Houston

Houston, TX • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,913
Enrollment
37,291

2. University of Georgia

Athens, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$11,830
Enrollment
29,474

3. Texas State University

San Marcos, TX • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,280
Enrollment
34,187

4. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,832
Enrollment
4,550

6. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

7. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

8. Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,853
Enrollment
14,759

9. Washington University in St Louis

Saint Louis, MO • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,399
Enrollment
7,356

10. Emerson College

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$46,852
Enrollment
3,817
Job Openings

Find the best Technical Writer job for you

0 selections
0 selections

Technical Writer Jobs You Might Like

Online Courses For Technical Writer That You May Like

Technical Writing: How to Write Software Documentation
udemy
4.4
(574)

Learn a proven strategy for writing software docu in GitHub wiki based on the 12 main principles of technical writing!...

Learn API Technical Writing 2: REST for Writers
udemy
4.6
(2,052)

API Documentation 2: Teaches technical writers how to document REST. No programming experience required...

Learn API Technical Writing: JSON and XML for Writers
udemy
4.5
(6,173)

API Documentation1: Teaches technical writers how to document structured data. No programming experience required...

Show More Technical Writer Courses
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Technical Writer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 7.9% of Technical Writers listed Technical Documentation on their resume, but soft skills such as Imagination and Technical skills are important as well.

  • Technical Documentation, 7.9%
  • Subject Matter Experts, 7.1%
  • Powerpoint, 5.2%
  • Technical Information, 4.4%
  • Training Materials, 3.7%
  • Other Skills, 71.7%

Best States For a Technical Writer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Technical Writer. The best states for people in this position are Massachusetts, Maine, California, and Vermont. Technical Writers make the most in Massachusetts with an average salary of $90,033. Whereas in Maine and California, they would average $83,483 and $82,747, respectively. While Technical Writers would only make an average of $82,363 in Vermont, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Maine

Total Technical Writer Jobs:
132
Highest 10% Earn:
$114,000
Location Quotient:
1
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. District of Columbia

Total Technical Writer Jobs:
216
Highest 10% Earn:
$117,000
Location Quotient:
1.29
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Delaware

Total Technical Writer Jobs:
159
Highest 10% Earn:
$106,000
Location Quotient:
1.27
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Technical Writers

How Do Technical Writer Rate Their Jobs?

Working as a Technical Writer? Share your experience anonymously.
Do you work as a Technical Writer?
Rate how you like work as Technical Writer. It's anonymous and will only take a minute.

Top Technical Writer Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ Technical Writers and discovered their number of Technical Writer opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Microsoft was the best, especially with an average salary of $111,993. IBM follows up with an average salary of $81,420, and then comes Lockheed Martin with an average of $78,604. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a Technical Writer. The employers include Flagstar Bank, Novetta Solutions, and Pfizer

Most Common Employers For Technical Writer

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Technical Writer SalaryAverage Salary
1$111,993
2$89,188
3$85,673
4$82,509
5$81,420
6$81,060

Becoming a Technical Writer FAQs

How long does it take to become a Technical Writer?

It takes 7 years of professional experience to become a technical writer. That is the time it takes to learn specific technical writer skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education. If you include the normal education requirements to complete a college degree, then it takes 10 to 12 years years to become a technical writer.

Are technical writers in demand?

Yes, technical writers are in demand. Because of the growing reliance on the internet for the conveyance of accessible information, the need for technical writing is growing substantially.

How hard is it to become a technical writer?

It is not particularly hard to become a technical writer. For basic entry-level positions as a technical writer, a bachelor's degree is usually sufficient. Degrees in communications, business, and computer science are common for technical writers, but the specific degree will depend heavily on the individual's career path.

Is technical writing a good career?

Yes, technical writing is a good career. A technical writing career often includes plenty of opportunities for career growth and high earning potential. For individuals who enjoy writing, a career as a technical writer can be an excellent choice.

Is technical writing hard?

Yes, technical writing is hard. Though perhaps difficult, technical writing can be a very rewarding challenge.

Technical writers must take complex concepts and render them accessible and engaging. While this can be very challenging, it is much easier to do if the position suits your interests and strengths.

What qualifications do you need to be a technical writer?

To be a technical writer, the qualification that you need is a bachelor's degree. For basic entry-level positions as a technical writer, a bachelor's degree and relevant knowledge of the topic are usually the only required qualifications.

Search For Technical Writer Jobs

0 selections
0 selections