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Technical Writers specialize in producing easy-to-understand instructional or informational written materials, such as media and journal articles, assessments and guidelines, and legal forms of documentation. For Technical Writers to develop well-versed content, one must conduct thorough research on the topic or idea to ensure factual legitimacy and communicate with those whose expertise aligns with the subject. Aside from producing, Technical Writers can also improve or convert complex written materials such as operating manuals or documents into one that can be easily understood by the general public.

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Technical Writer Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real technical writer resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Lead team to deliver the first simultaneous release of the product stack across UNIX platforms.
  • Analyze the requirements of the RFP to understand the customer s solution needs and to identify potential discriminators for competitive advantage.
  • Manage security program for DoD classify magnetic media, classify documents and physical security systems.
  • Develop software requirements documents for proprietary medical software device; manage documents through SDLC in fda-regulate environment.
  • Help company achieve ISO registration by determining best practices, writing ISO compliant manufacturing instructions and teaching best manufacturing processes.
  • Identify and initiate wholesale computer upgrade to accommodate new CMS while allocating and managing staff resources devote to developing the software.
  • Edit HTML and CSS properties to change properties of content being display, or to create custom widgets.
  • Utilize DITA, HTML, SGML, XHTML, and CSS to structure information efficiently for corresponding output channels.
  • Redesign outdated internal directory website to be fully responsive with HTML, CSS, and PHP using a custom CSS layout.
  • Convert the organization's work processes from FrameMaker paper-base documentation to RoboHelp online and PDF documentation.
  • Secure classified information from DOD technical manuals and naval facilities to produce reports used for evaluating cost-effectiveness of aircraft weapon systems
  • Prepare written materials for DHS senior leaders.
  • Edit white papers on cyber security; write articles on malware.
  • Analyze, design, develop and test new features of Java base application.
  • Maintain corporate tone and voice and maximize SEO in how-to and troubleshooting articles.

Technical Writer Job Description

Between the years 2018 and 2028, Technical Writer jobs are expected to undergo a growth rate described as "faster than average" at 8%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if the thought "should I become a Technical Writer?" Has crossed your mind, maybe you should take the growth rate into account. In addition, the number of Technical Writer opportunities that are projected to become available by 2028 is 4,700.

On average, the Technical Writer annual salary is $73,703 per year, which translates to $35.43 an hour. Generally speaking, Technical Writers earn anywhere from $52,000 to $103,000 a year, which means that the top-earning Technical Writers make $51,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

Once you've become a Technical Writer, you may be curious about what other opportunities are out there. Careers aren't one size fits all. For that reason, we discovered some other jobs that you may find appealing. Some jobs you might find interesting include a Publisher, Editor, Associate Editor, and Assistant Editor.

Technical Writer Jobs You Might Like

12 Technical Writer Resume Examples

Technical Writer Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 8% of Technical Writers are proficient in Technical Documentation, Subject Matter Experts, and Powerpoint. They’re also known for soft skills such as Imagination, Technical skills, and Detail oriented.

We break down the percentage of Technical Writers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Technical Documentation, 8%

    Designed and developed the technical documentation needed for supporting the Technical Services and Application Development groups of the Information Technology department.

  • Subject Matter Experts, 7%

    Scheduled and coordinated meetings with subject matter experts and other cross-functional teams on multiple documentation projects that I managed simultaneously.

  • Powerpoint, 5%

    Developed sophisticated PowerPoint presentations for cross-departmental meetings.

  • Technical Information, 4%

    Provide excellent support with technical information along with assisting with developing and disseminating information on operating and procedural policies and activities.

  • Training Materials, 4%

    Produced training materials and end-user documentation for systems used by advertising professionals to purchase and schedule media time.

  • Visio, 4%

    Diagram these transactions using VISIO files into Adobe InDesign C26.

"Technical Documentation," "Subject Matter Experts," and "Powerpoint" aren't the only skills we found Technical Writers list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of Technical Writer responsibilities that we found, including:

  • The most important skills for a Technical Writer to have in this position are Imagination. In this excerpt that we gathered from a Technical Writer resume, you'll understand why: "Technical writers must think about a procedure or product as if they are someone who does not have technical knowledge." According to resumes we found, Imagination can be used by a Technical Writer in order to "Created, per FDA requirements, all Inspection Procedure documents for incoming inventory and all manufactured medical device products. "
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform Technical Writer duties is the following: Technical skills. According to a Technical Writer resume, "Technical writers must be able to understand complex information." Check out this example of how Technical Writers use Technical skills: "Converted Technical Word documents into ISI Writer format enabling company to produce paperless FDA approved documentation for new processes and products. "
  • Detail oriented is also an important skill for Technical Writers to have. This example of how Technical Writers use this skill comes from a Technical Writer resume, "Technical writers create instructions for others to follow" Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "Prepared detailed technical documentation, compliant with FDA regulation 21 CFR Part 11. "
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "Writing skills" is important to completing Technical Writer responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way Technical Writers use this skill: "Technical communicators must have excellent writing skills to be able to explain technical information clearly." Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical Technical Writer tasks: "Performed technical writing efforts for FDA systems validation (SOP's and system functional requirements). "
  • See the full list of Technical Writer skills.

    We've found that 72.5% of Technical Writers have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 11.7% earned their master's degrees before becoming a Technical Writer. While it's true that most Technical Writers have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every nine Technical Writers did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    Those Technical Writers who do attend college, typically earn either English degrees or Business degrees. Less commonly earned degrees for Technical Writers include Writing degrees or Communication degrees.

    When you're ready to become a Technical Writer, you might wonder which companies hire Technical Writers. According to our research through Technical Writer resumes, Technical Writers are mostly hired by Alteryx, Nelnet, and Harris Communications. Now is a good time to apply as Alteryx has 71 Technical Writers job openings, and there are 68 at Nelnet and 61 at Harris Communications.

    If you're interested in companies where Technical Writers make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at Flexport, Google, and Microsoft. We found that at Flexport, the average Technical Writer salary is $114,915. Whereas at Google, Technical Writers earn roughly $114,207. And at Microsoft, they make an average salary of $111,994.

    View more details on Technical Writer salaries across the United States.

    If you earned a degree from the top 100 educational institutions in the United States, you might want to take a look at Microsoft, Northrop Grumman, and IBM. These three companies have hired a significant number of Technical Writers from these institutions.

    For the most part, Technical Writers make their living in the Technology and Finance industries. Technical Writers tend to make the most in the Technology industry with an average salary of $74,606. The Technical Writer annual salary in the Finance and Manufacturing industries generally make $74,439 and $70,659 respectively. Additionally, Technical Writers who work in the Technology industry make 24.9% more than Technical Writers in the Government Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious technical writers are:

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    What Publishers Do

    A publisher manages the design, editing, and production process with the help of proofreaders, printers, and editors. Publishers make schedules for every stage of the process and work backward from the planned date for publication. They distribute promotional catalogs to libraries and booksellers. They set the commercial and editorial direction for businesses publishing newspapers, digital content, magazines, and books. It is their duty to make decisions on the markets that their firms will serve as well as the type of content that they will give to their audience.

    In this section, we compare the average Technical Writer annual salary with that of a Publisher. Typically, Publishers earn a $13,010 lower salary than Technical Writers earn annually.

    Even though Technical Writers and Publishers have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require Powerpoint, Html, and Web Content in the day-to-day roles.

    There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a Technical Writer responsibilities require skills like "Technical Documentation," "Subject Matter Experts," "Technical Information," and "Training Materials." Meanwhile a typical Publisher has skills in areas such as "Customer Service," "New Clients," "Revenue Growth," and "Facebook." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

    Publishers receive the highest salaries in the Energy industry coming in with an average yearly salary of $61,874. But Technical Writers are paid more in the Technology industry with an average salary of $74,606.

    Publishers tend to reach similar levels of education than Technical Writers. In fact, Publishers are 1.4% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.9% more likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of an Editor?

    An editor is the one responsible for polishing and refining a story, article, and any material for publication in newspapers, magazines, books, or websites. Editors have the power to either accept or reject a material as they need to ensure that every manuscript which will be offered for publishing is at the best version as it can be. There are several types of editors, from copy editors, books to managing editors, but they have few skills in common, like strong writing skills, good judgment, and leadership abilities to help guide the whole editorial team. Most of them work in the office, but it is quite becoming more regular for them to work remotely.

    Next up, we have the Editor profession to look over. This career brings along a lower average salary when compared to a Technical Writer annual salary. In fact, Editors salary difference is $21,168 lower than the salary of Technical Writers per year.

    While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's a few of the skills needed to perform certain duties. We used info from lots of resumes to find that both Technical Writers and Editors are known to have skills such as "Subject Matter Experts," "Powerpoint," and "Html. "

    In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, Technical Writer responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "Technical Documentation," "Technical Information," "Training Materials," and "Visio." Meanwhile, a Editor might be skilled in areas such as "Video Production," "Layout," "News Stories," and "SEO." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

    It's been discovered that Editors earn lower salaries compared to Technical Writers, but we wanted to find out where Editors earned the most pay. The answer? The Technology industry. The average salary in the industry is $66,070. Additionally, Technical Writers earn the highest paychecks in the Technology with an average salary of $74,606.

    In general, Editors study at similar levels of education than Technical Writers. They're 1.4% less likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 0.9% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What technology do you think will become more important and prevalent for Writers in the next 3-5 years?

    Dr. Scott Blanchard Ph.D.

    Professor of English, Misericordia University

    I can't speak with much authority about technology. I think that we have yet to determine how 5G technology will transform the world. Some futurists suggest that humans will only have to put in about half the hours they do now in the future.Show more

    How an Associate Editor Compares

    The primary role of an Associate Editor is to ensure that subordinates submit high-quality content. They review and edit copies, set deadlines, and supervise the production details of magazines, newspapers, books, or websites.

    Let's now take a look at the Associate Editor profession. On average, these workers make lower salaries than Technical Writers with a $17,354 difference per year.

    While looking through the resumes of several Technical Writers and Associate Editors we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "Powerpoint," "Html," and "Web Content," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

    Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from Technical Writer resumes include skills like "Technical Documentation," "Subject Matter Experts," "Technical Information," and "Training Materials," whereas an Associate Editor might be skilled in "Edit Copy," "News Stories," "SEO," and "Content Marketing. "

    When it comes to education, Associate Editors tend to earn similar education levels than Technical Writers. In fact, they're 0.1% less likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 1.4% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of an Assistant Editor

    An assistant editor is a professional responsible for assisting an editor-in-chief or editor-at-large of a newspaper, magazine, radio program, or website. Assistant editors hold meetings with staff and freelance writers to discuss new, fresh and original content for projects on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. They review assignments handed in by writers or reporters for sense, accuracy, readability, and content. Assistant editors must also utilize new media applications such as Twitter and Facebook to draw attention to an article or cause.

    Assistant Editors tend to earn a lower pay than Technical Writers by about $20,194 per year.

    While their salaries may vary, Technical Writers and Assistant Editors both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "Powerpoint," "Html," and "Web Content. "

    While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "Technical Documentation," "Subject Matter Experts," "Technical Information," and "Training Materials" are skills that have shown up on Technical Writers resumes. Additionally, Assistant Editor uses skills like Editorial Staff, Layout, Video Footage, and Online on their resumes.

    Now, let's take a closer look at the financials in each career. The Media industry tends to pay more for Assistant Editors with an average of $68,881. While the highest Technical Writer annual salary comes from the Technology industry.

    Assistant Editors reach similar levels of education when compared to Technical Writers. The difference is that they're 2.6% more likely to earn a Master's Degree less, and 0.0% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What a Technical Writer Does FAQs

    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.

    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.

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