Technical writers have developed the unique skill of putting technical information into easily understandable language. They are the individuals that write user manuals for software and technology products. They also design and write the copy for maintenance manuals and assembly instructions, providing oversight for the illustration development. Many technical writers are also put to work on complex project proposals or bids for highly technical work, bids to a business for a new computer network or bids on an engineering project for a municipality or government agency.
Also in this vein, technical writers work with engineers on the technical elements included in design specifications, when those specs are going to be used by a more general readership such as system design professionals and their clients.
Many technical writers hold bachelors degrees and have developed their technical writing facility through experience. As the field of technical writing has grown, however, a degree in engineering or business or some experience in a technical field is important when a technical writer is seeking employment or bidding on a freelance job.
The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that there were about 49,000 technical writers working full time in the field in 2006.
Growth for professional writers overall is expected to be about the same as the overall growth for jobs in all categories. For technical writers however, the rapid development of new technologies and products will spur job development at a more rapid pace.
Lowest 10% $17.54/hour; $36,490/year
Median Salary Range $29.04/hour; $60,390/year
Highest 10% $45.46/hour; $94,550/year