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Career Profile: Technical Writers

Write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions. May assist in layout work.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 52,300 people employed as technical writers in the United States. The median annual salary is $74,700. Entry level employees earn approximately $45,510 per year and senior employees earn approximately $119,040 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Organize material and complete writing assignment according to set standards regarding order, clarity, conciseness, style, and terminology.
  • Maintain records and files of work and revisions.
  • Study drawings, specifications, mockups, and product samples to integrate and delineate technology, operating procedure, and production sequence and detail.
  • Arrange for typing, duplication, and distribution of material.
  • Observe production, developmental, and experimental activities to determine operating procedure and detail.
  • Review manufacturer's and trade catalogs, drawings and other data relative to operation, maintenance, and service of equipment.
  • Edit, standardize, or make changes to material prepared by other writers or establishment personnel.
  • Select photographs, drawings, sketches, diagrams, and charts to illustrate material.
  • Interview production and engineering personnel and read journals and other material to become familiar with product technologies and production methods.
  • Develop or maintain online help documentation.
  • Assist in laying out material for publication.
  • Analyze developments in specific field to determine need for revisions in previously published materials and development of new material.
  • Draw sketches to illustrate specified materials or assembly sequence.
  • Review published materials and recommend revisions or changes in scope, format, content, and methods of reproduction and binding.
  • Confer with customer representatives, vendors, plant executives, or publisher to establish technical specifications and to determine subject material to be developed for publication.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
52,300
Annual Openings:
5,500
Increase in Openings by 2030:
12%
Annual Salary Range:
$45,510 - $119,040
Education Requirements:
Bachelor's degree