We have indirect contact with technical writers practically every day. Did you receive a new clock radio as a present? Or perhaps you purchased a new bicycle for exercise. Did you buy a new database software program for your computer? Every manual, booklet, or guide that you used to familiarize yourself with these products was written by a technical writer.
Technical writing is becoming increasingly important, given the constant innovations that are taking place in medicine, science, technology, business, computers, and electronics. In order to explain the technical details and communicate this understanding to a wide audience, you must master critical thinking and writing skills. These abilities can be attained through a degree in technical writing programs.
Online technical writing degree programs will help you to learn how to explain technical details in a manner that is understandable and easy to read. If you aspire to write for a particular field such as the automotive industry, you will need to take specific classes to prepare.
Technical Writing: The Nuts and Bolts of Your Degree
You can expect to take courses in various disciplines such as communications, technical writing for the industry, electronic document design, manual development, graphics for technical documents, editing, interpretation, and other related classes that will count towards your bachelor's degree. Keep in mind that courses related to your particular field of interest in technical writing will also be important for you to take.
A certificate in technical writing may be an option for you if you already have a bachelor's degree, and wish to enhance your current skills in order to enter a new field in writing. These certificates are non-degree credentials and cover the essential elements in the technical writing field. Check various online centers of learning to see if they sponsor a certificate program.
Technical Writing for the Non-Technical
The job of a technical writer is just the opposite of what it sounds like; your job is to interpret complex ideas, instructions, or procedures and present them in a manner that can be understood by your readers. Many people have given up on reading manuals because they are poorly written, unclear, or too complicated. If you are a technical writing major, you can do your part to demystify the arena of the dreaded instruction manual.
Jobs in Technical Writing
In 2006, there were approximately 49,000 technical writers employed in the United States. Jobs for technical writing graduates are expected to be more plentiful than other areas in the writing field, but competition for these positions will be strong. Jobs are expected to grow 20 percent from 2006-2016. This is due to the increasing demand for writers who specialize in the fields of medicine, law, electronics, and business. The median pay for technical writers is approximately $60,390 per year.