• OPPORTUNITIES — Current job outlook continues to be
positive, but the job growth curve for the future could flatten
out, as is the case with such areas as electronics.
• EDUCATION NEEDED — A bachelor’s degree is usually required,
and experience with a technical subject is important.
• Median annual wage for technical writers: $65,500 (2012).
• Median annual wage for editors (including technical editors):
Explore Career Options in
While virtually every career requires good communication skills, those who truly excel at these skills may
want to explore technical communication as a career path.
Science journalists and technical writers create information about technical
topics for a wide variety of audiences.
Science journalists make complex technical information accessible for a lay
audience, while technical writers create
documents to be read by other technical
people. Technical editors work with the
authors to make sure the subject, style,
and level of detail are appropriate for the
Some examples include:
• Writing about new technological
developments for popular science
• Creating briefing documents for a congressperson regarding
• Identifying and soliciting authors, commissioning publications,
enforcing deadlines, assigning reviewers, editing for style and
format, and managing the publication process
• Editing and assembling grant proposals, journal articles,
technical reports, instruction manuals, and other scientific
• Developing press releases and marketing materials for
technical products, programs, and services
• Creating standard operating procedures and help documents
Although written communication skills are needed in every
industry and work sector, technical writers are concentrated in
information technology, scientific, and technical companies. Significant amounts of information are now being delivered electronically, which often involves integrating text, graphics, animation,
and databases. A very small percentage of technical communicators are illustrators who create images to go along with the
explanatory text or translators who convert documents into other
BECOMING A TECHNICAL COMMUNICATOR
Technical communicators should have at least a bachelor’s
degree in a science or engineering discipline. Undergraduate courses in science writing and journalism are helpful,
and some employers prefer a degree in journalism, English,