Technical Writer

Career Area: Design, Media, and Writing

Occupation Group: Writing and Language

Salary

Percentile wages tell how much a certain percentage of an overall population in a geographic area or within a given industry or field makes. The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall.

An example would be the 25th percentile, 25 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 75 percent earn more than the estimated wage value. At the 75th percentile, 75 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 25 percent earn more than the estimated wage value.

A typical Technical Writer earns the following wages (national and state):

State

The average salary in North Carolina for those pursuing this career is $67,780

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

National

The average salary in the United States for those pursuing this career is $70,194

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

Writes product instructions, user manuals or other material that helps to explain complex information or procedures. Writes help information available to customers online, or clear explanations of company policies. Supports internal communication among different technical, engineering and scientific specialists working on a project or product. Creates product documentation, and provides input for improving product design.

Employment Trends

The job demand and job growth statistics shown here were derived from job posts over the past year. Expected job growth projections are extrapolated from year-over-year job post listing history.

Job demand and job growth is expected at the following rates:

LocationGrowth
North Carolina1208+19.1%
Nationwide30073+10.9%

Skills

A professional in this position typically utilizes the following skills in the course of everyday work in this exciting and challenging field:

Baseline Skills

The following are baseline skills every Technical Writer is expected to have in order to experience success in this field:

  • Writing: Experience expressing business messages effectively in written form. This may include planning drafting and revising as necessary.
  • Editing: Editing is the process of selecting and preparing written, visual, audible, and film media used to convey information.
  • Communication Skills: The ability to convey information to another effectively and efficiently.
  • Research: Experience performing creative and systematic work to understand a product, market, or customer, either before building a new solution, or to troubleshoot an existing issue
  • Microsoft Office: Microsoft Office is an office suite of applications, servers, and services developed by Microsoft.

Specialized Skills

These skills are specific to working in this career:

  • Technical Writing / Editing: Technical writing is any written form of writing or drafting technical communication used in a variety of technical and occupational fields, such as computer hardware and software, engineering, chemistry, aeronautics, robotics, finance, consumer electronics, and biotechnology.
  • Project Management: Project management is the discipline of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria.
  • Proposal Writing: A business proposal is a written offer from a seller to a prospective buyer. Business proposals are often a key step in the complex sales process—i.e., whenever a buyer considers more than price in a purchase.
  • Journalism: Journalism is the production and distribution of reports on the interaction of events, facts, ideas, and people that are the news of the day and that impacts society to at least some degree.
  • Request for Proposal (RFP): A request for proposal (RFP) is a document that solicits proposal, often made through a bidding process, by an agency or company interested in procurement of a commodity, service, or valuable asset, to potential suppliers to submit business proposals.

Distinguishing Skills

Any Technical Writer that possesses the following skills will stand out against the competition:

  • Content Development: Web content development is the process of researching, writing, gathering, organizing, and editing information for publication on websites.
  • Framemaker: Adobe FrameMaker is a document processor designed for writing and editing large or complex documents, including structured documents.
  • Adobe Illustrator: Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphics editor developed and marketed by Adobe Systems.
  • Medical Writing: A medical writer, working with doctors, scientists, and other subject matter experts, creates documents that effectively and clearly describe research results, product use, and other medical information.
  • Online Help: Online help is topic-oriented, procedural or reference information delivered through computer software.

Experience

This position typically requires the following level of experience. The numbers presented in the pie charts below were derived from actual job posts over the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Experience Required%
0 to 2 years25%
3 to 5 years56%
6 to 8 years12%

Many of the programs offered through NC State are designed for working professionals who need additional credentials to enhance existing work experience.

Students who do not have the expected level of experience may wish to look into internship and employment opportunities.

Common Job Titles

It is possible to find work in this field in positions commonly listed as the following job titles:

  • Technical Writer
  • Proposal Writer
  • Senior Technical Writer
  • Medical Writer
  • Proposal Coordinator

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