© 2010 Ugur Akinci
The cumulative evidence is so overwhelming at this point I’m not going to say that I’m surprised or anything: technical writing is a job that pays “well above the median“, $30.92 per hour to be exact, according to Energy Careers web site. Not bad, eh?
Employment Outlook for tech writers is “above average” with 12.8% expected growth in demand. The number of tech writers nationwide was 49,151 back in 2006. It’s expected to reach 58,741 in 2016. This is not a shrinking field for sure.
The site also offers an in-depth presentation of technical writing as a career. If you are new to the field or a student debating whether to specialize in tech writing and make it a career, I strongly recommend you go through this page and read this excellent 5-star introduction. You’ll be richly rewarded for doing so.
Here is a sample passage:
The following list of occupational tasks is specific to this career.
* Sort and organize the material and prepare an outline.
* Maintain records and files of writing and revisions.
* Read and make revisions to information written by other writers.
* Consult with technical team to learn requirements, purpose, and audience for the writing project.
* Review published materials and recommend revisions.
* Select photos or illustrations, or arrange for their production.
* Study drawings or observe operation of item to understand the technology.
* Interview scientists, engineers, or managers who work on the product. Take notes.
* Arrange for materials to be typed, duplicated, and distributed.
* May assist in laying out material for publication.
* May draw sketches or take photos to illustrate the project.
* Follow developments in field. Determine if published materials need to be revised.
* Read and review written information about the project. May look at manufacturers’ catalogs and technical journals.
* Write rough draft considering standards of order, clarity, style, and terminology.
* Submit copies of draft to technical editors for review.
* Write final draft according to corrections and suggestions.
All good stuff.
You can also check out Bob Bly’s e-book on technical writing. That has a lot of useful info as well.