Technical Writers

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About the Job

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

It is also Called

  • Technical Writing Lead/Mgr
  • Technical Writer and Editor
  • Technical Writer (Consultant)
  • Technical Writer
  • Technical Report Writer
  • Technical Publications Writer
  • Technical Editor
  • Technical Communicator
  • Technical and Scientific Publications Editor
  • Tech Writer
View All

What They Do

  • Confer with customer representatives, vendors, plant executives, or publisher to establish technical specifications and to determine subject material to be developed for publication.
  • Review published materials and recommend revisions or changes in scope, format, content, and methods of reproduction and binding.
  • Draw sketches to illustrate specified materials or assembly sequence.
  • Analyze developments in specific field to determine need for revisions in previously published materials and development of new material.
  • Review manufacturer's and trade catalogs, drawings and other data relative to operation, maintenance, and service of equipment.
  • Observe production, developmental, and experimental activities to determine operating procedure and detail.
  • Arrange for typing, duplication, and distribution of material.
  • Study drawings, specifications, mockups, and product samples to integrate and delineate technology, operating procedure, and production sequence and detail.
  • Assist in laying out material for publication.
  • Develop or maintain online help documentation.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: AIC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Artistic interests, but also prefer Investigative and Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Working Conditions, but also value Independence and Achievement in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $68,160 with most people making between $40,830 and $100,210

Outlook

0.74%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 1,480 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 1,590 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 11 openings due to growth and about 39 replacement openings for approximately 50 total annual openings.



Pennsylvania Department of Education