Technical Writers: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

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

  • Organize material and complete writing assignment according to set standards regarding order, clarity, conciseness, style, and terminology.
  • Maintain records and files of work and revisions.
  • Edit, standardize, or make changes to material prepared by other writers or establishment personnel.
  • Select photographs, drawings, sketches, diagrams, and charts to illustrate material.
Read more about what does a Technical Writer really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

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Average salary
$75500 per year

Average hourly wage
$36 per hour

Technical Writers with little to no experience tend to make between $43110 and $55500 while the more experienced ones can earn over $92070 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
CA $44 $91,310
MA $43 $89,630
WA $42 $86,470
DC $41 $86,120
VA $41 $85,450

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Technical Writer is to move to a higher paying state like CA. Right now, the highest paying states for Technical Writers are CA, MA, WA, DC and VA.

However, a higher pay at CA doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at CA might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Technical Writer is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
Associate’s degree

We asked other Technical Writers what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had an Associate’s Degree followed by a Bachelor’s Degree.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Technical and Scientific Communication
Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences Communication
Writing, General
Professional, Technical, Business, and Scientific Writing
Business/Corporate Communications
Read more about how to become a Technical Writer and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Technical Writer.

Suitable for people who likes to work with designs
Suitable for people who wants job security and a good working condition
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
Very good salary
Not suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
It is hard to get into this career. A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

68% of Technical Writers said they were satisfied with their job and 41% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Stacy Harris

Sara Bernier

Robert Johnson

Jeff Neal
Critter Depot

Karthik Subramanian

Dale Cornshaw

Ludovic Chung-Sao

Jon M. Quigley
Value Transformation


Marie Gettel-Gilmartin
Fertile Ground Communications

Rahul Jha
Source: Quora

David Deyo
Source: Quora

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Artists and The Thinkers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules..

They also like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Learn more about Technical Writers

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Related career information

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