Technical Writer

We're looking for people who:

have a knack for communicating well with others about technical matters.

What you will do:

You will write technical materials, such as operating manuals and instructions.

Some specific tasks you will be asked to complete include:

  • Review technical documents to determine whether they need to be rewritten
  • Assist in publications, including advising on layout and providing sketches of diagrams and other illustrations
  • Edit materials written by others to make sure they are consistent with the tone and style of your company

Knowledge required for this job:

  • Knowledge of structure and content of languages used to speak and write in your office
  • Understanding of the basic electronics that power computers, their peripherals, and software
  • Knowing the basics of communication and ways to use oral, written, and visual media to distribute a message effectively
  • Understanding how to design materials to help readers learn about a topic, idea, or operation
  • Understanding how engineering and technology principles solve problems

Skills required for this job:

  • The ability to write clearly and accurately to communicate with intended audiences
  • Active listening skills  
  • Able to understand complex technical processes and reduce  them into smaller segments
  • Good time management skills
  • An ability to create media materials that engage and inform target audiences

What education you need:

Most technical writers have a bachelor's degree or higher.
About three-quarters (72.9%) of people ages 25-44 who currently hold this kind of job have a bachelor's degree. An additional 22.3% have had some college experience. Only 4.9% have a high school diploma or lower.


Nationally, people working in this job earn between $17.08 and $44.10 an hour.
In Maryland, the pay scale ranges from $19.30 - $43.10 an hour. (Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) 2007)

Future job prospects

Nationally, technical writers' jobs are expected to increase from 50,400 positions in 2004 to 62,000 in 2014. (+23%)
In Maryland, jobs numbers are expected to increase as well, with 1,810 positions in 2004 and 2,230 in 2014. (+23%)

Watch a video that shows what a technical writer does.

According to the Maryland Commission on Higher Education, training for this career is available through these resources:

The Maryland Career Clusters help students prepare for their future education and careers while they are in high school. The job of Technical Writer is part of the Information Technology Career Cluster in the core area Information Systems.

You can explore other careers in the Information Technology Career Cluster here.