Can you tell me about Technical Writing as a profession?

I'm relatively "noob" at the concept of technical writing (even though I have a background in English and writing in general). I've considered maybe working doing Technical Writing if I find it to be something that I might enjoy.

What is the pay like?

What are the hours like?

What does the job entail on a general level?

What software is predominantly used?

Is a undergraduate degree necessary? If so...

Is a graduate degree necessary?

Are there any tips or tricks of the trade that might be helpful?

Any help from those in the field (or that have been in the field) would be greatly appreciated in addition to the rest of the answers! Open your brains and give me some of your knowledge, advice and thoughts! Thanks! =D

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  • 1 decade ago
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    The starting pay is anywhere from 30k to 70k depending on experience and qualifications

    Hours is like any job. 40 Hr work weeks and probably more when you have product to deliver

    The job entails writing, editing, presentation of work done by engineers to some coherent format either a manual or some technical document. They may include image processing and development as well as other figures etc.

    Software use depends on the company and what you are writing about. For example, technical writing for Boeing Aircraft utilizes specialized software that no one else uses. Writing pamphlets for a dentist uses Microsoft word.

    An undergraduate degree is required.

    Most companies prefer someone with a technical background and some good writing samples.

    Some companies will require a technical writing certification.

    Others will require peer reviewed publications.

    Graduate degree is not necessary.

    Tips: Have at least 3 writing samples ready for interview.

    Advice: Seek part time technical writing opportunities as well as full time ones so that one may get valuable experience in technical writing. Look at opportunities at job fairs, online, etc. Do not limit oneself to just one field (ie just biology or engineering etc).

    Figure out what the exact requirements are for a particular position and make sure one tailors resume to that need and tailor make one's cover letter for each position.

    Do not get discouraged with no hires. Its a lengthy process.

    Below is a link to a company that offered me a position for a technical writing job. Take a look at their requirements. Select Employment information from what you are looking for menu to look for technical writer positions.

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