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Technical Writers
SOC Code: 27-3042.00

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

Sample of reported job titles: Documentation Designer, Documentation Specialist, Engineering Writer, Expert Medical Writer, Information Developer, Narrative Writer, Requirements Analyst, Senior Technical Writer, Technical Communicator, Technical Writer

Tasks

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

Technology Skills

  • Analytical or scientific software - SAS
  • Application server software - GitHub
  • Computer aided design CAD software - Autodesk AutoCAD ; Dassault Systemes CATIA ; Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS ; PTC Creo Parametric
  • Computer based training software - Adobe Systems Adobe Captivate
  • Configuration management software - IBM Rational ClearCase; Perforce Helix software
  • Content workflow software - Atlassian JIRA
  • Data base reporting software - Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services ; Oracle Business Intelligence Discoverer; SAP Crystal Reports
  • Data base user interface and query software - Author-it; FileMaker Pro; Microsoft Access ; Structured query language SQL (see all 5 examples)
  • Data mining software - IBM Cognos Business Intelligence
  • Desktop publishing software - Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign ; MadCap Software MadCap Flare; Microsoft Publisher; PTC Arbortext (see all 7 examples)
  • Development environment software - Darwin information typing architecture DITA; IBM Rational ClearQuest; Microsoft Visual Basic ; Standardized general markup language SGML
  • Document management software - Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Electronic mail software - IBM Notes ; Microsoft Outlook
  • Enterprise application integration software - Extensible markup language XML
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software - SAP Business Objects
  • File versioning software - Git
  • Financial analysis software - Oracle E-Business Suite Financials
  • Graphical user interface development software - Adobe Systems Adobe RoboHelp
  • Graphics or photo imaging software - Adobe Systems Adobe Creative Cloud ; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop ; Corel CorelDraw Graphics Suite; Microsoft Visio (see all 8 examples)
  • Internet browser software - Web browser software
  • Medical software - Epic Systems
  • Object or component oriented development software - Objective C ; Oracle Java
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Presentation software - Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Project management software - Confluence ; Microsoft Project ; Microsoft SharePoint
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Video creation and editing software - Apple Final Cut Pro
  • Web page creation and editing software - Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver ; Adobe Systems Adobe Flash Player; JustSystems XMetaL; Quadralay WebWorks ePublisher
  • Web platform development software - Cascading Style Sheets CSS ; Hypertext markup language HTML ; JavaScript ; Microsoft ASP.NET (see all 9 examples)
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Desktop computers
  • Digital cameras - Compact digital cameras
  • High capacity removable media drives - Universal serial bus USB flash drives
  • Notebook computers - Laptop computers
  • Personal computers
  • Scanners - Computer data input scanners

Knowledge

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills

  • 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.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Abilities

  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.

Interests

  • Interest code: AIC
    • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
    • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Work Context

  • Electronic Mail - 74% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 76% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 75% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Sitting
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 76% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 66% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 65% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Time Pressure - 48% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 75% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone - 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 30% responded “Contact with others about half the time.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 41% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 46% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 22% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 34% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 55% responded “Limited freedom.”
  • Letters and Memos - 47% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 41% responded “Moderate results.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 18% responded “Important.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 45% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 25% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
  • Level of Competition - 42% responded “Highly competitive.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
35%Associate's degree
33%Bachelor's degree
16%Some college, no degree

Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Work Values

  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Working Conditions - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
  • Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $34.10 hourly, $70,930 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 52,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Faster than average (10% to 14%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 5,700

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