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Career and Education Opportunities for Technical Writers in Montgomery, Alabama

Montgomery, Alabama provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for technical writers. There are currently 640 working technical writers in Alabama; this should grow 27% to about 810 working technical writers in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for technical writers, which sees this job pool growing by about 18.2% over the next eight years. In general, technical writers write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions.

Income for technical writers is about $24 hourly or $50,870 yearly on average in Alabama. Nationally, their income is about $29 per hour or $61,620 yearly. Technical writers earn more than people working in the category of Writing and Editing generally in Alabama and more than people in the Writing and Editing category nationally. People working as technical writers can fill a number of jobs, such as: engineering writer, medical writer, and health technical writer.

The Montgomery area is home to twelve schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Montgomery where you can get a degree as a technical writer. Given that the most common education level for technical writers is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become a technical writer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Technical Writer

Technical Writer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, technical writers write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions. They also may assist in layout work.

Technical writers organize material and complete writing assignments in line with set standards. They also maintain records and files of work and revisions. Equally important, technical writers have to edit or make changes to material prepared by other writers or establishment personnel. They are often called upon to inspect published materials and recommend revisions or changes in scope and methods of reproduction and binding. They are expected to decide on photographs and charts to illustrate material. Finally, technical writers help in laying out material for publication.

Every day, technical writers are expected to be able to write clearly and communicate well. They need to read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for technical writers to interview production and engineering personnel and read journals and other material to become familiar with product technologies and production methods. They are often called upon to analyze developments in specific field to establish need for revisions in previously published materials and development of new material. They also talk with customer representatives or publisher to determine technical specifications and to establish subject material to be developed for publication. They are sometimes expected to observe production and experimental efforts to establish operating procedure and detail. Somewhat less frequently, technical writers are also expected to draw sketches to illustrate specified materials or assembly sequence.

Technical writers sometimes are asked to draw sketches to illustrate specified materials or assembly sequence. And finally, they sometimes have to observe production and experimental efforts to establish operating procedure and detail.

Like many other jobs, technical writers must believe in an agile approach to problem solving and deal with change and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Montgomery include:

  • Copy Writer. Write advertising copy for use by publication or broadcast media to promote sale of goods and services.
  • Editorial Specialist. Perform variety of editorial duties, such as laying out, indexing, and revising content of written materials, in preparation for final publication.
  • Program Director. Direct and coordinate activities of personnel engaged in preparation of radio or television station program schedules and programs.
  • Writer. Create original written works.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Technical Writer Training

Huntingdon College - Montgomery, AL

Huntingdon College, 1500 East Fairview Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36106-2148. Huntingdon College is a small college located in Montgomery, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,076 students and an admission rate of 65%. Huntingdon College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated one student in 2008.

Alabama State University - Montgomery, AL

Alabama State University, 915 S Jackson Street, Montgomery, AL 36101-0271. Alabama State University is a medium sized university located in Montgomery, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,695 students and an admission rate of 42%. Alabama State University has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated thirty-seven students in 2008.

Auburn University-Montgomery - Montgomery, AL

Auburn University-Montgomery, 7440 East Drive, Montgomery, AL 36117-3596. Auburn University-Montgomery is a medium sized university located in Montgomery, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,248 students and an admission rate of 91%. Auburn University-Montgomery has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated twenty-seven students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Technical Trainer: CompTIA CTT+ is an international, vendor-neutral certification that covers core instructor skills, including preparation, presentation, communication, facilitation and evaluation in both a classroom and virtual classroom environment.

For more information, see the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Montgomery, Alabama

Montgomery, Alabama
Montgomery, Alabama photo by Spyder Monkey

Montgomery is situated in Montgomery County, Alabama. It has a population of over 202,696, which has grown by 0.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Montgomery, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Montgomery are valued at $129,500 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, two hundred seventy-eight new homes were built in Montgomery, down from six hundred nineteen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Montgomery are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is public administration, construction, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 29.4% of Montgomery residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Montgomery is 10.1%, which is less than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Montgomery residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.6%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Big Roxanna Church, William African Methodist Episcopal Zion Chapel and Whitfield Memorial United Methodist Church are some of the churches located in Montgomery. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Churches of Christ.

Montgomery is home to the Montgomery Public Library and the Booker T Washington Community Center as well as Old Selma Road Park and Montgomery East Exchange Park. Shopping centers in the area include Montgomery East Plaza Shopping Center, Montgomery Mall Shopping Center and Norman Bridge South Shopping Center. Visitors to Montgomery can choose from Relax Inn, Islander and Towne Place Suites by Marriott for temporary stays in the area.