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Career and Education Opportunities for Technical Writers in Los Angeles, California

For those living in the Los Angeles, California area, there are many career and education opportunities for technical writers. There are currently 7,200 working technical writers in California; this should grow 19% to about 8,600 working technical writers in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for technical writers are expected to grow by about 18.2%. In general, technical writers write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions.

Income for technical writers is about $36 per hour or $75,680 annually on average in California. Nationally, their income is about $29 per hour or $61,620 annually. Technical writers earn more than people working in the category of Writing and Editing generally in California and more than people in the Writing and Editing category nationally. Technical writers work in a variety of jobs, including: technical and scientific publications editor, engineering documentation specialist, and technical publications writer.

The Los Angeles area is home to 274 schools of higher education, including fourteen within twenty-five miles of Los Angeles where you can get a degree as a technical writer. The most common level of education for technical writers is a Bachelor's degree. It will take about four years to learn to be 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 Los Angeles include:

  • Audio Visual Technician. Set up or set up and operate audio and video equipment including microphones, sound speakers, video screens, projectors, video monitors, recording equipment, connecting wires and cables, sound and mixing boards, and related electronic equipment for concerts, sports events, meetings and conventions, presentations, and news conferences. May also set up and operate associated spotlights and other custom lighting systems.
  • 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.
  • News Analyst. Analyze, interpret, and broadcast news received from various sources.
  • Program Director. Direct and coordinate activities of personnel engaged in preparation of radio or television station program schedules and programs.
  • Radio and Television Announcer. Talk on radio or television. May interview guests, act as master of ceremonies, read news flashes, identify station by giving call letters, or announce song title and artist.
  • Reporter. Collect and analyze facts about newsworthy events by interview, investigation, or observation. Report and write stories for newspaper, news magazine, or television.
  • Writer. Create original written works.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Technical Writer Training

California State University-Los Angeles - Los Angeles, CA

California State University-Los Angeles, 5151 State University Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90032. California State University-Los Angeles is a large university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,856 students and an admission rate of 62%. California State University-Los Angeles has a master's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated eight students in 2008.

California State Polytechnic University-Pomona - Pomona, CA

California State Polytechnic University-Pomona, 3801 W Temple Ave, Pomona, CA 91768. California State Polytechnic University-Pomona is a large university located in Pomona, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 21,206 students and an admission rate of 69%. California State Polytechnic University-Pomona has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated seventy-one students in 2008.

Vanguard University of Southern California - Costa Mesa, CA

Vanguard University of Southern California, 55 Fair Dr, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Vanguard University of Southern California is a small university located in Costa Mesa, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,128 students and an admission rate of 81%. Vanguard University of Southern California has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric.

California State University-Fullerton - Fullerton, CA

California State University-Fullerton, 800 N State College Blvd, Fullerton, CA 92831-3599. California State University-Fullerton is a large university located in Fullerton, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 36,990 students and an admission rate of 60%. California State University-Fullerton has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated twenty and thirty-three students respectively in 2008.

Los Angeles Pierce College - Woodland Hills, CA

Los Angeles Pierce College, 6201 Winnetka Ave, Woodland Hills, CA 91371-0002. Los Angeles Pierce College is a large college located in Woodland Hills, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 21,832 students. Los Angeles Pierce College has a less than one year program in Technical and Business Writing which graduated one student in 2008.

Chapman University - Orange, CA

Chapman University, One University Dr., Orange, CA 92866. Chapman University is a medium sized university located in Orange, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,131 students and an admission rate of 50%. Chapman University has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated two students in 2008.

California State University-Northridge - Northridge, CA

California State University-Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St, Northridge, CA 91330. California State University-Northridge is a large university located in Northridge, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 36,208 students and an admission rate of 69%. California State University-Northridge has a master's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

Biola University - La Mirada, CA

Biola University, 13800 Biola Ave, La Mirada, CA 90639-0001. Biola University is a medium sized university located in La Mirada, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,893 students and an admission rate of 81%. Biola University has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated twenty-six students in 2008.

California State University-Dominguez Hills - Carson, CA

California State University-Dominguez Hills, 1000 E Victoria St, Carson, CA 90747-0005. California State University-Dominguez Hills is a large university located in Carson, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,842 students and an admission rate of 12%. California State University-Dominguez Hills has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated fifty-two students in 2008.

University of La Verne - La Verne, CA

University of La Verne, 1950 Third St, La Verne, CA 91750-4401. University of La Verne is a medium sized university located in La Verne, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,331 students and an admission rate of 65%. University of La Verne has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated thirty-two students in 2008.

Azusa Pacific University - Azusa, CA

Azusa Pacific University, 901 E Alosta, Azusa, CA 91702-7000. Azusa Pacific University is a medium sized university located in Azusa, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,501 students and an admission rate of 73%. Azusa Pacific University has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated one student in 2008.

University of Southern California - Los Angeles, CA

University of Southern California, University Park, Los Angeles, CA 90089. University of Southern California is a large university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 33,747 students and an admission rate of 22%. University of Southern California has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated thirteen, thirteen, and fifteen students respectively in 2008.

Loyola Marymount University - Los Angeles, CA

Loyola Marymount University, One Lmu Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90045-2659. Loyola Marymount University is a medium sized university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 9,011 students and an admission rate of 50%. Loyola Marymount University has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated one student in 2008.

Pepperdine University - Malibu, CA

Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90263. Pepperdine University is a medium sized university located in Malibu, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,170 students and an admission rate of 35%. Pepperdine University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated seven and eight students respectively 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: Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California photo by Diliff

Los Angeles is located in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 3,833,995, which has grown by 3.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Los Angeles, 166, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Los Angeles are valued at $361,500 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, seven hundred twelve new homes were built in Los Angeles, down from 1,551 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Los Angeles are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 25.5% of Los Angeles residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Los Angeles is 13.9%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Los Angeles residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. All Peoples Christian Church, All Saints Episcopal Church and All Saints Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Los Angeles. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Los Angeles is home to the Balboa Municipal Golf Course and the Angels Flight Railway as well as Hazard Park and State Street Recreation Center. Shopping centers in the area include Encino Junior Shopping Center, Encino Oaks Shopping Center and Encino Town Center Shopping Center. Visitors to Los Angeles can choose from Best Western Mid-Wilshire Plaza, Best Western Westwood Pacific and Alma Lodge for temporary stays in the area.