Career and Education Opportunities for Technical Writers in Modesto, California
There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for technical writers in the Modesto, California area. 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 national trend for technical writers, which sees this job pool growing by about 18.2% over the next eight years. Technical writers generally write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions.
Technical writers earn approximately $36 hourly or $75,680 yearly on average in California. Nationally they average about $29 per hour or $61,620 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Writing and Editing, people working as technical writers in California earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Writing and Editing nationally. People working as technical writers can fill a number of jobs, such as: documentation specialist, scientific writer, and handbook writer.
The Modesto area is home to twenty-one schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Modesto 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, 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
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 Modesto 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.
- 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
University of the Pacific - Stockton, CA
University of the Pacific, 3601 Pacific Ave, Stockton, CA 95211-0197. University of the Pacific is a medium sized university located in Stockton, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,251 students and an admission rate of 69%. University of the Pacific has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated one and zero students respectively in 2008.
California State University-Stanislaus - Turlock, CA
California State University-Stanislaus, One University Circle, Turlock, CA 95382. California State University-Stanislaus is a medium sized university located in Turlock, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,600 students and an admission rate of 65%. California State University-Stanislaus has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated two students in 2008.
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: Modesto, California
Modesto is located in Stanislaus County, California. It has a population of over 202,967, which has grown by 7.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Modesto, 91, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Modesto cost $208,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirteen new homes were constructed in Modesto, down from two hundred eighty-five the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Modesto are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 26 minutes. More than 16.5% of Modesto residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.3%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Modesto is 14.4%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.
The percentage of Modesto residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.7%, is less than both the national and state average. Livingway Tabernacle, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Bethel Pentecostal Church are all churches located in Modesto. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Salvation Army and the Assemblies of God.
Modesto is home to the King-Kennedy Center and the McClure Historical Country House as well as Muncy Park and John Muir Park. Shopping malls in the area include Roosevelt Shopping Center, Gregory Gardens Shopping Center and Western Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Modesto can choose from Best Western Town House Lodge, Apex Inn and Arrow Inn for temporary stays in the area.