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Career and Education Opportunities for Technical Writers in San Francisco, California

Technical writer career and educational opportunities abound in San Francisco, California. About 7,200 people are currently employed as technical writers in California. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 19% to about 8,600 people employed. 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.

Income for technical writers is about $36 per hour or $75,680 yearly on average in California. Nationally, their income is about $29 hourly or $61,620 annually. Incomes for technical writers are better than in the overall category of Writing and Editing in California, and better than the overall Writing and Editing category nationally. People working as technical writers can fill a number of jobs, such as: electronic publications specialist, specifications writer, and health science writer.

There are six schools within twenty-five miles of San Francisco where you can study to be a technical writer, among eighty-six schools of higher education total in the San Francisco area. 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

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 San Francisco 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

Saint Marys College of California - Moraga, CA

Saint Marys College of California, 1928 Saint Marys Road, Moraga, CA 94556. Saint Marys College of California is a small college located in Moraga, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,809 students and an admission rate of 81%. Saint Marys College of California has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated fifty-two students in 2008.

San Francisco State University - San Francisco, CA

San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Ave, San Francisco, CA 94132. San Francisco State University is a large university located in San Francisco, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,014 students and an admission rate of 67%. San Francisco State University has 2 areas of study related to Technical Writer. They are:

  • Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Technical and Business Writing, bachelor's degree which graduated 6 students in 2008.

California State University-East Bay - Hayward, CA

California State University-East Bay, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd, Hayward, CA 94542. California State University-East Bay is a large university located in Hayward, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,353 students and an admission rate of 71%. California State University-East Bay has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated seventy-one students in 2008.

Holy Names University - Oakland, CA

Holy Names University, 3500 Mountain Blvd, Oakland, CA 94619-1699. Holy Names University is a small university located in Oakland, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,103 students and an admission rate of 74%. Holy Names University has 2 areas of study related to Technical Writer. They are:

  • Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Business/Corporate Communications, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.

University of San Francisco - San Francisco, CA

University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton St, San Francisco, CA 94117-1080. University of San Francisco is a medium sized university located in San Francisco, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,772 students and an admission rate of 64%. University of San Francisco has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric.

Notre Dame de Namur University - Belmont, CA

Notre Dame de Namur University, 1500 Ralston Ave, Belmont, CA 94002-1908. Notre Dame de Namur University is a small university located in Belmont, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,478 students and an admission rate of 97%. Notre Dame de Namur University has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated nineteen 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: San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California photo by Optigan13

San Francisco is located in San Francisco County, California. It has a population of over 808,976, which has grown by 4.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in San Francisco, 180, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Francisco cost $218,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, fifty-seven new homes were built in San Francisco, up from fifty-five the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in San Francisco are professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 31 minutes. More than 45.0% of San Francisco residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.4%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of San Francisco residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.8%, is less than both the national and state average. Gold Mountain Monastery, Golden Gate Community Church of the Nazarene and Golden Gate Lutheran Church are among the churches located in San Francisco. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the United Methodist Church.

San Francisco is home to the Pier 88 and the Prayer Book Cross as well as Helen Wills Playground and Music Concourse. Shopping malls in the area include Yerba Buena Square Shopping Center, Fox Plaza Shopping Center and Galleria At Crocker Center Shopping Center. Visitors to San Francisco can choose from Astoria Hotel, A-1 Inn Motel and Best Western Canterbury Hotel for temporary stays in the area.