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Career and Education Opportunities for Technical Writers in Thornton, Colorado

There are many career and education opportunities for technical writers in the Thornton, Colorado area. There are currently 1,420 working technical writers in Colorado; this should grow by 18% to about 1,680 working technical writers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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 about $31 hourly or $65,590 per year on average in Colorado and about $29 hourly or $61,620 per year on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Writing and Editing, people working as technical writers in Colorado 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: assembly instructions writer, technical and scientific publications editor, and report writer.

The Thornton area is home to fifty-nine schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Thornton 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 Thornton 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.
  • 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

Colorado Christian University - Lakewood, CO

Colorado Christian University, 8787 West Alameda Avenue, Lakewood, CO 80226. Colorado Christian University is a small university located in Lakewood, Colorado. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,583 students and an admission rate of 32%. Colorado Christian University has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated nine students in 2008.

University of Colorado at Boulder - Boulder, CO

University of Colorado at Boulder, Regent Drive at Broadway, Boulder, CO 80309-0017. University of Colorado at Boulder is a large university located in Boulder, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 32,191 students and an admission rate of 78%. University of Colorado at Boulder has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated 213, eight, and thirteen students respectively in 2008.

Regis University - Denver, CO

Regis University, 3333 Regis Blvd, Denver, CO 80221-1099. Regis University is a large university located in Denver, Colorado. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,238 students and an admission rate of 44%. Regis University has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated fifty-one 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: Thornton, Colorado

Thornton, Colorado
Thornton, Colorado photo by bonjourpeewee

Thornton is located in Adams County, Colorado. It has a population of over 113,429, which has grown by 37.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Thornton, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Thornton are priced at $176,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-five new homes were constructed in Thornton, down from four hundred eighty-four the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Thornton are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 29 minutes. More than 19.9% of Thornton residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Thornton is 6.3%, which is less than Colorado's average of 6.6%.

The percentage of Thornton residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 30.4%, is less than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Lutheran Church.