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Career and Education Opportunities for Technical Writers in New Orleans, Louisiana

Technical writers can find many career and educational opportunities in the New Orleans, Louisiana area. There are currently 130 working technical writers in Louisiana; this should grow 32% to about 180 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 $23 per hour or $48,380 annually on average in Louisiana. Nationally they average about $29 hourly or $61,620 yearly. Incomes for technical writers are better than in the overall category of Writing and Editing in Louisiana, and better than the overall Writing and Editing category nationally. Jobs in this field include: editor, instructional designer, and medical writer.

There are thirty-two schools of higher education in the New Orleans area, including three within twenty-five miles of New Orleans where you can get a degree to start your career as a technical writer. Technical writers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so 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 New Orleans 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.
  • 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

Loyola University New Orleans - New Orleans, LA

Loyola University New Orleans, 6363 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118-6143. Loyola University New Orleans is a small university located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,474 students and an admission rate of 61%. Loyola University New Orleans has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated four students in 2008.

University of New Orleans - New Orleans, LA

University of New Orleans, 2000 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans, LA 70148. University of New Orleans is a large university located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,428 students and an admission rate of 55%. University of New Orleans has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated seventy-eight and zero students respectively in 2008.

Tulane University of Louisiana - New Orleans, LA

Tulane University of Louisiana, 6823 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118-5698. Tulane University of Louisiana is a large university located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,157 students and an admission rate of 27%. Tulane University of Louisiana has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated ten 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: New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana photo by Krakers

New Orleans is located in Orleans Parish County, Louisiana. It has a population of over 311,853, which has shrunk by 35.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in New Orleans, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in New Orleans cost $139,700 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, eight hundred eighty-two new homes were built in New Orleans, down from 1,026 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in New Orleans are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 26 minutes. More than 25.8% of New Orleans residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in New Orleans is 9.8%, which is greater than Louisiana's average of 7.1%.

The percentage of New Orleans residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.1%, is less than both the national and state average. All Saints Catholic Church, Iglesia Bautista Getsemani and Mars Hill Missionary Baptist Church are among the churches located in New Orleans. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

New Orleans is home to the Keller Market and the New Orleans Country Club as well as Harris Playground and Hardin Playground. Shopping malls in the area include Carrollton Shopping Center, Read Boulevard Shopping Center and Read Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to New Orleans can choose from Rampart Street Connection, Lafitte Guest House and HAMPTON INN & SUITES CONV CTR for temporary stays in the area.