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Career and Education Opportunities for Technical Writers in Cambridge, Massachusetts

For those living in the Cambridge, Massachusetts area, there are many career and education opportunities for technical writers. Currently, 2,490 people work as technical writers in Massachusetts. This is expected to grow by 15% to 2,850 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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.

Technical writers earn approximately $37 per hour or $78,800 yearly on average in Massachusetts. Nationally they average about $29 per hour or $61,620 yearly. Technical writers earn more than people working in the category of Writing and Editing generally in Massachusetts and more than people in the Writing and Editing category nationally. People working as technical writers can fill a number of jobs, such as: documentation specialist, editor, and specifications writer.

The Cambridge area is home to 149 schools of higher education, including twenty-six within twenty-five miles of Cambridge where you can get a degree 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 Cambridge 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

Bentley University - Waltham, MA

Bentley University, 175 Forest St, Waltham, MA 02452-4705. Bentley University is a medium sized university located in Waltham, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,675 students and an admission rate of 38%. Bentley University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Business/Corporate Communications which graduated thirty-nine and twenty students respectively in 2008.

Stonehill College - Easton, MA

Stonehill College, 320 Washington Street, Easton, MA 02357-6110. Stonehill College is a small college located in Easton, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,426 students and an admission rate of 45%. Stonehill College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated one student in 2008.

Worcester State College - Worcester, MA

Worcester State College, 486 Chandler St, Worcester, MA 01602-2597. Worcester State College is a medium sized college located in Worcester, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,378 students and an admission rate of 54%. Worcester State College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated one student in 2008.

Curry College - Milton, MA

Curry College, 1071 Blue Hill Ave, Milton, MA 02186-2395. Curry College is a small college located in Milton, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,098 students and an admission rate of 67%. Curry College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated one student in 2008.

Emerson College - Boston, MA

Emerson College, 120 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116-4624. Emerson College is a small college located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,536 students and an admission rate of 37%. Emerson College has 2 areas of study related to Technical Writer. They are:

  • Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric, bachelor's degree which graduated 8 students in 2008.
  • Business/Corporate Communications, master's degree which graduated 22 students in 2008.

Emmanuel College - Boston, MA

Emmanuel College, 400 the Fenway, Boston, MA 02115. Emmanuel College is a small college located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,286 students and an admission rate of 56%. Emmanuel College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated three students in 2008.

Rivier College - Nashua, NH

Rivier College, 420 South Main St, Nashua, NH 03060. Rivier College is a small college located in Nashua, New Hampshire. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,198 students and an admission rate of 72%. Rivier College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

Regis College - Weston, MA

Regis College, 235 Wellesley St, Weston, MA 02493-1571. Regis College is a small college located in Weston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,599 students and an admission rate of 75%. Regis College has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated three and six students respectively in 2008.

Gordon College - Wenham, MA

Gordon College, 255 Grapevine Rd, Wenham, MA 01984. Gordon College is a small college located in Wenham, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,700 students and an admission rate of 71%. Gordon College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated one student in 2008.

Salem State College - Salem, MA

Salem State College, 352 Lafayette St, Salem, MA 01970. Salem State College is a large college located in Salem, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,168 students and an admission rate of 58%. Salem State College has 2 areas of study related to Technical Writer. They are:

  • Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric, bachelor's degree.
  • Technical and Business Writing, bachelor's degree which graduated 8 students in 2008.

Boston College - Chestnut Hill, MA

Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Ave, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467. Boston College is a large college located in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,623 students and an admission rate of 26%. Boston College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated forty-five students in 2008.

Northeastern University - Boston, MA

Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115-5000. Northeastern University is a large university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,368 students and an admission rate of 35%. Northeastern University has 2 areas of study related to Technical Writer. They are:

  • Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric, bachelor's degree and master's degree.
  • Technical and Business Writing, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and post-master's certificate which graduated three, five, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Merrimack College - North Andover, MA

Merrimack College, 315 Turnpike St, North Andover, MA 01845. Merrimack College is a small college located in North Andover, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,154 students and an admission rate of 79%. Merrimack College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated one student in 2008.

Suffolk University - Boston, MA

Suffolk University, 8 Ashburton Pl Beacon Hill, Boston, MA 02108-2770. Suffolk University is a medium sized university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,783 students and an admission rate of 82%. Suffolk University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric.

Dean College - Franklin, MA

Dean College, 99 Main Street, Franklin, MA 02038-1941. Dean College is a small college located in Franklin, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,321 students and an admission rate of 69%. Dean College has an associate's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated twelve students in 2008.

Assumption College - Worcester, MA

Assumption College, 500 Salisbury St, Worcester, MA 01609-1296. Assumption College is a small college located in Worcester, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,888 students and an admission rate of 71%. Assumption College has 2 areas of study related to Technical Writer. They are:

  • Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Business/Corporate Communications, less than one year.

Clark University - Worcester, MA

Clark University, 950 Main St, Worcester, MA 01610-1477. Clark University is a small university located in Worcester, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,330 students and an admission rate of 56%. Clark University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated two and thirty-three students respectively in 2008.

Atlantic Union College - South Lancaster, MA

Atlantic Union College, 338 Main St, South Lancaster, MA 01561-1000. Atlantic Union College is a small college located in South Lancaster, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 384 students. Atlantic Union College has a one to two year and a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric.

Nichols College - Dudley, MA

Nichols College, Center Rd, Dudley, MA 01571-5000. Nichols College is a small college located in Dudley, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,520 students and an admission rate of 65%. Nichols College has a bachelor's degree program in Business/Corporate Communications which graduated four students in 2008.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute - Worcester, MA

Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA 01609-2280. Worcester Polytechnic Institute is a small school located in Worcester, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,469 students and an admission rate of 67%. Worcester Polytechnic Institute has a bachelor's degree program in Technical and Business Writing.

Simmons College - Boston, MA

Simmons College, 300 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115-5898. Simmons College is a small college located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,933 students and an admission rate of 55%. Simmons College has bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree programs in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated seven, one, and twenty-nine students respectively in 2008.

Fitchburg State College - Fitchburg, MA

Fitchburg State College, 160 Pearl St, Fitchburg, MA 01420-2697. Fitchburg State College is a medium sized college located in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,400 students and an admission rate of 66%. Fitchburg State College has bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree programs in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated two, zero, and nine students respectively in 2008.

University of Massachusetts-Boston - Boston, MA

University of Massachusetts-Boston, 100 Morrissey Blvd, Boston, MA 02125-3393. University of Massachusetts-Boston is a large university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,117 students and an admission rate of 63%. University of Massachusetts-Boston has a less than one year program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated one student in 2008.

Lasell College - Newton, MA

Lasell College, 1844 Commonwealth Ave, Newton, MA 02466-2716. Lasell College is a small college located in Newton, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,484 students and an admission rate of 61%. Lasell College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated sixteen students in 2008.

Bunker Hill Community College - Boston, MA

Bunker Hill Community College, 250 New Rutherford Ave, Boston, MA 02129-2925. Bunker Hill Community College is a medium sized college located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,500 students. Bunker Hill Community College has an associate's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated eleven students in 2008.

Boston University - Boston, MA

Boston University, One Silber Way, Boston, MA 02215. Boston University is a large university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 31,669 students and an admission rate of 59%. Boston University has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated 350 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: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Cambridge, Massachusetts
Cambridge, Massachusetts photo by Scs

Cambridge is located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. It has a population of over 105,596, which has grown by 4.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Cambridge, 142, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Cambridge are priced at $1,078,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, twelve new homes were constructed in Cambridge, down from twenty-five the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Cambridge are educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 65.1% of Cambridge residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 38.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cambridge is 5.6%, which is less than Massachusetts's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Cambridge residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 73.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Western Avenue Baptist Church, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Chapel and Cambridgeport Baptist Church are some of the churches located in Cambridge. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church.

Cambridge is home to the Great Court and the Cutter Square as well as John A Ahern Field and Sheridan Square. Shopping malls in the area include Porter Square Shopping Center, The Atrium Shopping Center and Cambridgeside Galleria Shopping Center.