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Career and Education Opportunities for Technical Writers in Worcester, Massachusetts

Worcester, Massachusetts provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for technical writers. Currently, 2,490 people work as technical writers in Massachusetts. This is expected to grow 15% to about 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.

A person working as a technical writer can expect to earn about $37 hourly or $78,800 per year on average in Massachusetts and about $29 per hour or $61,620 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Writing and Editing, people working as technical writers in Massachusetts earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Writing and Editing nationally. Technical writers work in a variety of jobs, including: technical communicator, documentation designer, and instructional designer.

There are thirty-nine schools of higher education in the Worcester area, including eight within twenty-five miles of Worcester where you can get a degree to start your career as a technical writer. The most common level of education for technical writers is a Bachelor's degree. 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 Worcester 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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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: Worcester, Massachusetts

Worcester, Massachusetts
Worcester, Massachusetts photo by Yassie

Worcester is located in Worcester County, Massachusetts. It has a population of over 175,011, which has grown by 1.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Worcester, 121, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Worcester cost $108,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, sixty-one new homes were constructed in Worcester, down from two hundred fourteen the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Worcester are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, construction, and health care. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 23.3% of Worcester residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Worcester is 9.9%, which is greater than Massachusetts's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Worcester residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Burncoat Baptist Church, United Congregational Church and Unitarian Universalist Church are among the churches located in Worcester. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church.

Worcester is home to the Tatnuck Country Club and the Massachusetts Biotech Research Park as well as Ty Cobb Park and General Foley Stadium. Shopping malls in the area include Lincoln Plaza Shopping Center, Mid Town Mall and Norwich Place Shopping Center. Visitors to Worcester can choose from Days Inn, Hampton Inn and Maple Manor Hotel for temporary stays in the area.