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Career and Education Opportunities for Technical Writers in St. Paul, Minnesota

There are many career and education opportunities for technical writers in the St. Paul, Minnesota area. There are currently 980 working technical writers in Minnesota; this should grow 13% to 1,100 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. In general, technical writers write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions.

Technical writers earn about $30 hourly or $62,810 annually on average in Minnesota and about $29 per hour or $61,620 annually on average nationally. Earnings for technical writers are better than earnings in the general category of Writing and Editing in Minnesota and better than general Writing and Editing category earnings nationally. People working as technical writers can fill a number of jobs, such as: engineering writer, lexicographer, and technical and scientific publications editor.

The St. Paul area is home to seventy-seven schools of higher education, including eleven within twenty-five miles of St. Paul where you can get a degree as a technical writer. 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 St. Paul 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

Hamline University - Saint Paul, MN

Hamline University, 1536 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104-1284. Hamline University is a small university located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,906 students and an admission rate of 80%. Hamline University has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated one student in 2008.

University of St Thomas - Saint Paul, MN

University of St Thomas, 2115 Summit Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105-1078. University of St Thomas is a large university located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,960 students and an admission rate of 81%. University of St Thomas has 2 areas of study related to Technical Writer. They are:

  • Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric, bachelor's degree which graduated 13 students in 2008.
  • Business/Corporate Communications, master's degree which graduated 21 students in 2008.

Metropolitan State University - Saint Paul, MN

Metropolitan State University, 700 E Seventh St, Saint Paul, MN 55106-5000. Metropolitan State University is a medium sized university located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,909 students and an admission rate of 53%. Metropolitan State University has 2 areas of study related to Technical Writer. They are:

  • Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric, bachelor's degree which graduated 33 students in 2008.
  • Technical and Business Writing, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated one and fifteen students respectively in 2008.

North Hennepin Community College - Brooklyn Park, MN

North Hennepin Community College, 7411 85th Ave N, Brooklyn Park, MN 55445. North Hennepin Community College is a medium sized college located in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,904 students. North Hennepin Community College has a less than one year program in Business/Corporate Communications which graduated twenty-one students in 2008.

Macalester College - Saint Paul, MN

Macalester College, 1600 Grand Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105-1899. Macalester College is a small college located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,900 students and an admission rate of 41%. Macalester College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric.

Bethel University - Saint Paul, MN

Bethel University, 3900 Bethel Dr, Saint Paul, MN 55112-6902. Bethel University is a small university located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,337 students and an admission rate of 81%. Bethel University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated six and seven students respectively in 2008.

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities - Minneapolis, MN

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, 100 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0213. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is a large university located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 51,140 students and an admission rate of 53%. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities has a less than one year and a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric.

Augsburg College - Minneapolis, MN

Augsburg College, 2211 Riverside Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55454. Augsburg College is a small college located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,827 students and an admission rate of 56%. Augsburg College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated twenty-four students in 2008.

Brown College - Mendota Heights, MN

Brown College, 1440 Northland Dr, Mendota Heights, MN 55120-1004. Brown College is a small college located in Mendota Heights, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,231 students. Brown College has a bachelor's degree program in Business/Corporate Communications which graduated nine students in 2008.

Northwestern College - Saint Paul, MN

Northwestern College, 3003 Snelling Ave N, Saint Paul, MN 55113-1598. Northwestern College is a small college located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,022 students and an admission rate of 95%. Northwestern College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated forty-two students in 2008.

College of St Catherine - Saint Paul, MN

College of St Catherine, 2004 Randolph Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105. College of St Catherine is a medium sized college located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,201 students and an admission rate of 77%. College of St Catherine has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated two 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: St. Paul, Minnesota

St. Paul, Minnesota
St. Paul, Minnesota photo by Gridge

St. Paul is located in Ramsey County, Minnesota. It has a population of over 279,590, which has shrunk by 2.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in St. Paul, 99, is near the national average. New single-family homes in St. Paul are valued at $213,300 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, thirty new homes were built in St. Paul, down from seventy-four the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in St. Paul are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 32.0% of St. Paul residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in St. Paul is 7.4%, which is greater than Minnesota's average of 7.0%.

The percentage of St. Paul residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 61.3%, is more than both the national and state average. Zion Church, Convent of the Visitation and Saint Paul Cathedral are some of the churches located in St. Paul. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Baptist General Conference.

St. Paul is home to the Saint Paul Orphange and the Wilder Center as well as Terrace Park and East View Playground.