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Career and Education Opportunities for Technical Writers in St. Louis, Missouri

There are many career and education opportunities for technical writers in the St. Louis, Missouri area. About 810 people are currently employed as technical writers in Missouri. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 3% to about 830 people employed. 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 $25 hourly or $53,730 per year on average in Missouri and about $29 hourly or $61,620 annually on average nationally. Technical writers earn more than people working in the category of Writing and Editing generally in Missouri and more than people in the Writing and Editing category nationally. Technical writers work in a variety of jobs, including: proposal writer, health science writer, and assembly instructions writer.

There are seventy-one schools of higher education in the St. Louis area, including ten within twenty-five miles of St. Louis 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 studying 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. Louis 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.
  • 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

Missouri Baptist University - Saint Louis, MO

Missouri Baptist University, One College Park Dr, Saint Louis, MO 63141-8698. Missouri Baptist University is a small university located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,764 students and an admission rate of 67%. Missouri Baptist University has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated fourteen students in 2008.

McKendree University - Lebanon, IL

McKendree University, 701 College Rd, Lebanon, IL 62254-1291. McKendree University is a small university located in Lebanon, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,258 students and an admission rate of 65%. McKendree University has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated two students in 2008.

Saint Louis Community College-Meramec - Kirkwood, MO

Saint Louis Community College-Meramec, 11333 Big Bend Blvd, Kirkwood, MO 63122. Saint Louis Community College-Meramec is a large college located in Kirkwood, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,217 students. Saint Louis Community College-Meramec has a one to two year program in Technical and Business Writing.

Fontbonne University - Saint Louis, MO

Fontbonne University, 6800 Wydown Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63105-3098. Fontbonne University is a small university located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,967 students and an admission rate of 82%. Fontbonne University has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated sixteen students in 2008.

Saint Louis Community College-Forest Park - Saint Louis, MO

Saint Louis Community College-Forest Park, 5600 Oakland Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63110. Saint Louis Community College-Forest Park is a medium sized college located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,164 students. Saint Louis Community College-Forest Park has a one to two year program in Technical and Business Writing.

Lindenwood University - Saint Charles, MO

Lindenwood University, 209 S Kingshighway, Saint Charles, MO 63301-1695. Lindenwood University is a large university located in Saint Charles, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,253 students and an admission rate of 40%. Lindenwood 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 which graduated two and twenty-eight students respectively in 2008.
  • Business/Corporate Communications, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated one and zero students respectively in 2008.

University of Missouri-St Louis - Saint Louis, MO

University of Missouri-St Louis, One University Boulevard, Saint Louis, MO 63121-4400. University of Missouri-St Louis is a large university located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,591 students and an admission rate of 46%. University of Missouri-St Louis has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated 109 and sixteen students respectively in 2008.

Webster University - Saint Louis, MO

Webster University, 470 E Lockwood Ave., Saint Louis, MO 63119-3194. Webster University is a large university located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 18,237 students and an admission rate of 57%. Webster University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated three and forty-four students respectively in 2008.

Saint Louis University-Main Campus - Saint Louis, MO

Saint Louis University-Main Campus, 221 N Grand Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63103-2097. Saint Louis University-Main Campus is a large university located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,975 students and an admission rate of 72%. Saint Louis University-Main Campus has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated five and eleven students respectively in 2008.

Saint Louis Community College-Florissant Valley - Saint Louis, MO

Saint Louis Community College-Florissant Valley, 3400 Pershall Rd, Saint Louis, MO 63135. Saint Louis Community College-Florissant Valley is a medium sized college located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,515 students. Saint Louis Community College-Florissant Valley has a one to two year program in Technical and Business Writing.

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. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri photo by Dschwen

St. Louis is located in St. Louis City County, Missouri. It has a population of over 354,361, which has grown by 1.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in St. Louis, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in St. Louis are priced at $111,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred fifty-seven new homes were built in St. Louis, down from two hundred sixty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in St. Louis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 19.1% of St. Louis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in St. Louis is 10.9%, which is greater than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

Nativity of Our Lord Church, Church of the Good Shepard and Church of the Holy Communion are among the churches located in St. Louis.

St. Louis is home to the Terminal Railroad Association Building and the Memorial Home as well as Washington Park and Willmore Park. Shopping malls in the area include Hampton Village Shopping Center and Loughborough Shopping Center.