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Career and Education Opportunities for Technical Writers in Charlotte, North Carolina

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for technical writers in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Currently, 1,040 people work as technical writers in North Carolina. This is expected to grow by 24% to 1,290 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for technical writers are expected to grow by about 18.2%. Technical writers generally 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 $29 per hour or $60,890 per year on average in North Carolina and about $29 hourly or $61,620 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Technical writers earn more than people working in the category of Writing and Editing generally in North Carolina and more than people in the Writing and Editing category nationally. Jobs in this field include: assembly instructions writer, report writer, and technical editor.

The Charlotte area is home to forty-three schools of higher education, including six within twenty-five miles of Charlotte 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 Charlotte 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.
  • 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

University of North Carolina at Charlotte - Charlotte, NC

University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28223-0001. University of North Carolina at Charlotte is a large university located in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 23,300 students and an admission rate of 75%. University of North Carolina at Charlotte has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated four and five students respectively in 2008.

Catawba College - Salisbury, NC

Catawba College, 2300 W Innes St, Salisbury, NC 28144. Catawba College is a small college located in Salisbury, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,261 students and an admission rate of 61%. Catawba College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated eight students in 2008.

Lenoir-Rhyne University - Hickory, NC

Lenoir-Rhyne University, 625 7th Avenue NE, Hickory, NC 28601. Lenoir-Rhyne University is a small university located in Hickory, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,548 students and an admission rate of 81%. Lenoir-Rhyne University has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric.

Queens University of Charlotte - Charlotte, NC

Queens University of Charlotte, 1900 Selwyn Ave, Charlotte, NC 28274-0001. Queens University of Charlotte is a small university located in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,316 students and an admission rate of 57%. Queens University of Charlotte has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated one and nine students respectively in 2008.

Winthrop University - Rock Hill, SC

Winthrop University, 119 Tillman Hall, Rock Hill, SC 29733. Winthrop University is a medium sized university located in Rock Hill, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,018 students and an admission rate of 70%. Winthrop University has a bachelor's degree program in Technical and Business Writing which graduated one student in 2008.

Wingate University - Wingate, NC

Wingate University, 220 North Camden Road, Wingate, NC 28174-0157. Wingate University is a small university located in Wingate, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,126 students and an admission rate of 55%. Wingate University has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated twenty-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: Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina photo by Alaskan Assassin

Charlotte is located in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 687,456, which has grown by 27.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charlotte, 86, is well below the national average.

The three big industries for women in Charlotte are health care, finance and insurance, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 36.4% of Charlotte residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charlotte is 9.7%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Charlotte residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.0%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. New Hampton Church, New Emmanuel Church and New East Stonewall Church are all churches located in Charlotte. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Charlotte is home to the Crown Point Plaza and the Providence Square as well as Kilborne District Park and Little Rock Road District Park. Shopping malls in the area include Heckinger Shopping Center, Hampshire Hills Shopping Center and Providence Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Charlotte can choose from American Motel, Extended Stay America - Charlotte/Tyvola and Drury Inn and Suites Charlotte for temporary stays in the area.