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Career and Education Opportunities for Technical Writers in Fargo, North Dakota

There are many career and education opportunities for technical writers in the Fargo, North Dakota area. Currently, ninety people work as technical writers in North Dakota. This is expected to grow 15% to 100 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 about $21 per hour or $45,270 annually on average in North Dakota and about $29 hourly or $61,620 yearly on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Writing and Editing, people working as technical writers in North Dakota earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Writing and Editing nationally. People working as technical writers can fill a number of jobs, such as: electronic publications specialist, lexicographer, and medical technical writer.

There are eight schools of higher education in the Fargo area, including two within twenty-five miles of Fargo 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 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 Fargo 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.
  • 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

North Dakota State University-Main Campus - Fargo, ND

North Dakota State University-Main Campus, 1301 12th Avenue North, Fargo, ND 58108-6050. North Dakota State University-Main Campus is a large university located in Fargo, North Dakota. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 13,229 students and an admission rate of 80%. North Dakota State University-Main Campus has 2 areas of study related to Technical Writer. They are:

  • Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric, doctor's degree which graduated 8 students in 2008.
  • Business/Corporate Communications, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Concordia College at Moorhead - Moorhead, MN

Concordia College at Moorhead, 901 S 8th St, Moorhead, MN 56562. Concordia College at Moorhead is a small college located in Moorhead, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,823 students and an admission rate of 78%. Concordia College at Moorhead has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated twenty 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: Fargo, North Dakota

Fargo, North Dakota
Fargo, North Dakota photo by Unimatic1140

Fargo is located in Cass County, North Dakota. It has a population of over 93,531, which has grown by 3.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Fargo, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Fargo are priced at $139,800 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, four hundred four new homes were constructed in Fargo, down from four hundred forty-seven the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Fargo are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 15 minutes. More than 34.4% of Fargo residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fargo is 3.5%, which is greater than North Dakota's average of 3.2%.

The percentage of Fargo residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.8%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. The most common religious groups are the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Fargo is home to the Elm Tree Square and the Market Square as well as Roosevelt Playground and Oak Grove Park. Shopping malls in the area include Valley North Mall, Northport Mall and West Acres Shopping Center. Visitors to Fargo can choose from Rodeway Inn Fargo, Wingate Inn and Sleep Inn Fargo for temporary stays in the area.