Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Technical Writers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for technical writers in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. There are currently 1,700 jobs for technical writers in Pennsylvania and this is projected to grow 13% to about 1,900 jobs 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 approximately $28 hourly or $59,520 yearly on average in Pennsylvania. Nationally they average about $29 per hour or $61,620 per year. Technical writers earn more than people working in the category of Writing and Editing generally in Pennsylvania and more than people in the Writing and Editing category nationally. People working as technical writers can fill a number of jobs, such as: technical writer and editor, electronic publisher, and documentation designer.

There are eighty-three schools of higher education in the Pittsburgh area, including fifteen within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can get a degree to start your career as a technical writer. Given that the most common education level for technical writers is a Bachelor's degree, 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 Pittsburgh 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

California University of Pennsylvania - California, PA

California University of Pennsylvania, 250 University Ave, California, PA 15419-1394. California University of Pennsylvania is a medium sized university located in California, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,519 students and an admission rate of 61%. California University of Pennsylvania has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated forty-one students in 2008.

Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Greater Allegheny - McKeesport, PA

Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Greater Allegheny, 4000 University Dr, McKeesport, PA 15131-7644. Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Greater Allegheny is a small university located in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 783 students and an admission rate of 86%. Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Greater Allegheny has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated six students in 2008.

Chatham University - Pittsburgh, PA

Chatham University, Woodland Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15232. Chatham University is a small university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,133 students and an admission rate of 71%. Chatham University has 2 areas of study related to Technical Writer. They are:

  • Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric, bachelor's degree.
  • Technical and Business Writing, master's degree which graduated 20 students in 2008.

Community College of Beaver County - Monaca, PA

Community College of Beaver County, One Campus Drive, Monaca, PA 15061-2588. Community College of Beaver County is a small college located in Monaca, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,695 students. Community College of Beaver County has 2 areas of study related to Technical Writer. They are:

  • Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric, associate's degree.
  • Business/Corporate Communications, associate's degree.

Duquesne University - Pittsburgh, PA

Duquesne University, Administration Bldg 600 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15282. Duquesne University is a large university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,106 students and an admission rate of 76%. Duquesne 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 four and twenty-one students respectively in 2008.
  • Business/Corporate Communications, bachelor's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.

Seton Hill University - Greensburg, PA

Seton Hill University, Seton Hill Dr, Greensburg, PA 15601. Seton Hill University is a small university located in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,010 students and an admission rate of 63%. Seton Hill University has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric.

West Liberty State College - West Liberty, WV

West Liberty State College, Route 88, West Liberty, WV 26074. West Liberty State College is a small college located in West Liberty, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,508 students and an admission rate of 80%. West Liberty State College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated twelve students in 2008.

La Roche College - Pittsburgh, PA

La Roche College, 9000 Babcock Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15237-5898. La Roche College is a small college located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,425 students and an admission rate of 57%. La Roche College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated seven students in 2008.

Carnegie Mellon University - Pittsburgh, PA

Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890. Carnegie Mellon University is a large university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,646 students and an admission rate of 29%. Carnegie Mellon University has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Technical and Business Writing which graduated four, eleven, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Carlow University - Pittsburgh, PA

Carlow University, 3333 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3165. Carlow University is a small university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,234 students and an admission rate of 60%. Carlow University has 2 areas of study related to Technical Writer. They are:

  • Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric, bachelor's degree.
  • Technical and Business Writing, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Beaver - Monaca, PA

Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Beaver, 100 University Dr, Monaca, PA 15061-2764. Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Beaver is a small university located in Monaca, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 793 students and an admission rate of 92%. Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Beaver has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated six students in 2008.

Pennsylvania State University-Penn State New Kensington - Upper Burrell, PA

Pennsylvania State University-Penn State New Kensington, 3550 7th Street Road Rte 780, Upper Burrell, PA 15068-1765. Pennsylvania State University-Penn State New Kensington is a small university located in Upper Burrell, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 912 students and an admission rate of 86%. Pennsylvania State University-Penn State New Kensington has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated nine students in 2008.

Robert Morris University - Moon Township, PA

Robert Morris University, 6001 University Boulevard, Moon Township, PA 15108-1189. Robert Morris University is a small university located in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,767 students and an admission rate of 75%. Robert Morris University has a less than one year and a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated zero and one students respectively in 2008.

Geneva College - Beaver Falls, PA

Geneva College, 3200 College Ave, Beaver Falls, PA 15010-3599. Geneva College is a small college located in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,931 students and an admission rate of 81%. Geneva College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric.

Bethany College - Bethany, WV

Bethany College, , Bethany, WV 26032. Bethany College is a small college located in Bethany, West Virginia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 825 students and an admission rate of 96%. Bethany College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated twenty-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: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.