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Career and Education Opportunities for Technical Writers in Knoxville, Tennessee

For those living in the Knoxville, Tennessee area, there are many career and education opportunities for technical writers. There are currently 450 working technical writers in Tennessee; this should grow 16% to 520 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. Technical writers generally write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions.

Technical writers earn about $26 per hour or $55,060 annually on average in Tennessee and about $29 per hour or $61,620 yearly on average nationally. Incomes for technical writers are better than in the overall category of Writing and Editing in Tennessee, and better than the overall Writing and Editing category nationally. People working as technical writers can fill a number of jobs, such as: assembly instructions writer, documentation specialist, and technical editor.

The Knoxville area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Knoxville where you can get a degree as a technical writer. The most common level of education 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 Knoxville 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

Maryville College - Maryville, TN

Maryville College, 502 E Lamar Alexander Pky, Maryville, TN 37804-5907. Maryville College is a small college located in Maryville, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,114 students and an admission rate of 75%. Maryville College has a bachelor's degree program in Technical and Business Writing.

Carson-Newman College - Jefferson City, TN

Carson-Newman College, 1646 S Russell Ave, Jefferson City, TN 37760. Carson-Newman College is a small college located in Jefferson City, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,032 students and an admission rate of 71%. Carson-Newman College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric.

The University of Tennessee - Knoxville, TN

The University of Tennessee, Circle Park, Knoxville, TN 37996. The University of Tennessee is a large university located in Knoxville, Tennessee. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,406 students and an admission rate of 71%. The University of Tennessee has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated 105, eighteen, and two students respectively 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: Knoxville, Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee photo by Huntster

Knoxville is located in Knox County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 184,802, which has grown by 6.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Knoxville, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Knoxville are valued at $105,300 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, two hundred forty-one new homes were built in Knoxville, down from six hundred twenty-seven the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Knoxville are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 24.6% of Knoxville 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 Knoxville is 9.0%, which is less than Tennessee's average of 10.2%.

The percentage of Knoxville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 62.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Lincoln Park United Methodist Church, Springhill Baptist Church and Lincoln Park Baptist Church are all churches located in Knoxville. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Knoxville is home to the Eastern State Hospital Farm and the Berry Hall as well as Volunteer Park and Neyland Stadium. Shopping malls in the area include Clinton Plaza Shopping Center, Walker Springs Plaza Shopping Center and Northgate Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Knoxville can choose from Homewood Suites Knoxville West, Days Inn and Days Inn Knoxville West for temporary stays in the area.