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Career and Education Opportunities for Technical Writers in McKinney, Texas

For those living in the McKinney, Texas area, there are many career and education opportunities for technical writers. There are currently 3,450 working technical writers in Texas; this should grow 23% to about 4,260 working technical writers in the state by 2016. This is better than 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.

The income of a technical writer is about $27 per hour or $57,750 per year on average in Texas. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $29 per hour or $61,620 yearly on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Writing and Editing, people working as technical writers in Texas 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: specifications writer, assembly instructions writer, and medical writer.

The McKinney area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of McKinney where you can get a degree as a technical writer. Technical writers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so 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 McKinney include:

  • Copy Writer. Write advertising copy for use by publication or broadcast media to promote sale of goods and services.
  • Program Director. Direct and coordinate activities of personnel engaged in preparation of radio or television station program schedules and programs.
  • Writer. Create original written works.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Technical Writer Training

Collin County Community College District - Plano, TX

Collin County Community College District, 4800 Preston Park Blvd., Plano, TX 75093. Collin County Community College District is a large college located in Plano, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 21,000 students. Collin County Community College District has an associate's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated 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: McKinney, Texas

McKinney, Texas
McKinney, Texas photo by Agriffin

Mckinney is situated in Collin County, Texas. It has a population of over 121,211, which has grown by 122.9% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Mckinney, 90, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Mckinney are valued at $168,500 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, nine hundred eighty-seven new homes were built in Mckinney, down from 1,662 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Mckinney are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 39.1% of Mckinney residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Mckinney is 7.8%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Mckinney residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 53.7%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Eternity Community Church and Church of Christ are some of the churches located in Mckinney. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Mckinney is home to the Estes House and the A M Scott House as well as Mouzon Park and Murphy Park.