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Career and Education Opportunities for Technical Writers in Chesapeake, Virginia

If you want to be a technical writer, the Chesapeake, Virginia area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. The national trend for technical writers 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 $32 hourly or $66,650 yearly on average in Virginia. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $29 hourly or $61,620 yearly on average. Earnings for technical writers are better than earnings in the general category of Writing and Editing in Virginia and better than general Writing and Editing category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: engineering documentation specialist, medical writer, and editor.

There are thirty-six schools of higher education in the Chesapeake area, including four within twenty-five miles of Chesapeake where you can get a degree to start your career as a technical writer. The most common level of education for technical writers is a Bachelor's degree. 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 Chesapeake 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

Christopher Newport University - Newport News, VA

Christopher Newport University, 1 University Place, Newport News, VA 23606. Christopher Newport University is a small university located in Newport News, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,904 students and an admission rate of 56%. Christopher Newport University has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated one student in 2008.

Elizabeth City State University - Elizabeth City, NC

Elizabeth City State University, 1704 Weeksville Rd, Elizabeth City, NC 27909. Elizabeth City State University is a small university located in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,105 students and an admission rate of 80%. Elizabeth City State University has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated twenty students in 2008.

Virginia Wesleyan College - Norfolk, VA

Virginia Wesleyan College, 1584 Wesleyan Dr, Norfolk, VA 23502-5599. Virginia Wesleyan College is a small college located in Norfolk, Virginia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,381 students and an admission rate of 77%. Virginia Wesleyan College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated seventeen students in 2008.

Regent University - Virginia Beach, VA

Regent University, 1000 Regent University Dr, Virginia Beach, VA 23464. Regent University is a small university located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,197 students and an admission rate of 50%. Regent University has less than one year, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated two, twenty-six, thirty, and sixteen 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: Chesapeake, Virginia

Chesapeake, Virginia
Chesapeake, Virginia photo by BetacommandBot

Chesapeake is located in Chesapeake City County, Virginia. It has a population of over 220,111, which has grown by 10.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chesapeake, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Chesapeake are priced at $160,000 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, five hundred eighty-nine new homes were constructed in Chesapeake, down from seven hundred fifty-eight the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Chesapeake are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is construction, public administration, and transportation equipment. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 24.7% of Chesapeake residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chesapeake is 6.1%, which is less than Virginia's average of 6.4%.

Pleasant Grove Church, Refuge Mission Church and Saint Andrews Church are among the churches located in Chesapeake.

Chesapeake is home to the Jacks Camp and the Portlock Yard as well as Cascade Park and Ford Park. Shopping malls in the area include Great Bridge Shopping Center, Greenbrier Mall Shopping Center and Poplar Hill Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chesapeake can choose from Courtyard By Marriott, Chesapeake Travelodge Motel and Comfort Inn Bowers Hill for temporary stays in the area.