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What Is a Career Cluster? 16 Types You Should Know
Career clusters can help you pick a career path. Learn about sixteen of the most common clusters today.
Career clusters are collections of jobs with shared characteristics, such as industry and objective. Job seekers use career clusters to help them find professions that match their particular interests and skills.
In this article, you will learn about sixteen career clusters and their common professions.. To help you get started, suggested online courses accompany each cluster, offering an opportunity for you to start your career path today.
The 16 career clusters
The National Career Clusters Framework, a common organizing tool used by many universities and state agencies, includes sixteen clusters covering a wide range of industries and fields [ 1 , 2 ]. Those sixteen career clusters are as follows:
Agriculture, food, and natural resources
Architecture and construction
Arts, audio/video technology, and communication
Businesses management and administration
Education and training
Government and public administration
Hospitality and tourism
Law, public safety, corrections, and security
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics
Transportation, distribution, and logistics
Read on to find out more about each cluster, the types of personalities they are suited to, and skills they require.
Note: Unless otherwise stated, all of the information below is taken from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) [ 1 ].
1. Agriculture, food, and natural resources
The agriculture, food, and natural resources career cluster involves jobs focused on work with animals, plants, and land. Often, this work is done outside, as is the case with horticulturists who cultivate and manage gardens. However, some of this work does involve research conducted in laboratory settings, such as natural science managers who oversee the work of chemists, physicists, and biologists.
The BLS notes that many jobs in this cluster require a high school diploma or equivalent, while some require further training or advanced degrees.
Jobs in this cluster are well suited to individuals who enjoy working outside in natural environments. Some common jobs in this cluster include:
Natural science managers
Agriculture, Economics and Nature
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2. Architecture and construction
The architecture and construction career cluster involves jobs focused on designing and building physical structures and infrastructure, such as homes, office buildings, and roads. As a result, the jobs in this cluster involve everything from working on construction sites to designing skyscrapers in architectural offices.
According to the BLS, somewhat more than half of the jobs in this cluster require a high school or equivalent, some of which might require short on-the-job training. Additionally, some jobs, such as architect, might require a bachelor’s degree or higher.
This cluster is best suited for individuals who enjoy building with their hands or the design process. Some jobs commonly found in this cluster include:
Making architecture offers a unique insight into the mind and work of an Architect, starting with the basics of the profession and culminating with the ...
115,224 already enrolled
3. Arts, audio/video technology, and communication
The arts, AV technology, and communications career cluster involves jobs focused on such creative tasks as acting, writing, and working on film productions. The diverse nature of these occupations means that those employed in them work in a variety of environments, from outdoor film shoots where collaboration is key to solitary rooms where writers can gain the peace and quiet required to compose their next draft.
According to the BLS, many of the jobs in this cluster require at least a bachelor’s degree, but some can be obtained with a high school degree or equivalent and short on-the-job training.
The nature of this cluster means that it is well-suited to individuals who enjoy creative undertakings and turning abstract ideas into reality through concrete problem-solving. Some jobs commonly found in this cluster include:
Make Compelling Design. Learn and apply the principles of graphic design towards a comprehensive branding project.
324,352 already enrolled
Average time: 6 month(s)
Skills you'll build:
Visual Communication, Branding Communication, Graphic Design, Art History, Typography, Creativity, Graphics, Design Theory, Color Theory, Adobe Illustrator, History, Adobe Indesign, Art, Graphic Arts, Adobe Photoshop
4. Businesses management and administration
The business management and administration career cluster involves jobs focused on planning, organizing, and running a business. Typically, this job requires individuals to collaborate with others in an office setting.
According to the BLS, a bit more than half of the jobs in the cluster require a high school degree or equivalent, often with short-term, on-the-job training. Some jobs, though, require a bachelor’s degree and many years of experience, such as chief executive officers (CEOs).
The nature of this cluster means that it is well suited to those who enjoy working with others to solve analytical and logistical problems. Some jobs commonly found in this cluster include:
Innovation: From Creativity to Entrepreneurship
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Average time: 8 month(s)
Creativity, Business Model, Entrepreneurship, Innovation Management, Innovation, Business Value, Management, Disruptive Innovation, Emotional Intelligence, Personal Productivity, Adaptibility, Problem Solving, Knowledge of Human Behavior, Social Skills, People Management, Working with Others, Storytelling
5. Education and training
The education and training career cluster involves jobs focused on teaching, including at schools, museums, and libraries. The jobs in this cluster usually involve working collaboratively indoors, often in roles that require a sensitive understanding of others to help them best understand concepts.
According to the BLS, almost every job in this cluster requires a bachelor’s degree or higher. In some cases, you may be required to have an advanced professional or terminal degree.
The nature of this cluster means that it is likely best suited to those who enjoy learning and have the patience and empathy to teach others. Some jobs commonly found in this cluster include:
K-12 school teacher
Online Learning Design for Educators
Learn Practical Skills to Teach Online. Master the foundations for creating engaging and effective online learning and teaching
5,653 already enrolled
Average time: 4 month(s)
Pedagogy, Online Learning Community, Teaching, Learning, Instructional Design, Infographics, Design-thinking, Podcast, Video Production, Multimedia, Video Conferencing, Virtual Class, Lesson Plan, Zoom, Web Conferencing
The finance career cluster is focused on jobs that work with money, including lending, collecting, and financial planning. The jobs in the finance cluster require a willingness to work in an indoor office environment and a capacity for dealing with facts and figures.
According to the BLS, most of the jobs in this career cluster require a bachelor’s degree. A few, such as financial clerks, may only require a high school diploma or equivalent with short-term, on-the-job training.
The nature of this cluster means that it is well-suited to those who enjoy working with numbers and spreadsheets in an office environment. Some jobs commonly found in this cluster include:
Become a Strategic Financial Manager . Develop an integrated financial management framework.
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Financial Mismanagement, Financial Management, Risk Management, Investment, Financial Aid Management, Financial Accounting, Accounting, Accrual, Financial Statement, Cash Flow, Cash Flow Statement, Stock, Finance, Investment Strategy, Financial Markets, Corporate Finance, Project, Mergers And Acquisitions (M&A), Debt
7. Government and public administration
The government and public administration career cluster is focused on jobs that have to do with the running and implementation of services within governmental structures, such as within the military, courts, and political bodies. Although this cluster includes jobs that vary considerably among workplaces and tasks, each of them is united by their connection to larger organizational structures focused on the public.
According to the BLS, most jobs in the cluster require a bachelor’s degree. While some might allow for a high school diploma or equivalent accompanied by short-term on-the-job training, others may require a master’s degree or higher.
The nature of this cluster means that it is well-suited to those that enjoy working in highly structured environments that are focused on public services and projects. Some jobs commonly found in this cluster include:
Smart Cities – Management of Smart Urban Infrastructures
Learn about Smart Cities within the context of management of urban infrastructures. The introduction of Smart urban technologies into legacy infrastructures ...
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Management, City Planning, City Management, Smart City
8. Health science
The health science career cluster includes jobs focused on health care for both people and animals, including nurses, physicians, and veterinarians. The careers in the cluster are in numerous medical environments, ranging from relatively quiet home care environments to fast-paced emergency rooms.
According to the BLS, the education level for jobs in the health science cluster varies considerably depending on the role. While in some cases job seekers only need a high school diploma or equivalent, in others they will be required to have an advanced degree and many years of medical training.
The nature of this cluster means that it is best suited to those who enjoy helping others, studying health, and problem solving. Some jobs commonly found in this cluster include:
Home health aide
Patient-Centered, Relationship-Based Nursing Care. By the end of this specialization, you will be able to practice a patient-centered, relationship-based approach to nursing that utilizes a variety of integrative healing modalities.
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integrative healthcare, wellbeing, patient-centered care, improved symptom management, evidence-based practice, symptom management, healthcare, Stress Management, Pain Management, whole-person care, Mindfulness, integrative medicine
9. Hospitality and tourism
The hospitality and tourism career cluster includes jobs focused on providing lodgings, food, and travel services to customers, such as through restaurants and hotels. There is a range of work environments in this career cluster – from friendly reception desks that require face-to-face interaction with customers to hectic kitchens where cooks work diligently to get food out on time.
According to the BLS, most of the careers in this cluster require a high school diploma or less. Some jobs, though, may benefit from additional training or professional training, such as culinary school or a hospitality management program.
The nature of this career cluster makes it well suited for individuals who enjoy working in a team environment and occupying customer-facing positions. Some jobs commonly found in this cluster include:
Hotel Management: Distribution, Revenue and Demand Management
Build a Hospitality Business. Prepare for a professional career in the hotel industry in just three courses.
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Pricing, Revenue Management, Forecasting, Hotel Management, Hospitality Management, Hospitality Management Studies, Segmentation Analysis, Demand Management, Asset Management
10. Human services
The human services career cluster includes jobs focused on meeting people’s physical, psychological, social, and emotional needs. Centered on helping other people, careers in this cluster occupy a range of environments from assisting elderly individuals at their own homes to overseeing children in daycares or meeting with patients in a professional therapist’s office.
According to the BLS, the occupations in this career cluster require a range of education levels and training. While some might require less than a high school diploma, others might require an advanced professional degree and many years of training.
The nature of this cluster means that it is well-suited to empathic individuals who enjoy working with people. Some jobs commonly found in this cluster include:
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Gratitude, Happiness, Meditation, Savoring
11. Information technology
The information technology career cluster includes jobs focused on designing, repairing, and maintaining computer hardware, software, and networks. Typically based in an office work environment, individuals working in this cluster must solve a range of computer-based issues, from helping users troubleshoot problems to developing systems software.
According to the BLS, most of the entry-level jobs in the information technology career cluster require a bachelor’s degree. Some jobs, though, such as IT support specialist only require a high school diploma or equivalent alongside relevant training.
The nature of this cluster makes it well suited to individuals who enjoy working with computers and solving unique technical problems. Some jobs commonly found in this cluster include:
IT support specialist
Computer systems analyst
Google IT Support
This is your path to a career in IT. In this program, you’ll learn in-demand skills that will have you job-ready in less than 6 months. No degree or experience required.
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Debugging, Encryption Algorithms and Techniques, Customer Service, Network Protocols, Cloud Computing, Binary Code, Customer Support, Linux, Troubleshooting, Domain Name System (DNS), Ipv4, Network Model, Powershell, Linux File Systems, Command-Line Interface, Directory Service, Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), Backup, Cybersecurity, Wireless Security, Cryptography, Network Security
12. Law, public safety, corrections, and security
The law, public safety, corrections, and security career cluster includes jobs focused on supporting the legal system and enforcing the law. This cluster includes a variety of work environments with a range of risk levels, such as relatively safe courtrooms to potentially dangerous active crime scenes.
According to the BLS, many of the jobs in this career cluster require a high school diploma or equivalent alongside short-term on-the-job training. But, some jobs might require more advanced graduate degrees, such as a J.D. or PhD.
This career cluster is well-suited to individuals who strive to understand the legal system and have the temperament to stay level-headed in high-stakes situations. Some jobs commonly found in this cluster include:
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The manufacturing career cluster involves jobs focused on producing physical goods, such as cars, food, and other products. Typically, the work in this cluster is undertaken inside factories, where products are created by both machinery and hand.
According to the BLS, most of the jobs in the manufacturing career cluster require a high school diploma or less along with short-term on-the-job training. A few jobs, such as camera equipment repairer, may require an associate degree along with long-term, on-the-job training.
The nature of this cluster means that it’s well suited to individuals who enjoy working with their hands in industrial environments that require teamwork and coordination. Some jobs commonly found in this cluster include:
Digital Technologies and the Future of Manufacturing
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The marketing career cluster includes jobs focused on promoting products and services to help businesses reach their marketing goals. Typically, jobs in this cluster are performed in either office environments or stores, where marketers can meet customers directly.
According to the BLS, many of the jobs in the marketing career cluster require a high school diploma or equivalent. Some jobs, though, may require a bachelor’s degree and significant work experience, such as is the case with marketing managers.
The nature of this cluster means that it is well suited to individuals who enjoy the art of persuasion and helping businesses get the word out about their products. Some jobs commonly found in this cluster include:
Public relations liaison
Drive Customer Behavior Online. A six-course overview of the latest digital marketing skills, taught by industry experts.
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Digital Marketing, Marketing, Pricing Strategies, Marketing Mix, Product Strategies, Data Collection, Analytics, Data Analysis, Data Visualization (DataViz), Marketing Analytics, Marketing Performance, Marketing Channel, Social Media, Mobile Marketing, Integrated Marketing Communications, Content Marketing, search marketing, Brand Communication, Marketing Plan, Search Advertising, Marketing Performance Measurement And Management
15. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)
The STEM career cluster includes jobs focused on developing, planning, implementing, and supporting research in the natural and applied sciences. Most of the jobs in this cluster are conducted in research facilities, such as laboratories and academic institutions.
According to the BLS, almost all of the jobs in the STEM career cluster require a bachelor’s degree or higher for entry. In some cases, a position may require that job seekers hold a terminal degree, such as a PhD or D.Eng.
The nature of this cluster makes it well suited to individuals who enjoy learning, researching, and working with data to uncover novel solutions to complex problems. Some jobs commonly found in this cluster include:
IBM Data Science
Kickstart your career in data science & ML. Build data science skills, learn Python & SQL, analyze & visualize data, build machine learning models. No degree or prior experience required.
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Average time: 5 month(s)
Data Science, Deep Learning, Machine Learning, Big Data, Data Mining, Github, Python Programming, Jupyter notebooks, Rstudio, Methodology, CRISP-DM, Data Analysis, Pandas, Numpy, Cloud Databases, Relational Database Management System (RDBMS), SQL, Predictive Modelling, Data Visualization (DataViz), Model Selection, Dashboards and Charts, dash, Matplotlib, SciPy and scikit-learn, regression, classification, Hierarchical Clustering, Jupyter Notebook, Data Science Methodology, K-Means Clustering
16. Transportation, distribution, and logistics
The transportation, distribution, and logistics career cluster includes jobs focused on moving both people and products between different locations, such as by truck, train, or airplane. The work environment for this cluster varies by position, requiring some to be constantly on the move in vehicles and others to coordinate deliveries from an office.
According to the BLS, most of the jobs in the transportation and logistics cluster require a high school diploma or equivalent and some short-term on-the-job training. Some positions, though, may require job seekers to have a bachelor’s degree, licensure, and several years of experience, such as is the case for airplane pilots.
This career cluster is well-suited to individuals who enjoy traveling, operating vehicles, and dealing with logistics. Some jobs commonly found in this cluster include:
Google Project Management:
Start your path to a career in project management. In this program, you’ll learn in-demand skills that will have you job-ready in less than six months. No degree or experience is required.
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Organizational Culture, Career Development, Strategic Thinking, Change Management, Project Management, Stakeholder Management, Business Writing, Project Charter, Project Planning, Risk Management, Task Estimation, Procurement, Quality Management, Project Execution, Coaching, Influencing, Agile Management, Problem Solving, Scrum, Effective Communication
Choose your path.
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1. BLS. “ Clusters, pathways, and BLS: Connecting career information , https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/career-clusters.htm.” Accessed March 10, 2022.
2. Career Tech. “ Career Clusters , https://careertech.org/career-clusters/.” Accessed March 10, 2022.
This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.
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Technical Writers 27-3042.00 Updated 2023
Write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions. May assist in layout work.
Sample of reported job titles: Documentation Designer, Documentation Specialist, Engineering Writer, Information Developer, Medical Writer, Narrative Writer, Requirements Analyst, Technical Communicator, Technical Writer
See the easy-read overview for Technical Writers at My Next Move
See the easy-read overview for technical writers at my next move for veterans, ver la perspectiva general fácil de leer para redactores técnicos en mi próximo paso, occupation-specific information, technology skills, occupational requirements, work activities, detailed work activities, work context, experience requirements, training & credentials, worker requirements, worker characteristics, work values, work styles, workforce characteristics.
- Wages & Employment
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- Additional Information
- Organize material and complete writing assignment according to set standards regarding order, clarity, conciseness, style, and terminology. Related occupations
- Maintain records and files of work and revisions. Related occupations
- Edit, standardize, or make changes to material prepared by other writers or establishment personnel. Related occupations
- Select photographs, drawings, sketches, diagrams, and charts to illustrate material. Related occupations
- Interview production and engineering personnel and read journals and other material to become familiar with product technologies and production methods. Related occupations
- Develop or maintain online help documentation. Related occupations
- Assist in laying out material for publication. Related occupations
- Study drawings, specifications, mockups, and product samples to integrate and delineate technology, operating procedure, and production sequence and detail. Related occupations
- Arrange for typing, duplication, and distribution of material. Related occupations
- Observe production, developmental, and experimental activities to determine operating procedure and detail. Related occupations
- Review manufacturer's and trade catalogs, drawings and other data relative to operation, maintenance, and service of equipment. Related occupations
- Analyze developments in specific field to determine need for revisions in previously published materials and development of new material. Related occupations
- Draw sketches to illustrate specified materials or assembly sequence. Related occupations
- Review published materials and recommend revisions or changes in scope, format, content, and methods of reproduction and binding. Related occupations
- Confer with customer representatives, vendors, plant executives, or publisher to establish technical specifications and to determine subject material to be developed for publication. Related occupations
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- Computer based training software — Adobe Systems Adobe Captivate Related occupations
- Configuration management software — IBM Rational ClearCase; Perforce Helix software Related occupations
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- Desktop communications software — ParentSquare Related occupations
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — SAP Business Objects Related occupations
- Financial analysis software — Oracle E-Business Suite Financials Related occupations
- Graphical user interface development software — Adobe Systems Adobe RoboHelp Related occupations
- Instant messaging software — Blink Related occupations
- Internet browser software — Web browser software Related occupations
- Video creation and editing software — Apple Final Cut Pro Related occupations
- Web page creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver; Google Sites; JustSystems XMetaL; Quadralay WebWorks ePublisher Related occupations
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information. Related occupations
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. Related occupations
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. Related occupations
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. Related occupations
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. Related occupations
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used. Related occupations
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts. Related occupations
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data. Related occupations
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. Related occupations
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form. Related occupations
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. Related occupations
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions. Related occupations
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards. Related occupations
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. Related occupations
- Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail. Related occupations
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems. Related occupations
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others. Related occupations
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people. Related occupations
- Edit written materials. Related occupations
- Compile technical information or documentation. Related occupations
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- Electronic Mail — 74% responded “Every day.” Related occupations
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- Spend Time Sitting Related occupations
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 76% responded “Extremely important.” Related occupations
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 66% responded “Every day.” Related occupations
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 65% responded “A lot of freedom.” Related occupations
- Time Pressure — 48% responded “Every day.” Related occupations
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 75% responded “Every day.” Related occupations
- Telephone — 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” Related occupations
- Contact With Others — 30% responded “Contact with others about half the time.” Related occupations
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 41% responded “Continually or almost continually.” Related occupations
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 46% responded “More than 40 hours.” Related occupations
- Frequency of Decision Making — 22% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” Related occupations
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 34% responded “Continually or almost continually.” Related occupations
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 55% responded “Limited freedom.” Related occupations
- Letters and Memos — 47% responded “Every day.” Related occupations
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 41% responded “Moderate results.” Related occupations
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 18% responded “Important.” Related occupations
- Deal With External Customers — 45% responded “Extremely important.” Related occupations
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 25% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.” Related occupations
- Level of Competition — 42% responded “Highly competitive.” Related occupations
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience. Related occupations
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- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others. Related occupations
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions. Related occupations
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. Related occupations
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. Related occupations
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- Administrative — Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology. Related occupations
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources. Related occupations
- Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media. Related occupations
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects. Related occupations
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions. Related occupations
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods. Related occupations
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction. Related occupations
How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:
- 35% responded: Associate’s degree required
- 33% responded: Bachelor’s degree required
- 16% responded: Some college, no degree required more info
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand. Related occupations
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- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem. Related occupations
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. Related occupations
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. Related occupations
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- Artistic — Work involves creating original visual artwork, performances, written works, food, or music for a variety of media, or applying artistic principles to the design of various objects and materials. Artistic occupations are often associated with visual arts, applied arts and design, performing arts, music, creative writing, media, or culinary art. Related occupations
- Investigative — Work involves studying and researching non-living objects, living organisms, disease or other forms of impairment, or human behavior. Investigative occupations are often associated with physical, life, medical, or social sciences, and can be found in the fields of humanities, mathematics/statistics, information technology, or health care service. Related occupations
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- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy. Related occupations
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- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. Related occupations
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. Related occupations
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations. Related occupations
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. Related occupations
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. Related occupations
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. Related occupations
Wages & Employment Trends
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2022 wage data external site and 2021-2031 employment projections external site . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2021-2031). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
- 27-3041.00 Editors
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- American Medical Writers Association external site
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- National Association of Science Writers external site
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Technical writers external site
- Society for Technical Communication external site
- Career Technical Education
The National Career Clusters ® Framework serves as an organizing tool for Career Technical Education (CTE) programs, curriculum design and instruction. There are 16 Career Clusters in the National Career Clusters Framework, representing 79 Career Pathways to help learners navigate their way to greater success in college and career. The framework also functions as a useful guide in developing programs of study bridging secondary and postsecondary systems and for creating individual student plans of study for a complete range of career options. As such, it helps learners discover their interests and their passions, and empowers them to choose the educational pathway that can lead to success in high school, college and career.
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Download a full list of the Career Clusters and Career Pathways here .
Student Interest Survey +
A career guidance tool that allows learners to respond to questions and identify the top three Career Clusters of interest based on their responses. Offered in both English and Spanish .
Implementation Self-Assessment Rubrics +
These rubrics are for state and local administrators to use as they assess the progress made on the implementation of the Career Clusters, focusing on critical components such as state plan/administrative support, professional development, partnerships, family and community support, teaching strategies and workplace learning.
A collection of crosswalks to support the linkage or bridging of different coding systems with the 16 Career Clusters and Career Pathways to assist in reporting, research and other applications. Download here .
Technical Writer Overview
Overall Score 5.7 / 10
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How to become a technical writer , job satisfaction.
Average Americans work well into their 60s, so workers might as well have a job that's enjoyable and a career that's fulfilling. A job with a low stress level, good work-life balance and solid prospects to improve, get promoted and earn a higher salary would make many employees happy. Here's how job satisfaction is rated in terms of upward mobility, stress level and flexibility.
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Technical Writer Career Guide
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How to Become a Technical Writer
Technical writing is the process of communicating complex information into easy-to-understand materials for an intended audience. Whether writing manuals for software engineers or white papers for a finance company, technical writers can communicate instructions and ideas concisely to the reader.
Technical communication uses words, graphics, screenshots, photographs, animation, and video to blend with their writing. Some of the most popular fields for these writers include information technology (IT) , healthcare, government, finance, and research.
Those who love writing and have a passion for learning may feel drawn to the field of technical writing. The position allows individuals to discover new information as part of their daily routine and find unique ways to present clear messages to their audiences.
What Is a Technical Writer?
Sometimes referred to as technical communicators, technical writers create a bridge between highly technical information and accessibility for individuals. They tailor their writing to fit a specific audience and understand the nuances between job titles to create better content for the right people.
No matter the industry, these writers are highly skilled and can understand complicated information. In every project, they must understand who their audience is and the best ways to communicate information. Many projects combine text and media to better interact with consumers.
If you’re interested in technical writing, you will need a bachelor’s degree in English, communications, or a degree in a technical field such as IT, computer science, healthcare, or engineering.
What Is the Difference Between a Content Writer and a Technical Writer?
Content writers and technical writers are often confused with one another. Both careers require communication, research, and writing skills, but the main difference is the type of projects completed.
While technical writers often create tutorials, user guides, and manuals, content writers create articles, blogs, and landing pages that are aimed at consumers and search engines. Content writing also includes other skills such as SEO.
Like many careers, content writing and technical writing may have overlapping responsibilities. In short, technical writing is project-oriented and simplifies complex topics. Content writing is audience-driven and aims to draw consumers towards websites to create new customers and clients for businesses.
What Does a Technical Writer Do?
Technical writers have a wide range of job responsibilities that may differ depending on the industry, seniority, and area in which the writer works. Some general day-to-day responsibilities include:
- Writing how-to guides based on products and services.
- Interview product developers to create diagrams of the product design.
- Write supporting content for services and products.
- Create and use animations, graphics, and photographs to illustrate content.
- Receive feedback from editors and rewrite content.
- Collect feedback from consumers to update content and create new content.
- Manage the flow of information in group projects.
As a technical writer, you will be working with teams of computer specialists, software developers, and product designers to collect and present information to the consumers. Your goal is to create clear content that explains the purpose of a product or service.
What Education and Qualifications Does a Technical Writer Need?
Technical writers often have a bachelor’s degree in English or a related field. However, there is a wide range of education options for those interested in becoming technical writers. Additionally, a technical writer’s education will likely vary depending on their interests.
For example, an individual who loves writing and who is interested in technology and computers should get a bachelor’s degree in IT to better understand the specific technological elements they will be writing about. Earning a higher education degree can open more career options and advancement options for technical writers and allow them to move into management positions.
What Degrees are Best for a Technical Writer?
Award-winning coursework and value-add certifications make this...
Award-winning coursework and value-add...
Award-winning coursework and value-add certifications make this online program a top choice.
- Time: 71% of graduates finish within 30 months.
- Tuition: $3,625 per 6-month term.
- Certifications: Includes AWS, ITIL, LPI and CompTIA.
The LPI Linux Essentials and ITIL® Foundation Certification are central to this program. Included CompTIA certifications are A+, Network+, Security+, and Project+.
College of I.T.
IT Management – B.S. Business Administration
IT managers are needed in nearly every organization:...
IT managers are needed in nearly every...
IT managers are needed in nearly every organization:
- Time: 66% of graduates finish within 36 months.
- Tuition: $3,755 per 6-month term.
Some careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:
- Vice president of risk management
- Product security incident manager
- Vice president of technical services
- CTO and CIO
- Director of IT
Key competencies of these online courses align with industry needs: management and leadership, networks and security, and information systems management.
College of Business
Earn both your bachelor’s in IT and master’s in IT management at...
Earn both your bachelor’s in IT and master’s in...
Earn both your bachelor’s in IT and master’s in IT management at a faster pace with fewer courses
- Time: Approximately 5 years.
- Tuition and fees: $3,625 per 6-month term for the bachelor's degree; $3,940 per term for the master's portion..
Earn the online college degree that can move your career into IT...
Earn the online college degree that can move your...
Earn the online college degree that can move your career into IT upper management:
- Time: 68% of graduates finish within 24 months.
- Tuition: $4,755 per 6-month term.
Sample careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:
- Chief technology officer
- Director of IT services
- Senior systems administrator
- Management information systems director
- Computer and information systems manager
Learn to navigate emergencies, execute strategies, and optimize systems with the competencies within this specialty MBA.
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What Skills Does a Technical Writer Need?
As a prospective technical writer, you will need to develop several important skills to excel. Some of the most important skills needed for technical writers include:
- Critical thinking skills: This skill allows you to develop strategies in your writing to better communicate with your audience.
- Technical skills: This skill means that you can understand and communicate complex information.
- Writing skills: This skill means that you have excellent grammar, and an understanding of written language.
- Teamwork: This skill means that you can work with a team and complete projects with designers, illustrators, and editors.
- Creativity: This skill means that you are inventive in your writing and can convey complicated ideas through interesting phrasing.
- Communication skills: This skill means that you can convey concepts to coworkers and your audience with ease.
To begin a career as a technical writer, you must have a complete understanding of the industry you chose to work in. You will be expected to understand high-level concepts with ease and communicate to those with little or no experience in the industry.
How Much Does a Technical Writer Make?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that technical writers earn an average of $74,650 a year. The lowest 10% earn less than $45,510 a year, and the highest 10% earn more than $199,040 a year. Technical writing wages may vary depending on the industry. In addition, your level of experience working in the industry and your willingness to stand out in your career will also affect your salary.
What Is the Projected Job Growth?
The BLS reports that the employment for technical writers is expected to grow by 7% by 2029, adding more than 4,300 new positions. Technical writing careers align closely with the projected job growth in the technical and scientific fields. As technical businesses grow and expand, the demand for technical writers increases as well. Technical writing is a great career path for those who are looking to work in IT and English. It is a stable, fast-growing industry with growth opportunities.
Where Do Technical Writers Work?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists four main industries where technical writers work . These industries include:
- Professional, scientific, and technical services: The BLS reports that 35% of technical writers work in this industry, writing white papers, research papers, and other extremely technical or scientific projects.
- Manufacturing: About 15% work in manufacturing to create how-to guides and help consumers better understand the purpose of products.
- Administrative and support services: About 9% work in administrative services, where they use their skills to clarify communication channels both within and outside of the business.
- Publishing industries: About 6% work in publishing and use their skills to create product descriptions, arrange page layouts and type, and ensure consistency across all publications.
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Becoming a Technical Writer at Google
Did you enjoy learning about technical writing? Want to take your interest further? Technical Writers provide a key link between Google engineers, product managers, marketing associates, developer advocates, as well as client developers and users, tying together many vital but disparate parts of the Google ecosystem.
Who can become a technical writer at Google?
There is no single path to becoming a technical writer at Google. Although a few have earned degrees in technical writing, most technical writers come from other worlds. For example, you'll find plenty of software engineers, development operations engineers, journalists, physicists, lawyers, and teachers now working as technical writers at Google. Despite the wide range of educational and professional backgrounds, this diverse bunch share the following skills:
- Write clearly in English. We don't care whether English is your first language or your tenth; we only care about the quality of your writing in English.
- Learn complex technologies relatively quickly.
- Explain complex technologies in useful ways for the target audience.
- Wield strong interpersonal skills.
- Understand code.
Technical writers are rare hybrids, possessing an uncommon mixture of talents.
What if I don't have professional experience as a technical writer?
In some cases, applicants have the requisite talents but don't have demonstrable professional experience. If you don't yet have a technical communication portfolio, we recommend contributing documentation to open-source projects. Your documentation portfolio should ideally meet the following criteria:
- Represent a variety of documentation types.
- Adhere to a well-known style guide .
What do Google's technical writers document?
Although some Google technical writers focus on hardware and others on consumer products such as Google Docs, most Google technical writers document programming products, including:
- Google Cloud
- Google Maps
Helping developers use these technologies or platforms might involve traditional documentation, code samples, videos, slides, or any other media that gets the job done. Technical writers are seldom bored.
How can I become a Technical Writer at Google?
To apply for a job as a Technical Writer at Google, do the following:
Go to the Technical Writer page on the Google Careers website.
Read through the positions and click Apply on those that interest you. (Note that you must click Expand in order to see the Apply button.)
Complete the application form.
Actual humans review every resume that comes through. To optimize your chances, highlight your experience documenting technical topics.
Except as otherwise noted, the content of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License , and code samples are licensed under the Apache 2.0 License . For details, see the Google Developers Site Policies . Java is a registered trademark of Oracle and/or its affiliates.
Last updated 2022-09-30 UTC.
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- Technical Writers: Jobs, Career, Salary and Education Information
Career, salary and education information.
What They Do : Technical writers prepare instruction manuals, how-to guides, journal articles, and other supporting documents to communicate complex and technical information more easily.
Work Environment : Most technical writers work full time. Although technical writers work in a variety of industries, they are concentrated in the computer and management, scientific, and technical industries.
How to Become One : A college degree is usually required for a position as a technical writer. In addition, knowledge of or experience with a technical subject, such as science or engineering, is beneficial.
Salary : The median annual wage for technical writers is $78,060.
Job Outlook : Employment of technical writers is projected to grow 6 percent over the next ten years, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Related Careers : Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of technical writers with similar occupations.
Following is everything you need to know about a career as a technical writer with lots of details. As a first step, take a look at some of the following jobs, which are real jobs with real employers. You will be able to see the very real job career requirements for employers who are actively hiring. The link will open in a new tab so that you can come back to this page to continue reading about the career:
Top 3 Technical Writer Jobs
Job description The Technical Writer will work as an integral team member of a global serialization program, reporting to the Serialization Business Process Owner. The resource will be responsible ...
Technical Writer /Process Development Associate The Technical Writer /Process Development Associate will support the development of procedural documents, communications, and training materials for the ...
Job Category QuinStreet is looking for a technical writer with the expertise to understand and communicate the technical aspects of a product to both highly technical and non- technical users. This ...
See all Technical Writer jobs
What Technical Writers Do [ About this section ] [ To Top ]
Technical writers, also called technical communicators , prepare instruction manuals, how-to guides, journal articles, and other supporting documents to communicate complex and technical information more easily. They also develop, gather, and disseminate technical information through an organization's communications channels.
Duties of Technical Writers
Technical writers typically do the following:
- Determine the needs of users of technical documentation
- Study product samples and talk with product designers and developers
- Work with technical staff to make products easier to use and thus require fewer instructions
- Write and organize supporting content for products
- Edit, standardize, or make changes to material prepared by other writers or establishment personnel
- Use photographs, drawings, diagrams, animation, and charts that increase users' understanding of the material
- Select appropriate medium for message or audience, such as manuals or online videos
- Standardize content across platforms and media
- Gather user feedback to update and improve content
- Revise content as new issues arise
Technical writers create paper-based and digital operating instructions, how-to manuals, assembly instructions, and "frequently asked questions" pages to help technical support staff, consumers, and other users within a company or an industry. After a product is released, technical writers also may work with product liability specialists and customer-service managers to improve the end-user experience through product design changes.
Technical writers often work with computer hardware engineers , computer support specialists , and software developers to manage the flow of information among project workgroups during development and testing. Therefore, technical writers must be able to understand complex information and communicate the information to people with diverse professional backgrounds.
Applying their knowledge of the user of the product, technical writers may serve as part of a team conducting usability studies to help improve the design of a product that is in the prototype stage. Technical writers may conduct research on their topics through personal observation, library and Internet research, and discussions with technical specialists.
Technical writers are also responsible for managing the consistency of technical content and its use across business departments including product development, manufacturing, marketing, and customer relations.
Some technical writers help write grant proposals for research scientists and institutions.
Increasingly, technical information is being delivered online and through social media. Technical writers are using the interactive technologies of the Web and social media to blend text, graphics, multidimensional images, sound, and video.
Work Environment for Technical Writers [ About this section ] [ To Top ]
Technical writers hold about 55,400 jobs. The largest employers of technical writers are as follows:
Most technical writers work full time. They routinely work with engineers and other technology experts to manage the flow of information throughout an organization.
Although most technical writers are employed directly by the companies that use their services, some freelance and are paid per assignment. Freelancers are either self-employed or work for a technical consulting firm and are given short-term or recurring assignments, such as writing about a new product.
Technical writing jobs are usually concentrated in locations with a multitude of information technology or scientific and technical research companies, such as ones in California and Texas.
Technical Writer Work Schedules
Technical writers may be expected to work evenings and weekends to meet deadlines.
How to Become a Technical Writer [ About this section ] [ To Top ]
Get the education you need: Find schools for Technical Writers near you!
A college degree is usually required for a position as a technical writer. In addition, experience with a technical subject, such as computer science, Web design, or engineering, is important.
Education for Technical Writers
Employers generally prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree in journalism, English, or communications. Many technical writing jobs require both a degree and knowledge in a specialized field, such as engineering, computer science, or medicine. Web design experience also is helpful because of the growing use of online technical documentation.
Work Experience in a Related Occupation for Technical Writers
Some technical writers begin their careers as specialists or research assistants in a technical field. They eventually develop technical communication skills and assume primary responsibilities for technical writing. In small firms, entry-level technical writers may work on projects right away; in larger companies with more standard procedures, beginners may observe experienced technical writers and interact with specialists before being assigned projects.
Technical Writer Training
Many technical writers need short-term on-the-job training to adapt to a different style of writing.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations for Technical Writers
Some associations, including the Society for Technical Communication, offer certification for technical writers. In addition, the American Medical Writers Association offers extensive continuing education programs and certificates in medical writing. These certificates are available to professionals in the medical and allied scientific communication fields.
Although not mandatory, certification can demonstrate competence and professionalism, making candidates more attractive to employers. It can also increase a technical writer's opportunities for advancement.
Advancement for Technical Writers
Prospects for advancement generally include working on more complex projects and leading or training junior staff.
Important Qualities for Technical Writers
Critical-thinking skills . Technical writers must be able to take complex, technical information and simplify it for colleagues and consumers who have nontechnical backgrounds.
Detail oriented . Technical writers create detailed instructions for others to follow. As a result, they must be detailed and precise at every step so that the instructions can be useful.
Imagination . Technical writers must be able to think about a procedure or product in the way a person without technical experience would think about it.
Teamwork . Technical writers must be able to work well with others. They are almost always part of a team: with other writers; with designers, editors, and illustrators; and with the technical people whose information they are explaining.
Technical skills . Technical writers must be able to understand highly complex information. Many technical writers need a background in engineering or computer science in order to do this.
Writing skills . Technical communicators must have excellent writing skills to be able to explain technical information clearly.
Technical Writer Salaries [ About this section ] [ More salary/earnings info ] [ To Top ]
The median annual wage for technical writers is $78,060. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $48,890, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $125,010.
The median annual wages for technical writers in the top industries in which they work are as follows:
Technical writers may be expected to work evenings and weekends to meet deadlines. Most work full time.
Job Outlook for Technical Writers [ About this section ] [ To Top ]
Employment of technical writers is projected to grow 6 percent over the next ten years, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
About 5,400 openings for technical writers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.
Employment of Technical Writers
As product innovation continues, technical writers will be needed to convert complex information into a format that nontechnical users of these products understand. The continuing expansion of scientific and technical products and growth in digital product support needs will drive employment demand for these writers.
Careers Related to Technical Writers [ About this section ] [ To Top ]
Computer hardware engineers.
Computer hardware engineers research, design, develop, and test computer systems and components such as processors, circuit boards, memory devices, networks, and routers.
Computer programmers write and test code that allows computer applications and software programs to function properly. They turn the program designs created by software developers and engineers into instructions that a computer can follow.
Editors plan, review, and revise content for publication.
Interpreters and Translators
Interpreters and translators convert information from one language into another language. Interpreters work in spoken or sign language; translators work in written language.
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers
Public relations managers plan and direct the creation of material that will maintain or enhance the public image of their employer or client. Fundraising managers coordinate campaigns that bring in donations for their organization.
Public Relations Specialists
Public relations specialists create and maintain a favorable public image for the organization they represent. They craft media releases and develop social media programs to shape public perception of their organization and to increase awareness of its work and goals.
Writers and Authors
Writers and authors develop written content for various types of media, including advertisements; books; magazines; movie, play, and television scripts; and blogs.
More Technical Writer Information [ About this section ] [ To Top ]
For more information about technical writers, visit
American Medical Writers Association
National Association of Science Writers
Society for Technical Communication
A portion of the information on this page is used by permission of the U.S. Department of Labor.
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Career Clusters contain occupations in the same field of work that require similar skills. Students, parents, and educators can use Career Clusters to help focus education plans towards obtaining the necessary knowledge, competencies, and training for success in a particular career pathway. ... Technical Writers: Arts, Audio/ Video Technology ...
The National Career Clusters Framework, which includes 16 career clusters, is an organizational tool used with the Career Technical Education (CTE) program. It groups careers to help you find one that matches your skills and interests. The clusters include 79 unique pathways to pursue, and there are a variety of careers within those pathways.
Career clusters are collections of jobs with shared characteristics, such as industry and objective. Job seekers use career clusters to help them find professions that match their particular interests and skills. In this article, you will learn about sixteen career clusters and their common professions..
Tech writing is rewarding in terms of finance and career. As a technical writer, you have better work flexibility which means you are flexible to become a contractor, a freelancer, or a businessman. According to a report, the recruitment rate for technical writer jobs is expected to increase by 12% in the next 10 years.
Technical Writers 27-3042.00 Updated 2023 Write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions. May assist in layout work.
Technical writers must be able to work well with other writers, designers, editors, illustrators, and the technical workers whose procedure or product they are explaining. Technical skills. Technical writers must be able to understand complex information. Technical writers may benefit from a background in fields such as engineering or science.
The National Career Clusters ® Framework serves as an organizing tool for Career Technical Education (CTE) programs, curriculum design and instruction. There are 16 Career Clusters in the National Career Clusters Framework, representing 79 Career Pathways to help learners navigate their way to greater success in college and career.
In that period, an estimated 3,100 jobs should open up. Median Salary. $78,060. Unemployment Rate. 3.1%. Number of Jobs. 3,100. Technical writing is the art of conveying complex information to an ...
Technical writing is the process of communicating complex information into easy-to-understand materials for an intended audience. Whether writing manuals for software engineers or white papers for a finance company, technical writers can communicate instructions and ideas concisely to the reader.
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State & Area Data Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for writers and authors. Similar Occupations Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of writers and authors with similar occupations.
Career Path How to Become a Technical Writer? Are you thinking of becoming a Technical Writer or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Technical Writer, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path.
Technical writers usually have bachelor's degrees in English or communications or a double major in English and a scientific or technical field. If you don't already have a related college degree, consider earning one at any of these top colleges and universities. Expect to take courses that cover: English composition.
For top companies, the average yearly salary of a technical writer is $100,000. The actual technical writing professional salary may differ from the average estimate above, based on factors such as the specific salary package at a company, the candidate's level of experience, and their academic qualifications.
Updated May 23, 2023 People with strong writing skills often become technical writers who create specialized resources about products and services. If you enjoy using your writing to help people understand concepts or show them how to use products, then technical writing might be rewarding for you.
Technical writers are responsible for the management of the consistency of technical written content. Because technical writing is versatile in nature and demand, it can be found across many company departments, including marketing and customer relations. Technical writers also assist research scientists and institutions with writing grants and ...
To apply for a job as a Technical Writer at Google, do the following: Go to the Technical Writer page on the Google Careers website. Read through the positions and click Apply on those that interest you. (Note that you must click Expand in order to see the Apply button.) Complete the application form. Actual humans review every resume that ...
Business analysts' document requirements by creating use cases, user stories, Business Requirement Document (BRD), class diagram, Entity-Relationship (ER) diagram, and sequence diagrams for the project they are working on. Possessing technical diagramming skills in a Tech writer's arsenal will definitely come handy as they transition to a BA.
Salary: The median annual wage for technical writers is $78,060. Job Outlook: Employment of technical writers is projected to grow 6 percent over the next ten years, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Related Careers: Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of technical writers with similar occupations.
Career Advice Find helpful Career Articles; CoLab Explore new roles and careers; Recommended Jobs 100,000 Careers. ... A technical writer develops guides, manuals, and documentation to communicate complex material. A typical day in the life of a technical writer might include: