Technical Writer

A technical writer is a professional writer who designs, writes, creates, maintains, and updates technical documentation—including online help, user guides, white papers, design specifications, system manuals, and other documents. A technical writer produces technical documentation for technical, business, and consumer audiences.

Low End Salary:   $41,610/yr
Median Salary:   $70,240/yr
High End Salary:   $112,220/yr


A college degree generally is required for a position as a writer. Good facility with computers and communications equipment is necessary in order to stay in touch with sources, editors, and other writers while working on assignments, whether from home, an office, or while traveling. Increasingly, technical writing requires a degree in, or some knowledge about, a specialized field—for example, mathematics, engineering, or business.

Math Required:

College Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry, Calculus I, II, III, Linear Algebra, Differential Equations

When Math is Used:

When a technical writer specializes in technical writing for math, they will use their math skills every day. They will use their mathematical knowledge to design, write, create, and maintain technical documentation.

Potential Employers:

Technical writers work for book, magazine, or newspaper publishers, or they may be employed in other industries. Technical writers who work for the federal government write the pamphlets that are published by the Government Printing Office. These pamphlets cover many different fields, including the activities of various government agencies and the developments in research in such areas as medicine, education, agriculture, and aerospace. Some technical writers work for colleges or universities or for the publishers of professional journals. Others work for advertising agencies.


Many technical writers work as freelance writers. Freelance writers are self-employed and sell their work to publishers, corporations, manufacturing firms, and advertising agencies. They are paid by the job or by the hour. Sometimes they are hired to do specific jobs such as writing about a new high-tech product or advancement.