Read this before asking about salaries, what education you need, or how to start a technical writing career

Welcome to r/technicalwriting! Please follow the instructions in this thread before asking anything similar to "what's a good salary for a technical writer?" or "how can I prepare for a technical writing career while in college?" or "how do I transition into technical writing from a different career?" Doing research is a huge part of being a technical writer. If it's too tedious to read through all of this… you probably won't like technical writing.


  1. Read these previous threads on the topic:
  • Entry-level salary
  • Negotiating pay
  • Technical writer salaries
  • Average salary?
  • What salary should I ask for?
  • Junior salary + interview
  • NYC salary
  • Realistic salaries
  • Am I being overpaid?
  • Documentation engineer salary
  • How much of a raise to expect when going from L1 to L2
  • What's a reasonable wage?
  1. Check Glassdoor for salary information on specific companies.

  2. Read the Occupational Outlook page on technical writing.

  3. Read the Occupational Employment Statistics to get state and region salary data.

  4. Start a new thread if steps 1 to 4 don't answer your question.

Education (or lack thereof)

Your exact major usually doesn't matter. People come into technical writing from all sorts of different backgrounds. Read these threads to find out what you really need to do in order to get hired as a technical writer.

If the threads below don't answer your question(s), you're welcome to create a new thread.

Technical writing degrees

  • Technical Communications major
  • Is Professional Writing a good major?
  • Technical Writing major worried about job prospects
  • Can I get a job with only a minor in Technical Writing?
  • Do I need an MA in Technical Communication to get a job?
  • Are there technical writing programs at community colleges?

Technical writing certificates

  • How valuable is a technical writing certificate?
  • Are certifications worth it?
  • Should I pursue a Technical Writing certificate?

Getting technical writing jobs with no college education

  • Is a college degree required?
  • Can I get a job with no degree whatsoever?

Common degrees of professional technical writers

  • Types of degrees

English degrees

  • I'm an English major, where to start?
  • Is technical writing right for me as an English major?
  • I'm an English major, is a Technical Writing class worth my time?
  • English/Cultural Studies major wants to prepare for technical writing
  • Searching for a first job

Computer Science (CS) degrees

  • Is a CS degree a good background?

STEM degrees

  • Physics/Astronomy major transitioning to technical writing
  • Would an A.S. in Math improve my prospects?

Graphic design degrees

  • Should I study Graphic Design or Technical Writing?

Foreign languages

  • What language to take in college?


  • Will an internship in Proposal Writing improve my job prospects?
  • Which internship is best for my career?
  • Do technical writing internships exist?

Transitioning into technical writing from another career

  1. Pretty much anyone can transition into technical writing if they put in the work. Read these previous threads to find out what you really need to do in order to get someone to hire you as a technical writer.
  • Developer to technical writer
  • Looking to get into technical writing
  • Is 27 too old to start?
  • Programmer in Raleigh-Durham wants to become technical writer
  • Transitioning from aircraft maintenance
  • Linguist interested in transitioning
  • Good technical writing courses for beginners
  • Should I take Udemy's technical writing course?
  • Automotive parts manager wants to transition into technical writing
  • PoliSci major working in Public Affairs transitioning to technical writing
  • Is a background in web development a good fit?
  • Cardiac technician transitioning to technical writing
  • Customer support to technical writing
  • Mechanical/Electrical/Naval engineer to technical writing
  • English teacher to technical writing
  • Another English teacher
  • Web development => technical writing?
  • How to break in part-time?
  1. Start a new thread if the previous discussions don't answer your question(s).

submitted by /u/kaycebasques


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