Career Info for a Degree in General Technical & Business Writing

A degree in general technical and business writing provides a foundation for careers that utilize communication, research and writing skills. Continue reading for an overview of programs, as well as information on career options and job outlook for graduates.

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With a degree in technical or business writing, or English, one can become a grant writer, technical writer, or copywriter, among other jobs. Most of these jobs require a bachelor's degree.

Essential Information

In a general technical and business writing degree program, students learn to express complex ideas in language most people within a given field can understand. They are taught to format and present work in a logical fashion, conduct and verify research and work within the parameters established by clients and employers. In addition to working in the technical writing field, general technical and business writing program graduates might find work in related fields, such as copywriting or grant writing.

Career Technical Writers Copywriters Grant Writers
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree in English or related field and/or a degree in a technical field Bachelor's degree in English or related field Bachelor's degree in English or related field and/or a degree in a technical field
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 10% for technical writers 2% for all writers and authors 10% for technical writers
Average Annual Salary (2015)* $73,350 for technical writers $69,130 for writers and authors $73,350 for technical writers (including grant writers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Options

A degree in technical writing, business writing or a closely related field - like English - can prepare students for a variety of writing and editing jobs. Take a look at the sections below to learn about common job duties, employment prospects and salary potential in the technical writing, copywriting and grant writing fields.

Technical Writers

Technical writers work for a variety of businesses and organizations to produce instructional materials, technical manuals, blueprint notes, repair guides and other technical prose meant to inform readers on a specific subject, item or process. These workers, like all writers, must have strong computer and research skills in order to fully utilize today's resources to produce effective material. Some technical writers may even solely produce writing material for publication on the Internet. In addition to writing and editing content, technical writers may also manage data or information.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates 10% job growth for technical writers in the years 2014-2024. In 2015, the average salary for a technical writer was $73,350.

Copywriters

Copywriters produce the text for advertisements in newspapers and magazines, as well as on television and the Internet. They may work in a team with other advertising professionals, including marketing managers, advertisers or graphic designers. Copywriters come up with creative text that may involve metaphors, humor or other writing devices to address clients' needs.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) includes copywriters in the larger group of writers and authors, who are expected to see only 2% employment growth for the time period of 2014-2024. The BLS reports the average annual salary for writers and authors as $69,130 for 2015.

Grant Writers

Grant and proposal writers work for nonprofit organizations, charities, universities and research institutions to request funding from foundations for projects and research. Grant writers must be strong writers and possess a knack for understanding the sensibilities and requirements of each individual foundation, since these organizations may receive hundreds of proposals each year. Some grant writers are self-employed and write freelance for different organizations, while others are employed directly by nonprofit groups and organizations that depend on grants and outside funding.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) categorizes grant writers under the general category of technical writers and estimates 10% job growth in the years 2014-2024. According to the BLS, the average annual salary for a technical writer was $73,350 in 2015.

Those who want to become technical writers, copywriters, or grant writers must earn a bachelor's degree in a relevant field, like English. Courses teach students the skills for effective, coherent writing as their type of job often requires turning jargonistic information into comprehendible prose.

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