While obtaining an associate's degree in technical writing, students may learn to design, write, edit and publish documents, such as proposals, reports, business correspondence, technical or instruction manuals, grants or website content.
To begin one of these 2-year associate's degree programs, students must first have a high school diploma or equivalent.
Associate Degree in Tech Writing
Technical writing programs may award Associate of Art (A.A.), Associate of Science (A.S.) or Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees; they may also be known as technical communications programs.
Many degree programs require the creation of a portfolio to demonstrate writing proficiency in a range of technical compositions. To develop this collection and acquire writing, design and publishing skills, students may take courses that cover:
- Business communications
- Technical publications
- Visual communications and design
- Digital publishing
- Editing technical documents
- Graphics for technical documents
- Online publications
- Grant writing
Popular Career Options
Technical writers are employed in many business categories and industries, but they can be especially valuable to corporations that require the communication of complex information to a variety of consumer and non-technical audiences. Technical writers may work with industry specialists, such as research and development scientists, computer programmers or developers, medical and health experts, and engineers to write content and copy. Career options for technical writers include becoming:
- Freelance or contract writers
- Technical communicators
- Documentation designers
- Engineering writers
Salary and Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of technical writers is predicted to increase by 10% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). In May of 2015, the BLS estimated that these writers received a median salary of $70,240 per year.
An associate's degree program in technical writing may be sufficient training for professionals already employed in the industry who desire to enhance their writing and design skills. However, the BLS reported that employers of technical writers typically look for candidates who have a bachelor's degree in a communications field and experience with computer and graphic design. Prospective technical writers can earn an associate's degree and transfer to a 4-year degree program in technical writing, English, communications, journalism or a related field for improved employment prospects, as noted by the BLS.
A technical writing associate's degree program can help students begin a career in this field or improve their existing skills. In it, students gain the communication and technical abilities that are in high-demand by numerous industries.