Online Bachelor's Degree in Technical Writing

There are many options available to those interested in obtaining an online bachelor's degree in technical writing. Explore the type of coursework offered in these programs, the logistics of online classes and the professional fields suitable for technical writers. Schools offering English Reading & Writing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Kinds of Technical Writing Bachelor's Degree Programs Are Offered Online?

If you want to be a technical writer, bachelor's degree programs in technical writing and technical communication are available online. These programs can usually be finished in 3-4 years. In addition to writing classes, you can expect to take general education and computer science courses. Classes can teach you how to take technical or scientific language and present it in terms that everyday consumers can understand. The following are examples of subjects that you might find in the curriculum:

  • Computer programming
  • Statistical reasoning
  • Professional writing practices
  • Medical writing
  • Web content development
  • Biotechnical writing
  • Visual basic programming
  • Proposal writing

Common CoursesProfessional, medical, technical and business writing; computer programming; content development
Additional RequirementsCertain Web plug-ins, software or hardware may be required for online programs
Career OptionsTechnical writer in various fields, including engineering/technological, scientific and medical fields

How Will I Learn Online?

During an online program, you'll typically complete readings and assignments on your own and come together online with your classmates for projects or discussions. You can communicate with students and instructors through e-mail or computer learning tools like Blackboard. Tests can usually be taken online under a timed period. To complete your online classes, you typically need specific Web plug-ins, an antivirus program, sound cards and speakers.

What Will My Job Duties Be?

A technical writer, sometimes called a technical communicator, usually works in technology-related industries, such as engineering, scientific research or healthcare. As a technical writer, it would be your responsibility to translate complex technical concepts into understandable language. For example, a technical writer might compose instruction manuals, assembly directions or troubleshooting guides. You might also write the supporting documents that accompany computer software.

Technical writing is often a collaborative endeavor; you may be responsible for communicating with engineers, scientists, doctors or software developers to gather information on technical products and verify the content that you write. You might be required to use specific publishing, design or multimedia computer programs. In addition to being employed by individual companies, you could work as a freelance writer or for a consulting firm. Your daily job duties might include the following:

  • Learning about technical equipment
  • Revising and standardizing content
  • Interviewing technical experts
  • Conducting research
  • Illustrating technical components
  • Interviewing product users

What Kind of Salary Can I Expect?

In May 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a median annual salary of $69,030 for technical writers. The highest-paid technical writers made upwards of $108,460 per year, while the lowest-paid workers earned a yearly salary of $41,450. The BLS also stated that the projected employment growth rate of this occupation is 10% between 2014 and 2024, which is faster than average.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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  • Indiana Wesleyan University

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  • Excelsior College

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  • Michigan State University

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    • Michigan: East Lansing
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    • Iowa: Ames