What is technical writing?

Technical writing essentially seeks to present technical subject matter from a variety of subjects so that non-specialist persons can understand it.

What should I look for in an online technical writing school?

The best online technical writing schools should possess either regional or national accreditation from an accrediting body that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

In addition, you can often recognize top online technical writing schools based on:

  • The school's name and status
  • The school's history
  • Teacher credentials
  • Alumni network

In choosing the best online technical writing school for you, you should consider the following factors:

  • Admission requirements
  • Residency requirements
  • Class and teaching style
  • Testing methods used
  • Course content and presentation
  • Program length
  • Class size
  • Student-teacher interaction
  • Technology use
  • Tuition and financial aid
  • Transferability of credits
  • Availability of a dedicated administration team and resources

What levels of online technical writing programs are available?

The following levels of technical writing degree online programs are available:

  • Online Technical Writing Certificate Programs
  • Online Associates in Technical Writing
  • Online Bachelor in Technical Writing
  • Online Masters in Technical Writing
  • Online PhD in Technical Writing

How long does it take to get an online technical writing degree?

The amount of time it takes a student to earn an accredited online technical writing degree depends on the level of technical writing degree being pursued and the pace of the student.

Typically, the breakdown is as follows:

  • Online Technical Writing Certification Programs - 6 months to 1 year
  • Online Technical Writing Associates Degree - 2 years
  • Online Technical Writing Bachelor Degree - 4 years
  • Online Technical Writing Masters - 2 years
  • Online Technical Writing PhD - 2 to 5 years

What are some examples of online technical writing courses?

The technical writing courses that comprise this degree program will challenge the student in several different areas, but will also provide the student with entirely new skill sets. Curriculum may include:

  • Scientific Writing

    The requirements of scientific writing are very specific when compared with those of other fields. This course will give students the ability to write scientifically for the purposes of being published.

  • Technical Editing

    Students will learn to edit pieces of technical writing, with a specific focus on striking a balance between becoming too technical or not technical enough.

  • Content Management

    This course details the many ways that students can organize, manipulate, and store content for writing projects.

  • Abstracting

    This course covers the specifics of producing accessible, concise abstract summaries for technical writing pieces.

  • Communication

    Writing is essentially communication. This class furnishes students with different perspectives on their craft and new ways to communicate.

What areas of technical writing specialization are available?

There is a technical writing specialization for nearly every career field in existence. Students may choose the one that most closely mirrors their own professional interests:

  • Engineering
  • E-Commerce
  • Manufacturing
  • Science
  • Medicine

What can I do with a technical writing degree?

With a technical writing degree graduates can find work in the field or on the internet in positions such as:

  • Speech Writer
  • Journalist
  • Instructional Designer
  • Manual Developer
  • Software Documentation Writer

What is a technical writer?

Technical writers produce writing on specialized subjects which is accessible and understandable to non-specialist readers.

What does a technical writer do?

Technical writers research their topics and interview specialist experts in order to acquire a complete understanding of the subject that they are to present. They then write reports, guidebooks, manuals, introductory materials, or other literature which discusses specialized topics without excessive use of specialized vocabulary and in a manner which is readily understandable by a general audience.

How much does a technical writer earn?

Technical writers earn an average annual salary of $65,610. Job growth is expected at a rate faster than the average, as the need to provide accessible explanation for more and more new technological products fuels demand for technical writers.

How do I become a technical writer?

The path of how to become a technical writer is not necessarily a linear one. While undergraduate studies in English or communications may be a useful foundation, a degree in the natural or computer sciences may be more beneficial for students looking to work as technical writers in those fields. All candidates will benefit from completing an online technical writing degree program, where they will acquire expertise applicable to any technical writing position.

Technical Writing Schools (Campus)

SchoolCertificateAssociatesBachelorsMastersPhD
Arizona State University
1151 S Forest Ave
Tempe, AZ, 85287
http://www.asu.edu/
X
University of Central Florida
4000 Central Florida Blvd
Orlando, FL, 32816
http://www.ucf.edu/
X X
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
100 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN, 55455
http://www1.umn.edu/twincities/index.php
X
The University of Texas at Austin
2608 Whitis Ave
Austin, TX, 78712
http://www.utexas.edu
X
University of Florida
355 Tigert Hall
Gainesville, FL, 32611
http://www.ufl.edu/
X
Michigan State University
100 Library
East Lansing, MI, 48824
http://www.msu.edu
X X
Northern Virginia Community College
4001 Wakefield Chapel Rd
Annandale, VA, 22003
http://www.nvcc.edu
X
University of Washington-Seattle Campus
1400 NE Campus Parkway
Seattle, WA, 98195
http://www.washington.edu
X X X
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
601 E John Street
Champaign, IL, 61820
http://www.illinois.edu/
X
New York University
70 Washington Sq South
New York, NY, 10012
http://www.nyu.edu
X
Indiana University-Bloomington
107 South Indiana Ave.
Bloomington, IN, 47405
http://www.iub.edu
X
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
440 Church Street
Ann Arbor, MI, 48109
http://www.umich.edu
X X
University of Wisconsin-Madison
500 Lincoln Dr
Madison, WI, 53706
http://www.wisc.edu
X
Austin Community College District
5930 Middle Fiskville Rd
Austin, TX, 78752
http://www.austincc.edu
X X
University of South Florida-Main Campus
4202 East Fowler Ave
Tampa, FL, 33620
http://www.usf.edu
X
Florida State University
211 Westcott Bldg
Tallahassee, FL, 32306
http://www.fsu.edu
X
Florida International University
11200 S. W. 8 Street
Miami, FL, 33199
http://www.fiu.edu
X
University of Arizona
1401 E University
Tucson, AZ, 85721
http://www.arizona.edu
X X
University of Maryland-College Park
1101 Main Administration BL
College Park, MD, 20742
http://www.umd.edu
X
University of Houston
212 E. Cullen Building
Houston, TX, 77204
http://www.uh.edu
X X X
Temple University
1801 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19122
http://WWW.TEMPLE.EDU
X
Pima Community College
401 North Bonita Avenue
Tucson, AZ, 85709
http://www.pima.edu
X
American River College
4700 College Oak Dr
Sacramento, CA, 95841
http://www.arc.losrios.edu/
X X
University of North Texas
Chestnut Ave.
Denton, TX, 76203
http://www.unt.edu
X
University of Georgia
125 Cedar St.
Athens, GA, 30602
http://www.uga.edu
X
University of Southern California
University Park
Los Angeles, CA, 90089
http://www.usc.edu/
X X
North Carolina State University at Raleigh
2101 Hillsborough Street
Raleigh, NC, 27695
http://www.ncsu.edu
X X
University of Colorado at Boulder
Regent Drive at Broadway
Boulder, CO, 80309
http://www.colorado.edu
X
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Dr
San Diego, CA, 92182
http://www.sdsu.edu
X
Virginia Commonwealth University
910 W Franklin St
Richmond, VA, 23284
http://www.vcu.edu/
X
George Mason University
4400 University Dr
Fairfax, VA, 22030
http://www.gmu.edu
X X
Boston University
One Silber Way
Boston, MA, 2215
http://www.bu.edu
X
San Jose State University
1 Washington Sq
San Jose, CA, 95192
http://www.sjsu.edu
X
University of Cincinnati-Main Campus
2624 Clifton Avenue
Cincinnati, OH, 45221
http://www.uc.edu
X
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
2265 Kraft Dr
Blacksburg, VA, 24061
http://WWW.VT.EDU
X
Texas State University-San Marcos
601 University Dr
San Marcos, TX, 78666
http://www.txstate.edu
X
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Ave
San Francisco, CA, 94132
http://www.sfsu.edu
X
Georgia State University
33 gilmer st
Atlanta, GA, 30303
http://www.gsu.edu
X
Portland Community College
12000 SW 49th Avenue
Portland, OR, 97219
http://www.pcc.edu
X
Texas Tech University
Broadway and University Avenue
Lubbock, TX, 79409
http://www.ttu.edu
X X X
University of Utah
201 Presidents Circle
Salt Lake City, UT, 84112
http://www.utah.edu
X
University of Kansas
Jayhawk Dr
Lawrence, KS, 66045
http://www.ku.edu
X
University of Nevada-Las Vegas
4505 S Maryland Pky
Las Vegas, NV, 89154
http://www.unlv.edu
X
University of Iowa
101 Jessup Hall
Iowa City, IA, 52242
http://www.uiowa.edu
X
The University of Texas at San Antonio
One UTSA Circle
San Antonio, TX, 78249
http://www.utsa.edu/
X
Colorado State University
102 Administration Building
Fort Collins, CO, 80523
http://www.colostate.edu
X
West Virginia University
Stewart Hall University Avenue
Morgantown, WV, 26506
http://www.wvu.edu/
X
The University of Alabama
739 University Blvd
Tuscaloosa, AL, 35487
http://www.ua.edu/
X
Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College
Tower Dr
Baton Rouge, LA, 70803
http://www.lsu.edu
X
Columbus State Community College
550 E Spring St
Columbus, OH, 43215
http://www.cscc.edu
X
University of South Carolina-Columbia
514 Main St
Columbia, SC, 29208
http://www.sc.edu/
X
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus
4200 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA, 15260
http://www.pitt.edu
X
Iowa State University
137 Lynn Ave
Ames, IA, 50011
http://www.iastate.edu
X X
Portland State University
724 SW Harrison
Portland, OR, 97201
http://www.pdx.edu
X
Long Beach City College
4901 E. Carson St.
Long Beach, CA, 90808
http://www.lbcc.edu
X
East Carolina University
East 5th Street
Greenville, NC, 27858
http://www.ecu.edu
X
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Rd
Boca Raton, FL, 33431
http://www.fau.edu/
X
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA, 2115
http://www.northeastern.edu
X X X
Central Michigan University
1200 S Franklin St # 121
Mount Pleasant, MI, 48859
http://www.cmich.edu
X X
University of New Mexico-Main Campus
1700 Lomas Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM, 87106
http://www.unm.edu
X
University of California-Irvine
204 Administration
Irvine, CA, 92697
http://www.uci.edu/
X
University of Massachusetts Amherst
1 Campus Center Way
Amherst Center, MA, 1003
http://www.umass.edu
X
Montgomery College
40 W. Gude Drive Suite 220
Rockville, MD, 20850
http://cms.montgomerycollege.edu
X
University of Akron Main Campus
302 Buchtel Common
Akron, OH, 44325
http://www.uakron.edu
X X
University of Oklahoma Norman Campus
660 Parrington Oval
Norman, OK, 73019
http://www.ou.edu
X
De Anza College
21250 Stevens Creek Blvd.
Cupertino, CA, 95014
http://www.deanza.edu/
X X
Kent State University Kent Campus
Campus Center Dr
Kent, OH, 44242
http://www.kent.edu
X
DePaul University
55 E Jackson
Chicago, IL, 60604
http://www.depaul.edu
X
Gallaudet University
800 Florida Ave NE
Washington, DC, 20002
http://www.gwu.edu
X
Stony Brook University
100 Nicolls Rd
Stony Brook, NY, 11794
http://www.stonybrook.edu
X
Auburn University Main Campus
Auburn Alabama
Auburn, AL, 36849
http://www.auburn.edu
X
Western Michigan University
1903 West Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI, 49008
http://www.wmich.edu
X X X
University of Virginia-Main Campus
108 Cocke Hall
Charlottesville, VA, 22904
http://www.virginia.edu/
X
Columbia University in the City of New York
116 St and Broadway
New York, NY, 10027
http://www.columbia.edu
X X
Old Dominion University
5115 Hampton Blvd
Norfolk, VA, 23529
http://www.odu.edu
X
University of Colorado Denver
1250 14th Street
Denver, CO, 80217
http://www.ucdenver.edu/
X
Northern Arizona University
Knoles Drive Babbitt Administrative Center
Flagstaff, AZ, 86011
http://home.nau.edu/
X X
San Diego Mesa College
7250 Mesa College Dr
San Diego, CA, 92111
http://www.sdmesa.edu/
X
Oklahoma State University-Main Campus
107 Whitehurst
Stillwater, OK, 74078
http://www.okstate.edu/
X
Weber State University
3848 Harrison Blvd
Ogden, UT, 84408
http://www.weber.edu
X
Eastern Michigan University
1000 College Pl
Ypsilanti, MI, 48197
http://www.emich.edu
X X
Ohio University-Main Campus
E Mulberry
Athens, OH, 45701
http://www.ohio.edu
X
Owens Community College
30335 Oregon Rd
Perrysburg, OH, 43551
http://www.owens.edu
X
Drexel University
3141 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA, 19104
http://www.drexel.edu
X X
Kennesaw State University
1000 Chastain Rd
Kennesaw, GA, 30144
http://www.kennesaw.edu
X
University of Oregon
110 Johnson Hall
Eugene, OR, 97403
http://www.uoregon.edu
X
CUNY Hunter College
695 Park Ave
New York, NY, 10065
http://www.hunter.cuny.edu
X
Oregon State University
1500 SW Jefferson Way
Corvallis, OR, 97331
http://oregonstate.edu
X
Sinclair Community College
444 W. Third St.
Dayton, OH, 45402
http://www.sinclair.edu
X
University of Memphis
3675 Alumni Ave
Memphis, TN, 38152
http://www.memphis.edu
X
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
1000 Spring Garden St
Greensboro, NC, 27402
http://www.uncg.edu
X
Towson University
8000 York Rd
Towson, MD, 21252
http://www.towson.edu
X
Lansing Community College
419 N Capitol Ave
Lansing, MI, 48901
http://www.lansing.cc.mi.us
X
The University of Texas at El Paso
500 W. University Ave
El Paso, TX, 79968
http://www.utep.edu
X X
CUNY Queens College
65-30 Kissena Blvd
New York, NY, 11367
http://www.qc.cuny.edu
X
Cornell University
410 Thurston Ave
Ithaca, NY, 14853
http://www.cornell.edu
X
Johns Hopkins University
3400 N Charles St Mason Hall
Baltimore, MD, 21218
http://www.jhu.edu
X X
Missouri State University
901 S National
Springfield, MO, 65897
http://www.missouristate.edu
X X
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
900 S Illinois Ave
Carbondale, IL, 62901
http://www.siuc.edu
X
Grossmont College
8800 Grossmont College Dr
El Cajon, CA, 92020
http://www.grossmont.edu/
X X

Schools by State

Best Cities for Technical Writing Schools