Technical Writer: A Potential Career for Psychology Majors

(Last Updated On: September 14, 2017)

If you are looking for something to do with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, then you might want to think about a more “out-of-the-box” job options such as a technical writer. This can be a great career option for those who want to combine a love of writing with the research and analysis skills they gained as a psychology undergraduate.

Technical writers prepare documentation and materials designed to make complex technical information easier to understand. This might involve writing instructions for how to use a specific type of software, writing assembly instructions for how to put together a piece of furniture, writing how-to manuals, and creating frequently asked questions pages for businesses.

What Does a Technical Writer Do?

Typical job duties include:

  • Determining why people need the documentation and how they will use it
  • Analyzing product samples and interviewing designers and developers
  • Interviewing technical staff to learn how products are used
  • Organizing and writing documentation
  • Selecting and creating photographs, drawings, and diagrams that can aid in understanding written information
  • Standardizing the format and presentation of the documentation
  • Editing and revising documentation based on feedback

What Training Does a Technical Writer Need?

Most employers prefer that candidates hold a bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, or English. Additional training or knowledge in a specialized field is often required or strongly suggested, which might include training in computer science, medicine, or engineering. Since more and more businesses present their documentation online, knowledge of Web design is often desired.

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How Much Do Technical Writers Earn?

In 2012, the median pay for technical writers was $65,500 per year, or $31.49 per hour.

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