I always dreamed of becoming an astronomer- to see what no man has seen before. However my interest in learning and building complex systems encouraged me to become an Engineer and my love toward writing made technical writing a viable and exciting choice for my work. Which profession, other than technical communication, allows a person to use both his/her technical and writing skills at work?
It seems that I did made a right choice by becoming a technical writer since Carrercast job survey suggests that it is better to become a technical writer (rank #37) than being an Astronomer (rank #43) .
Careercast recently ranked 200 different jobs in the U.S based on five criteria: physical demands, work environment, income, stress and hiring outlook. The data for this report came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other government agencies in U.S.
Technical Writer was the 37th best job in 2012 though it slipped 9 rankings as it was the 26th best job in the same survey in 2011. Read the complete list of Careercast 200 tops jobs in 2012 here and the methodology of ranking here.
The average salary for technical writers is $63,173. How do we stand compared to the average salary of other professions:
Newspaper Reporter: $35,275
Dental Hygienist: $68,109
Computer Programmer: $71,178.00
Software Engineer: $88,142
Human Resources Manager: $99,102
Financial Planner: $104,161
Physical Demands in a Technical Writing job
Technical Writing received a score of 47.25 in the physical demands category (a little higher compared to the score of 40.00 for a Software Engineer).
My guess is that technical writers fall in the first two categories: Sedentary and light work. I don’t know any technical writer having a requirement of lifting 100lbs and neither I see any technical writer having a body build-up of Arnold Schwarzenegger :). Though we walk and talk a lot for conducting work related interviews.
Work Environment is a mix of Physical and Emotional Environmental factors. Technical Writers got a score of 49.250.
Stress in a Technical Writing Job
Believe it or not, technical writing is one of the least stressful jobs out there. We scored only 18.73 (maximum is 91) in the category of job stress.
Most stressful job in 2012: Soldier (Stress level: 84.61)
Least stressful job in 2012:Medical Records Technician (Stress level: 7.52)
Hiring Outlook for Technical Writing Jobs in 2012
The ranking system used to evaluate Hiring Outlook by Careercast awards higher scores to jobs with promising futures. Lower scores indicate a poorer outlook. The three factors considered in this criteria were: Employment Growth, Income Growth Potential, and Unemployment.
Technical Writing received a poor score of 15.93 in the hiring outlook. Other profession scored a hiring outlook that looks more promising:
Software Engineer: 25.02
Dental Hygienist: 35.79
Can you imagine which profession has a hiring outlook similar to Technical Writing? Well.. we are between Mathematicians (16.61) and Statistician (15.15). As one character in Start Trek often says “To hell with the numbers!”
Best Jobs in 2012
1. Software Engineer $88,142
2. Actuary $88,202
3. Human Resources Manager $99,102
4. Dental Hygienist $68,109
5. Financial Planner $104,161
6. Audiologist $67,137
7. Occupational Therapist $72,110
8. Online Advertising Manager $87,255
9. Computer Systems Analyst $78,148
10. Mathematician $99,191
Worst Jobs in 2012
200. Lumberjack $32,114
199. Dairy Farmer $33,119
198. Enlisted Military Personnel $36,261
197. Oil Rig Worker $32,132
196. Newspaper Reporter $35,275
195. Waiter/Waitress $18,088
194. Meter Reader $35,171
193. Dishwasher $18,044
192. Butcher $29,156
191. Broadcaster $27,324
Your opinion on Technical Writing as a profession?
I would love to hear about your opinion of technical writing as a profession. Do you love it, do you hate it or do you maintain a love-hate relationship with it? Leave a comment and let me know.