Scientific and Technical Writers and Editors
Learn about this occupation – including typical duties, education required, salary and job outlook information, job boards and more.
Technical writers, also called technical communicators, prepare instruction manuals, how-to guides, journal articles, and other supporting documents to communicate complex and technical information more easily. They also develop, gather, and disseminate technical information through an organization’s communications channels. (Occupational Outlook Handbook)
Find detailed information about the occupation, including typical duties and working conditions, in the links below:
- National Occupational Classification (NOC) - Canadian occupational descriptions
- O*NET Online - U.S. resource for occupational information
- OCCinfo by alis - Alberta-based occupational information
- A day in the life of a Writer - from the Princeton Review (U.S.)
- Sokanu - profile and featured videos
- Writing vs. Editing and Technical Writing - from Scitable by Nature Education
- Working as a Medical Writer - Science Careers magazine
- Science Communication - profile from American Chemical Society
- Bio economy career profile: Scientific Writer - interview from BioTalent Canada
- Let's Talk Science career profiles:
There are no standard education requirements for technical writers. Employers generally prefer to hire technical writers who have related post-secondary education or experience and can supply samples of their work. (Alberta Learning Information Centre).
U of M Academic Calendar
The Academic Calendar & Catalogue outlines program admission and course requirements. Use the left menu to navigate to a specific faculty and program. To determine which degree path suits your unique occupational goals, speak with a Career Consultant. For support with course registration and academic issues, speak with an Academic Advisor.
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Labour market information
Labour market information informs users of supply and demand for specific occupations and sectors. It includes such things as salary and job outlook information. These resources support informed career decision making and job search efforts.
- Trend Analysis: Job Market Report (Winnipeg Region) - Gov. of Canada Job Bank
- Occupational Outlook Handbook - Job outlook for the U.S.
- Robert Half Salary Guide for Creative & Marketing Professionals - salary and hiring trends
Professional associations may organize events and provide directories, job postings, career and labour market information. Student membership opportunities may also be available: engage, learn and network!
- Canadian Science Writers & Communicators Association
- Manitoba Editors' Association
- Canadian Freelance Guild
- Society for Technical Communication (U.S)
- American Medical Writers Association - Canada Chapter
- National Association of Science Writers (U.S.)
- Council for the Advancement of Science Writing
Directories, Industry Associations, and Sector Councils
These resources provide industry news, labour market information and a list of potential employers. Remember, there are usually multiple industries worth exploring.
- International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers - members
- Association of Canadian Publishers - company search
- Association of American Publishers - member list
- International Publishers Association - select link on page for list by country
- BIOTE Canada member listing - Canada’s health, industrial and agricultural biotechnology sectors
- Magazines Canada - member directory
Search the industry-specific job boards below to learn about skill requirements, employers, job duties and available jobs. You may also wish to search more general online job boards.
These external resources may provide you with additional information about the occupation and opportunities to build experience:
- ComSciCon - The Communicating Science workshop for graduate students
- Bio-economy Skills Profile Summary: Scientific/Medical Writer - competency requirements overview from BioTalent Canada
- Technical Writing - Eco Canada
- TechWRL - Technical writing forum
- The Open Notebook: The story behind the best science stories - includes interviews, profiles, advice and guides
- Science Careers magazine - American Association for the Advancement of Science