Professional and Technical Writing Concentration

English majors can elect to pursue a concentration in Professional and Technical Writing. The concentration is excellent preparation for a career in business or government as a writer, editor, publishing specialist, or trainer. It also is excellent preparation for graduate study, law school, work in journalism, and teaching. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that in May 2012 the median annual salary for technical writers was $65,000. The BLS predicted a 15% growth in employment for technical writers, especially in web-based publishing, from 2012-2022. 

The Professional and Technical Writing concentration consists of four courses, and they count as the four elective English courses that are required for the major. Courses in the concentration hellp students to develop their ability to write clearly, concisely, and correctly; to address the needs of their audience; and to create various types of non-academic documents for both print and digital environments, such as proposals, grants, reports, brochures, instructions, website content, and blogs, to name a few.

To fulfill the requirements of the concentration, students must take:

  • ENGL 306 - Professional Writing (Spring Sophomore or Fall Junior year)
  • ENGL 308 - Professional Writing Technologies (Sophomore or Junior year)
  • ENGL 406 - Advanced Technical Writing (Spring only; Junior or Senior year)
  • ENGL 407 - Technical Editing (Fall only; Junior or Senior year)

Students must take English 306 before English 406 or 407. 

For students in the concentration who have completed English 407, internships are often available.

Students who are majoring in disciplines other than English can minor in Professional and Technical Writing; both the minor and the concentration require the same four courses.

For more information about the program, contact Dr. Rick Van Noy at rvannoy@radford.edu.