Professional Organizations for Technical Communicators

STC@NC State has compiled an annotated list of other professional organizations for technical communicators that may be of interest to our members. These organizations offer many opportunities to learn about the various specialty areas open to technical communicators, and about the profession as a whole, complementing the opportunities available through STC. Many of these organizations offer online resources---guidelines, handbooks, tutorials, articles---that may be helpful in your graduate research/coursework, as well as online job listings and even scholarships for student members.



Annual Dues

Other Benefits

American Association for the Rhetoric of Science and Technology "To provide a forum for researchers and teachers in the area of the rhetoric of science and technology" $5
  • Hosts day conferences in conjunction with the annual meetings of National Communication Association
  • Maintains a discussion listserv
American Medical Writers Association "To promote excellence in writing, editing, and producing printed and electronic biomedical communications" $135(regular); $45 (student)
  • Annual conference offers 70+ workshops covering "every aspect of biomedical communication"
  • Job list distributed 10x a year (members only)
  • Professional development curriculum leads to various certifications
  • Salary survey published in AMWA Journal ($10 for members, $110 for nonmembers)
  • Site links to various online resources, including the Toolkit for New Medical Writers
American Public Health Association's Health Communication Working Group "To create a forum for interaction and information exchange in order to encourage innovative, effective, theory based, research based, and consumer-oriented health communication strategies…"

APHA membership: $160 (regular); $50 (student).

Membership in the Working Group is open to nonmembers of APHA; no dues mentioned on web site.

  • Offers sessions on communication at the annual APHA conference
  • Listserv also open to nonmembers
  • Site links to various resources on public health communication
The Association for Women in Communications To champion the advancement of women across all communications disciplines… $99 (prof. –2 years experience or communications degree); $29 (student)
  • Annual conference
  • Online job bank (members only)
Association for Applied Interactive Multimedia "To support professionals who use and develop interactive multimedia for education, training, commerce, and information" $40
  • Online discussion forum (members only)
  • Provides a few online resources (available to nonmembers)
  • Workshops on Flash, Photoshop, and other tools
Association for Business Communication "To foster excellence in business communication scholarship, research, education, and practice" $80 (regular); $30 (student)
  • Annual convention
  • Online job board (soon to be restricted to members only)
Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Systems Documentation (ACM SIGDOC) "To promote the professional development of technical communication practitioners, researchers, and educators…" $35
  • "Intimate" annual conference (~150 attendees)
Association for Educational Communications and Technology "To provide leadership in educational communications and technology by linking professionals holding a common interest in the use of educational technology and its application to the learning process" $99 (regular); $50 (student)
  • Many online resources available to nonmembers, including a handbook on Getting Started in Instructional Technology
  • Annual conference with hundreds of sessions
Association of Earth Science Editors "To strengthen the profession of earth science editing…and promote the exchange of ideas of general and specific problems of selection, editing, and publication of research manuscripts, journals, serials, periodicals, and maps pertaining to the earth sciences" $35 (regular);
$15 (student)
  • Annual meeting usually attended by ~100 members
  • Online job bank (available to nonmembers)
Association of Teachers of Technical Writing "To encourage dialogue among teachers of technical communication and to develop technical communication as an academic discipline" $50 (regular); $20 (student)
  • ATTW-L discussion list (members only)
  • Online job list (available to nonmembers if you register with the web site)
  • Annual conference held in conjunction with the Conference on College Composition and Communication
Board of Editors in the Life Sciences To evaluate the proficiency of manuscript editors in the life sciences and to award credentials similar to those obtainable in other professions" $25 to apply for certification; $100 to take exam.
Applicants must meet education/ experience requirements.
  • Offers certification exam entitling those who pass to use the letters ELS (Editor in the Life Sciences) after their name
Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication "To promote programs [and research] in technical and scientific communication…" $20
  • Online discussion forum accessible to nonmembers
  • Annual conference
  • Online job list for technical communication faculty at US and overseas universities (as well as some nonacademic positions)
Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (partners with the National Association of Science Writers) "To improve the quality of science news reaching the general public" N/A
  • Offers the Guide to Careers in Science Writing free upon request
  • Offers scholarships for graduate students studying science writing
  • Hosts an annual meeting where "scientists, journalists, and science writers explore seminal developments in science, medicine and technology that are likely to make news in the future"
Council of Science Editors "To promote excellence in the communication of scientific information." $156 (regular); $41 (student)
  • Online job list available to nonmembers
  • Offers the Short Course for Editors, which covers the journal business, including peer review, production management, manuscript editing, and editorial policy making
International Webmasters Associations' HTML Writers Guild "Dedicated to self-development, sharing ideas, and developing professional contacts" for web authors at all skill levels $49; free trial membership available
  • Offers online courses in web design (reduced rates for members)
  • Maintains a library of online resources
Human Factors and Ergonomics Society "To promote the discovery and exchange of knowledge concerning the characteristics of human beings that are applicable to the design of systems and devices of all kinds" $190 (full/affiliate); $35 (student)
  • Offers discounts on books and software (members only)
  • Online job list (members only)
  • Annual meeting
  • NCSU has a student chapter:
IEEE Professional Communication Society "To help engineers and technical communicators develop skills in written and oral presentation." $79
  • Annual conference "attended by about 200 professionals from around the world."
International Association of Business Communication "To link communicators in a global network that inspires, establishes and supports the highest professional standards of quality and innovation in organizational communication" $175, plus $50 local and district dues
  • Online job bank (available to nonmembers)
  • Other online resources (members only)
International Communication Association "To promote research [in all aspects of human communication] and bring the results of that research to bear on problems and issues of society" $100 (regular); $50 (student)
  • Online job bank and other resources (members only)
  • Annual conference
  • Publishes the Guide to Publishing in Scholarly Communication Journals
National Association of Science Writers (partners with the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing) "To improve [the] craft and encourage conditions that promote good science writing" $75 (regular); $25 (student)
Note: Regular members must provide clips or other proof that they are science writers; students do not
  • Online jobs page (members only)
  • Offers group health and disability insurance for freelancers
  • Offers the Guide to Careers in Science Writing free upon request
National Communication Association "To enhance the research, teaching, and service produced by its members on topics of both intellectual and social significance" $155 (regular); $60 (student)
  • Hosts the annual NCA Convention and NCA Summer Conference
  • Web site offers many resources (available to nonmembers)
  • Offers a job placement service (members only)
Plain Language Association International To promote interests, standards, and research in plain-language $30
  • Biennial international conference focuses on the "standards, research, and practice of plain language and related professions"
  • Maintains a discussion listserv (available to nonmembers
  • Online resources include links, tutorials, and articles by plain-language specialists, as well as links to members' web sites
Society for Technical Communication Advances the theory and practice of technical communication across all user abilities and all media. $150 Dues + $15 Enrollment (Classic)
Enroll Here
$55 (Student)
Enroll Membership Manager
  • Award-winning publications to keep you up-to-date on current trends, tools, and practices vital to the industry.
  • Networking opportunities through STC's 140 local chapters .
  • Educational conferences and seminars at reduced member rates.
  • The opportunity to join STC's 20 Special Interest Groups (SIGs) .
  • Forums for sharing your expertise, expressing your professional opinion, and building a reputation within the industry.
  • Full access to STC's Technical Communication Career Center - containing current job openings specifically geared toward the technical communication field.
  • STC's Annual Salary Survey , which provides vital statistics on pay and benefits for technical communicators in the U.S. and Canada.
  • STC now offers its members a range of health insurance options thanks to a program implemented in cooperation with Marsh Affinity Group Services, a leader in insurance program management. In addition, STC members may enjoy discounts on other types of insurance from Mutual of Omaha. These include disability coverage, critical illness insurance, life insurance, long term care insurance, and pension plans.
  • Mailings from local chapters, meeting announcements, and newsletters.
  • Unrestricted access to STC's award-winning Web site.
STC-Carolina "The Carolina Chapter [of the STC] currently serves nearly 300 members in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area of North Carolina." see STC fees
  • RTP Federal Credit Union; Join Free!
  • Benefits as an O'Reilly Media User Group
  • All other STC Chapter benefits
Southern States Communication Association "To promote the study, criticism, research, teaching, and application of the artistic, humanistic, and scientific principles of communication" $45 (regular); $25 (student)
  • Annual convention
  • Divisions include Rhetoric and Public Address, Intercultural Communication, Communication Theory, Instructional Development, and many more
Usability Professionals' Association "To provide a network and opportunities through which usability professionals can communicate and share information about skills and skill development, methodology used and/or proposed in the profession, tools, technology, and organizational issues" $100 (regular); $35 (student)
  • Annual professional conference "oriented toward the practical"
  • Online job bank (available to nonmembers)
World Association of Medical Editors "To foster international cooperation among editors of peer-reviewed medical journals" Free, but only open to editors of peer-reviewed biomedical journals or scholars who "seriously study the discipline of scholarly medical publishing"
  • Many online resources for editors (available to nonmembers)
  • Annual Congress on Peer Review and Biomedical Publication; accepted papers may be published in JAMA
  • WAME Talk listserv (members only)