A technical writer is responsible for creating content for journal articles, technical and instructional manuals, training guides, and assessments. They organize content into a document that can be easily understood. They often interact with other technical writers or subject matter experts to ensure accuracy of information.
Technical writers gather and help develop technical information for various companies, manufactures, designers, or clients. A technical writer can be found employed in a variety of locations but mostly work in engineering and computer companies on a full-time basis.
How to Become a Technical Writer
A bachelor’s degree is required to become a technical writer. Typical degrees are seen are in communication, journalism, or English. Coursework may include editing, web writing, journalism, nonfiction, and business writing classes. It would also be advantageous to have some understanding of the industry that you are writing for as well.
With the increasing use of technology, you must also be able operate computers, use publishing software, and have basic web development skills. Many companies are reducing paper use and are switching to online and virtual training. You must also be detailed oriented, problem solve, and have the ability to simplify information.
Job Description of a Technical Writer
A technical writer clarifies complex content or materials by using set standards, conciseness, appropriate terminology, and directed styles. They make any changes or edit materials developed by other writers. They provide diagrams, photographs, sketches, or charts to illustrate information. They may assist with the layout of materials for publication.
The technical writer arranges distribution, typing, or duplication of materials. He or she would create, maintain, and update an online help documentation system when needed. They keep abreast of any changes in product technology, production methods, and other materials by reading journals and interviewing personnel. In addition they examine mockups, drawings, specifications, or product samples to integrate production sequences and operating procedures. This occupation can require you to train or supervise others and coordinate specific tasks. Job opportunities, especially with those with technical skills, are expected to be good.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Technical Writers.
National Center for O*NET Development. 27-3042.00. O*NET OnLine.