How to Become a Technical Writer

Technical Writers are experienced in taking complicated information regarding technical and scientific concepts and scribing them into an approachable and comprehensible manner for readers.

These professionals are knowledgeable in more than one area of work and use their combination of skills in order to complete writing assignments.

Technical Writers are hired in various industries and sectors.

Some industries that commonly hire Technical Writing professionals include the following:

  • Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Computer systems
  • Computer designs
  • Management services
  • Technical consulting services
  • Software publishers

In order to become a Technical Writer , candidates should pursue proficiency in a technical aspect as well as work on their writing skills.

Below is more information regarding this career including education requirements, a typical job description, salary information and the career outlook.

Education Requirements to Become a Technical Writer

In order for candidates to become a Technical Writer, they must have the necessary skills to understand technical information as well has having strong writing skills.

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Candidates must attend and complete a minimum of a Bachelor’s program.

Students who want to become a Technical Writer can study from a handful of disciplines in order to be competitive in the field.

Some helpful majors that will help candidates become a Technical Writer include studying in Communications, English or Journalism.

Because Technical Writers work with a range of scientific and technical information, they can also benefit from taking courses in the sciences.

Some colleges and universities also allow students to double major or earn double degrees.

Acquiring a double degree may take an additional year to complete, but employers are more likely to consider candidates with a wide range of knowledge and experience.

For example, an Engineering firm is more likely to hire a candidate with a degree in Engineering and English than someone who solely has a Communications degree.

Technical Writers also need some additional skills in order to be highly competitive.

Increasingly, employers look for Technical Writers who have experience using sound and video production, graphics and electronic publishing.

Candidates should also learn how to combine text and graphics, audio and animation.

Learning a variety of software is also important in order to accomplish any of the above skills.

Technical Writer Job Description

A Technical Writer’s goal is to take complicated technical information and scribe it in a way that would be understandable to a general public.

Some sectors these professionals can work in include engineering, science or health care.

Some Technical Writers may also hire out their services as freelance contractors and can work on a variety of technical topics.

Technical Writers can work alongside other professionals such as Engineers, scientists and software development while the creation and testing of a product.

This is to ensure the exchange of information between groups working on a project.

Some Technical Writers go beyond using their writing skills and technical knowledge to create comprehensible information for readers.

Technical Writers may also use their computer skills and knowledge of media formats to develop visuals of complex information.

Technical Writers may do this by creating graphic designs, multimedia software and page layout for the text they have written.

This is to present information in a variety of ways so that all readers understand the material.

Some Technical Writers may develop text and visuals in order to present this information online.

They will accomplish this by taking advantage of the internet’s interactive technologies.

In order to prepare information for the web, Technical Writers will combine text, sounds, images and graphics.

Technical Writer Salary and Career Path

The career outlook for Technical writers looks strong and is expected to grow 18% through the year 2018.

This expected growth is due in part to employers looking for people who are able to decode technical information because of the popularity of scientific and technical information.

Salary and wages for Technical Writing professionals depends on the sector and industry they work in.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the national median wage for all Technical Writers in 2008 was approximately $61,600 annually.

The national salary range for these professionals is approximately $36,500 to $78,900 per year.

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