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Featured Career: Technical Writer

Technical Writer

A technical writer is a trained data communicator. The Society for Technical Communication (STC) listed that technical communication and technical writing services were first referenced around World War I, when technical documents became a requirement for military purposes. It wasn't until 2010 that it was added to the US Bureau of Labor Statistic's Occupational Employment Handbook.

Technical writing is a cryptic form of communication that requires a thorough knowledge of the technical concepts within manuals and instructional texts. It can be quite laborious if you don't have any interest in writing or the talent to write. However, it's not just about writing; it's about knowing your users and knowing how to deliver that information you and others create to serve those users best.

Software Developer

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Some critical skills that a technical writer should have at all stages of their career are, having an aptitude in technical skills, a strong writing ability, the proficiency to communicate with a team, and the desire to continue learning.

Their responsibilities may include:

  • Editing the work of other technical writers.

  • Preparing the best form of documentation for the project.

  • Colluding with technical professionals to comprehend products and procedures.

  • Studying to gather information.

  • Modern-day technical writers work in various contexts.

Business meeting

As technology advances, the possibilities for technical writers will continue to expand. Many technical writers are responsible for producing technical texts for mobile apps or help documentation integrated within mobile or web apps. Much of their work will never be printed in a paper booklet like technical documentation of the past because they only create content that will be viewed on a hand-held device. Remarkably, some writers work in a firm, sharing content with their team through complex management systems that store documents online. Technical writers may also work on instructions for specialized equipment, government reports, embedded help within the software or operating systems, and/or internal documentation.

Based on the large workloads, tight deadlines, stringent demands for quality, and the exposure to criticism characteristic of many technical and marketing writer jobs, technical writers are surprisingly ranked as having an “average” stress level compared to other professions. Fortunately, many are allowed to perform these seemingly daunting tasks from the comforts of their home, remotely using VPN or communicating with their team via video telephony platforms, like Zoom and Skype.

Man using typewriter

Most employers prefer a Bachelor's degree. Science, Journalism, English, and Communications majors are recommended preferences for endeavoring technical writers. Once an undergraduate degree is obtained, students may explore additional professional development through a short technical writing certificate program. Depending on what needs to be composed, employers may look for candidates with specific qualifications. Writing about previous experience in the construction industry, for instance, benefits your chances of obtaining a writing role for a company in search of that genre of work experience.

Business Development

The median annual technical writing salary is $71,850, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Gaining certification through the Society for Technical Communication can increase pay and your demand to employers. Projected job growth is a significant benefit of a technical writing career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of technical writers to grow 11% by 2026. There are many jobs out there, but they are not typically titled "Technical Writer" or its variation. Therefore, be sure that you have attained all the applicable skills in line with your interest range, and keeping up with the latest trends is advised.

By: Jowanna's Corner

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