What does a Technical Writer do?

Learn all about Technical Writer duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Technical Writer.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A technical writer is a professional information communicator whose task it is to transfer information (knowledge) between people, or to documentation. A technical writer's main job is to make complex information easier to understand and follow. Technical writers work in a wide variety of industries and fields, such as computer hardware and software, engineering, chemistry, biology, consumer electronics, and many more.

Technical Writer job duties include:

  • Researching, writing, and editing technical documents, such as user manuals, white papers, and design specifications
  • Working with subject matter experts to obtain an in-depth understanding of the product or service
  • Analyzing data and information to be included in documentation
  • Organizing information and developing clear and concise documentation
  • Incorporating graphics, photos, and other visual elements to enhance documentation
  • Editing documents for grammar, style, and format consistency
  • Following company guidelines for document development and formatting
  • Managing document version control and revision tracking
  • Coordinating with translation services to produce documents in multiple languages

Technical Writer Job Requirements

A technical writer typically needs a bachelor's degree in English, journalism, or communications. Many technical writers have a background in engineering, computer science, or another technical field. In some cases, employers may require a master's degree in technical writing or a related field. Certification is not typically required, but it may be helpful in landing a job. Technical writers typically need several years of experience working with the subject matter they will be writing about. They also need strong writing and editing skills.

Technical Writer Skills

  • Writing
  • Technical Writing
  • Documentation
  • Editing
  • Proofreading
  • Research
  • Instructional Design
  • Learning Management Systems (LMS)
  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Adobe Creative Suite

Related: Top Technical Writer Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Technical Writer

There are many ways to become a technical writer. One way is to have a degree in English, communications, or journalism. Another way is to have experience in a field such as engineering, computer science, or medicine. There are also many technical writing programs available.

To become a successful technical writer, you need to be able to understand complex information and communicate it clearly and concisely. You should also be able to work well with others, as you will often be working with engineers, scientists, and other experts to gather information.

If you are interested in becoming a technical writer, there are many resources available to help you get started. The Society for Technical Communication (STC) offers many resources, including job postings and an annual conference. There are also many books and online articles about technical writing.

Related: Technical Writer Resume Example

Related: Technical Writer Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

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