Table of Contents Hide
- What Is Technical Writing?
- What does a technical writer do?
- How To Become a Technical Writer
- Final Thought
Technical writing isn’t just about drawing up instructions and manuals or legal documents – It transcends that.
Technical writing takes high-level information and processes it into digestible content for a specific audience. It’s crucial for anyone working in a tech-related business and if you want to know how to become a technical writer, you’re at the right place.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for technical writers is projected to grow 10 percent from 2014 to 2024. Employment growth in this field will exceed the national average for other occupations due to the continued increase in scientific and technical products.
Therefore, in this article. we will outline and define the technical writing processes. Additionally, we will also look at the best practices, and steps you can follow to launch your career as a technical writer.
Meanwhile, let’s understand what it means to be a technical writer.
What Is Technical Writing?
As defined by the Society of Technical Communication; technical writing is any form of communication that shows one or more of the following qualities:
- Communicating about technical or specialized topics, such as computer applications, medical procedures, or environmental regulations.
- Communicating by using technology, such as web pages, help files, or social media sites.
- Providing instructions about how to do something, regardless of how technical the task is or even if technology is used to create or distribute that communication.”
Technical writing is expected to cover any type of text that aims to explain detailed information. Such information must also be presented by the technical writer in a manner the reader can easily interpret and use the information for an intended purpose.
Check Out: How To Land Premium Writing Gigs Even As A Novice
What does a technical writer do?
Technical writers commonly perform a variety of tasks, including:
- Brainstorming, outlining, and producing professional documentation free of errors for a range of users and knowledge levels
- Communicating technical concepts including computer applications, medical procedures, environmental and economic regulations, and manufacturing and engineering processes
- Applying research and evaluation to create documents that clearly communicate complex information
- Analyzing target audiences to define project requirements and planning a content presentation, design, and tone
- Designing documents using charts, images, infographics, headings, and lists to increase readability
How To Become a Technical Writer
There are a few steps to becoming a technical writer, these steps you must take to develop your skills in written communication, design and formatting, research, and analysis.
They are as follows:
#1. Get a bachelor’s degree
While you can kick-start your technical writing career without a degree, gaining one makes you more exposed to opportunities. Additionally, a degree in fields like technical communications, scientific writing, or journalism can improve your job prospects.
#2. Get certified as a technical writer
This is still optional. However, you can enhance your career with a credential from the Society for Technical Communication (STC). The STC offers a three-tiered certification program. And it consists of foundation, practitioner, and expert certification levels.
There are other associations that offer training for technical writers in a particular niche. Identify such organizations If they fit into your niche. Get trained to write better.
AMWA is an example of such an organization.
#3. Create a portfolio of samples
A portfolio is a way to put your best works in a single file or document for easy access. The projects you’ve done before should be the content of this portfolio.
If you’re just starting out, do not shy away from carrying out small projects, as they would form your portfolio.
Your portfolio can be used as a resource when you apply for jobs. It can also be used to show employers evidence of your writing experience and written communication skills.
#4. Build your professional network
This can be done by joining relevant professional organizations and attending seminars and conferences. Also, go to events where IT, scientific and medical practitioners may gather. It’s also a good way to build your network.
It is in building your network that you will be exposed to more technical writer jobs. Opportunities to practice your skills and boost your reputation as a qualified, tested, and trusted technical writer.
#5. Develop your industry Knowledge
Stay up to date on your industry’s trends and new developments to support your knowledge of the field. Staying current on new technology and software, medical advances or the latest scientific research is important for planning and writing your project materials.
If you choose to join a professional association, use the resources the network offers to remain informed of the latest news for whichever field you specialize in.
You can also subscribe to relevant newsletters for new developments and information. By staying informed, you’d know the latest technical writer jobs available.
Tips for becoming a technical writer
You must consider these points as you intend to start a career as a technical writer or land technical writer jobs.
- Be proactive about your skill development.
- Focus your development in one niche.
- Learn and develop web design skills.
- Create online courses for tech writers.
- Familiarize yourself with coding.
Technical writing is burgeoning, while it’s not as easy as it might seem to become a technical writer, the remuneration makes up for it. I hope this piece was of help to you.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics Lates Numbers
- Society of Technical Communication