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Also known as:
Assembly Instructions Writer, Documentation Writer, Engineering Writer, Handbook Writer, Medical Writer, Specifications Writer, Technical Communicator, Technical Writer
Do you like to explain how things work? That's often what a technical writer does. It is very important to be able to write clearly and simply. This is a job that usually requires a college degree in the liberal arts, especially majors in communications, journalism, and English. It also helps if you ...
have training in the field for which you'll be writing. For example, technical writers who describe how to operate equipment can benefit from a background in engineering.
When you read operating or maintenance manuals, catalogues, assembly instructions, product descriptions, and other materials meant to inform and educate, you're reading the work of a technical writer. A technical writer is, in a way, a translator. He or she translates scientific, medical or other complex information into easily understandable language.
Technical writing is a skill you can take anywhere. They are employed throughout the country, with the most jobs being available in the Northeast, Texas, and California. With rapid growth in technology and electronics, demand for the services of technical writers should continue to rise, especially for people who are comfortable with changing technology.
Write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions. May assist in layout work.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
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Analyze developments in specific field to determine need for revisions in previously published materials and development of new material.
Review manufacturer's and trade catalogs, drawings and other data relative to operation, maintenance, and service of equipment.
Edit, standardize, or make changes to material prepared by other writers or establishment personnel.
Observe production, developmental, and experimental activities to determine operating procedure and detail.
Review published materials and recommend revisions or changes in scope, format, content, and methods of reproduction and binding.
Confer with customer representatives, vendors, plant executives, or publisher to establish technical specifications and to determine subject material to be developed for publication.
Arrange for typing, duplication, and distribution of material.
Study drawings, specifications, mockups, and product samples to integrate and delineate technology, operating procedure, and production sequence and detail.
Interview production and engineering personnel and read journals and other material to become familiar with product technologies and production methods.
Assist in laying out material for publication.
Organize material and complete writing assignment according to set standards regarding order, clarity, conciseness, style, and terminology.
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Interacting With Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Communications and Media
Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Sales and Marketing
Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Complex Problem Solving
Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.