Do you enjoy getting to the heart of a topic? Are you an expert troubleshooter and instructor? A position as a Technical Writer might be the detail-oriented role that’s right for you.
Technical Writers use their expertise to convey complex ideas and messages in clear, concise language that people from various backgrounds can understand.
Technical Writers’ work may appear in instruction manuals, how-to guides, white papers, and “frequently asked questions” sections of websites. They may also be responsible for writing the company’s training materials, internal communications, informational brochures, product announcements, and more. A Technical Writer also ensures the consistency of content across departments and platforms.
Technical Writers can incorporate visual elements such as photographs, diagrams, graphs, and charts to articulate an idea or message to the reader. They are excellent researchers, delving into a given industry to best understand how it (and its products) benefit the consumer.
Typical Duties and Responsibilities
- Complete writing assignments according to standards for clarity, brevity, style, and terminology
- Organize work and revision files
- Edit, standardize, or make changes to client-provided material
- Study drawings, specifications, mockups, and product samples
- Interview production personnel and read supplemental material to understand product technologies and production methods
- 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
Education and Background
This position requires a bachelor’s degree in English, communications, journalism, or a similar field.
Skills and Competencies
- Exceptional written and verbal communication skills
- Impeccable attention to detail
- Proficiency using Microsoft Office Suite
- Ability to convey instructional information across audiences
- Excellent multitasking and organization skills
According to Payscale, the median annual salary of a Technical Writer with
1 Year of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $56,000
- Tampa, Florida: $63,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $54,000
- Miami, Florida: $52,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $73,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $60,000
- Houston, Texas: $61,000
- Los Angeles, California: $60,000
- New York City, New York: $77,000
- Seattle, Washington: $62,000
- Overall: $62,000
5 Years of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $83,000
- Tampa, Florida: $66,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $79,000
- Miami, Florida: $70,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $78,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $73,000
- Houston, Texas: $70,000
- Los Angeles, California: $75,000
- New York City, New York: $80,000
- Seattle, Washington: $84,000
- Overall: $76,000
Similar Job Titles
- Content Editor
- Content Manager
- Content Writer
- Technical Editor
- Documentation Engineer
- Communication Specialist
- Technical Communicator
- Technical Author
- Tech Writer
- Technical Content Developer
The journey to becoming a Technical Writer begins by earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, English, mass communications, or a similar field.
Students who aspire to be Technical Writers are encouraged to pursue internships with companies that employ Technical Writers, or companies in a particular field of interest. It can also be useful for Technical Writers to obtain certifications in their chosen industry.
Technical Writers need to develop soft skills like expertise in interviewing and collaborating, so they can learn as much as possible about a particular product and write informative technical documentation. Writing technical documents is a collaborative process, involving multiple members of a product development team to make sure all the materials convey a consistent message.
Since users are using smart devices for everyday computing needs, optimizing technical documents for mobile access has emerged as a crucial need for Technical Writers. Full-text search is another emerging technological writing trend, allowing for users and Technical Writers to scan for relevant information rather than sort through an entire document.
Staying on top of industry trends and best practices in the advertising and marketing world — from graphic design to social media marketing to UX/UI design — is crucial to writing informative, engaging content. Technical Writers will need to grow their expertise across disciplines as the industry continues to evolve.
The typical work hours for a Technical Writer in an office setting are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Freelance Technical Writers are often able to set their own hours and work remotely.
Where You Can Find Jobs
- 4 Corner Resources
- Career Builder
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