Technical writer use their writing and communication skills to facilitate the digestion of complex information. It is essential to running a technology-focused company and can help companies better understand their performance and improve the user experience.
Do you want to become a technical writer? We’ve put together this guide to explain what a technical writer is. You’ll find out what they do, how they do it, and where to find technical writing opportunities today.
What is a technical writer?
A technical writer is a professional writer who communicates complex information. So, what exactly does a technical writer do? They create technical documentation that includes things like manuals, user guides, magazine articles, quick reference guides, and white papers. They can also create more general types of content, including social media posts, press releases, and web pages.
Essentially, technical publishers divide complex technical products into easy-to-understand guides that help the end-user understand how to use the products and services. They are experts in the field generally trained in technical areas, including engineering, computer science, information technology, and information development.
The purpose of technical writing
Technical communicators strive to create documents that help people understand how to use a specific technology. They can write to a target audience of B2C companies, or they can write internal documents for employees to use or create products. They can also use their writing skills to compile technical reports to update C-Suite managers and process the company’s performance. According to the Technical Communication Association, the vast majority of technical texts are used for internal purposes, not to reach a demanding audience.
The general process for a technical editor
Over the years, technical writing has undergone a drastic change. Technical writing involves producing technical information as part of a larger content management plan. Technical editors work closely with team members, including graphic designers, content authors, document specialists, and industry experts to create technical documents. They can also work with other copywriters to develop their business writing skills, depending on the project and the type of document.
For most projects, technical writers use the following steps:
- Conduct an audience analysis and identify any special needs
- Plan and describe the scope of the project, including additional team members, if necessary.
- Subject analysis, product sample acquisition, document design, and technical content writing
- Testing and evaluation of technical communication
- Delivery and possibly second revision
- Decide whether you want to archive, review or destroy the document.
Employment perspective for technical writers
Technical writing remains an increasingly common industry and where professional writers are very popular. The skills of these writers go far beyond good spelling and grammar. These writers must have a broad technical knowledge that ordinary writers lack. They must also have excellent writing skills and be able to coordinate with other members of the technical team. Consequently, job prospects for technical editors remain positive.
Where to find a technical writing job
There are several ways to find technical writing jobs that suit your technical skills. One of the first places you can start looking is in your local newspaper. Companies often advertise jobs in newspapers and on outside panels in social centers.
You can also use various websites to get online help when searching for technical texts. Classic timesheets, like Even, have hundreds of writings to choose from. Some require you to work in a specific office location, while others allow remote work, so search the job description for more information.
If you are looking for specific technical texts, visit sites like Guru and FlexJobs. These sites can help you find part-time and full-time opportunities for technical communicators. You can also use these work panels to filter jobs based on user experience or internal technical documentation projects.