Career as a Technical Writer

Have you ever wondered who writes the instructional manuals of your refrigerator, AC or washing machine? Who are the people behind the training guides that help you understand the functions of your machines? They are the people called Technical Writers.

Technical writers are also known as ‘technical communicators. They develop and create instructional manuals to convey technical information in simple and lucid language for the common person. They research, gather and disseminate technical information to customers and manufacturers.

Technical writers create:
  • Operating instructions
  • How-to manuals
  • Assembly instructions
  • “Frequently asked questions” pages

Role of a Technical Writer

  • Determine the target audience for technical documentation.
  • Study and understand the functioning of the product.
  • Work with subject-matter experts to understand the product.
  • Write documents for products keeping the end user in mind.
  • Work with designers to incorporate designs, images and illustrations relevant to the product
  • Revise the documents before publishing.
  • Work with engineers, scientists, computer specialists, and software developers to manage the flow of information among work groups during development and testing.

Skills of a Technical Writer

Language Skills: Knowledge of structure, grammar and syntax of English language is essential for a technical writer.

Eye for Detail: Technical writers should pay attention to details especially when drafting instructional manuals. A minor error can baffle the customer.

Technical Knowledge: One should be able to understand and analyze complex technical information. Knowledge of computers and engineering would be an advantage.

Team work: Technical writers should display team spirit. They need to work with designers, editors and subject-matter experts.

Pros and Cons of a Technical Writer

  • Opportunities to experiment with new gadgets, equipment and machines.
  • High demand for job, as opportunities is available in many sectors.
  • Well-paid job and high level of respect.
  • Opportunity to learn new tools and technologies.
  • Lots of experience is required to make it big in this field.
  • Sometimes, you have to work in different time zones.
  • Boredom could creep in as you could be spending long hours on a single document.
  • Often very high work pressure.

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