Technical writing is a specialized form of writing revolving around explaining or communicating the technical details of products, software, or any machine-based equipment. Have you seen the brochure and user guide for your refrigerator? Or user guide of your latest smartphone? How easily it helps you understand the functions of technically complex products and provides you with all the information you need in simple language. It’s the work of a technical writer, a highly demanding job where you have to demonstrate your technical knowledge and align it with the requirements of the object.
What is a technical writer?
A person who writes technical content, and helps users by providing brochures, and user manuals related to a technical product and services is called a technical writer. Someone writing a review, specifications, and features of a technical product on the internet also qualifies to be called a technical writer.
Suggested Read | Netflix Password Sharing Ban: All You Need To Know!
Who can become a technical writer?
Nowadays, anyone who has an interest in writing and technology can become a technical writer. People who are mass communication graduates and keep an eye on technological developments are good to become technical writers. Similarly, engineering graduates interested in writing are equally good technical writers.
Skills required to become a technical writer
Here are some skills that a technical writer must have.
- Interest in writing
- Interest in technology and engineering
- Good command of technical developments
- Brainstorming, research, and communication skills
- Designing charts, and tables to make the technical information easy and understandable
How to become a technical writer?
Get a graduation degree
Graduation in mass communication, and journalism will help you get writing jobs easily. People with mass communication are most preferred for news writing, content writing, and technical writing jobs. So, one must have a degree in journalism.
Alternatively, an engineering degree with a certification course in journalism or mass communication can help one get the technical writer job easily. Having an engineering degree means, you have the core knowledge of the industry and you can very easily apply your knowledge and understanding in your work. For example, an IT engineer with a degree can know the technicalities of software development better than anyone else.
Pursue a technical writing course
It is optional to do a technical writing course for those who already have a degree in engineering. Even those who have good command over technical knowledge are not necessarily required to do a technical course. But for someone who is new to technical writing and wants to know how it works, a short-term technical writing course is always helpful.
Develop your understanding of industry, technology
Having a sound knowledge of industry and core technical details is really very important when it comes to technical writing. A person doing technical writing work must be aware of the technical details, specifications, and various other aspects of his work. If a technical writer writing a user manual for an electric vehicle doesn’t know the basics of an electric vehicle and its features, it will be very difficult for him to write those details and make people understand them in easy language. So, always pick an industry and make yourself familiar with every detail related to the tech work.
Create a network and connect with people
Creating a network is very important these days. Linkedin or social media sites are great for engaging with people who need technical writers. If you need work, you need to find it through these websites and connect with the people.
Build a portfolio of your work
Giving a past record of your work along with the sample is very important when it comes to getting new technical writer jobs. Therefore, we suggest you create a portfolio of your work and enlist your previous written samples. This portfolio will be very helpful for people who are on the lookout for technical writers. They would know about your work and will offer you job if they like it.
Important tips for technical writing
Here are some of the important tips that will help you in your technical writing.
Take up a skill and be updated
It is important to be an expert in a particular technical field before you go for a job search. Your education should help you in this, but keeping yourself updated is crucial, and then you do by becoming proactive and tech-savvy.
Learn the art of expressing
You may be quite good at technical things. But, technical things are just technical, and not easy for everyone to understand. So, your writing should be easy and good enough to make a layman understand what exactly you want to communicate.
Be a good reader
A technical writer should also be a good reader. Read new things every day and improve your knowledge and skills. It will also help you improve your writing ability.
Learn coding and web development
Though not a necessary requirement for technical writing, having some knowledge of coding, HTML, and PHP, will help you improve your resume. Such skills leave a good impression on the recruiter also.
Technical writer salary
Generally, technical writers earn more than normal writers. It is due to the specialized domain they hold. According to Payscale, technical writers earn an average of $63,921/ year. Glassdoor also reports a similar pay, $69,323/yr.