Technical Writer
 
I. Job Outlook:

II. Job Requirements/Prerequisites:

III. Education/Training Resources:

IV. Getting A Job:

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Skill Requirements

Mental - Basic

  • Attention to detail.
  • Ability to learn technical concepts and tools quickly.
  • Self-motivated.
  • Ability to meet deadlines.

Mental - Specialized

  • Ability to collect and organize information.
  • Ability to present complex information clearly in writing.
  • Excellent English grammar and punctuation.
  • Knowledge of electronic publishing tools.

Social

  • Able to work on one's own.
  • A team player.

Physical

  • Requires working in a seated position, looking at a computer screen forprolonged periods.
  • Must be able to type at least 35 words per minute.

Skill Maintenance Requirement
Moderate. Most projects that Technical Writers work on involve a product that is new to them, and possibly new to the market. In addition, the publishing tools utilized will change occasionally.

    
 

Experience Prerequisites

Most positions for Technical Writers require some experience as a writer/editor or in a technical field. Getting an internship while in school is an excellent way to gain this experience. In good economic times entry-level positions do exist for those without experience as long as they have the relevant tool knowledge.

Familiarity with publishing tools such as FrameMaker, PhotoShop, Word, and Quark Express is required. When developing on-line help, experience with tools such as RoboHELP, ForeHelp, and Windows Help is required.

    
 

Education/Training Required

Most jobs require a Bachelor's degree, either in a writing field such as English, Journalism, or Communications, or in a technical field such as Computer Science or Engineering. Sometimes a Technical Writing Certificate or a 2-year degree is sufficient, but often these are used to supplement a Bachelor's degree in another field.

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