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Technical writer

Other possible titles

  • Copywriter
  • Technical communicator

Context

Technical writing is one of the jobs that has benefited the most from telecommuting. Many writers are self-employed and enjoy some flexibility in terms of organizing their work; the downside is irregular schedules and tight deadlines.

Description

The job of technical writer involves writing texts to facilitate the use of a product, process or to simplify certain notions for customers. Technical writers mainly work for private high-tech companies or in banking to produce manuals, technical notes, teaching documentation and online help. Those who work in a government communications department will work more on forms, reports and interpretation bulletins.

Main duties

  • Search for archived and non-archived information (interviews)
  • Write various types of documentation
  • Revise texts to ensure their quality and relevance
  • Update, publish and ensure the availability of documentation

Education

  • A college diploma or bachelor's degree in communication techniques, journalism or computers is recommended.

Skills

  • Thorough understanding of technical writing concepts
  • Ability to create content in the form of reusable modules
  • Proficient in the use of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook)
  • Familiarity with text editing, page layout and graphic design software (FrameMaker, Photoshop, Illustrator)
  • Proficiency in interviewing techniques

Qualities

  • Communication skills and ability to simplify
  • Ability to see the big picture
  • Thoroughness and eye for detail
  • Good organizational skills
  • Priority management
  • Ability to handle stress (tight deadlines and multitasking)

Career path

Technical writers can take advantage of their product knowledge to get into marketing or user training. They can also consider careers in specialized journalism.