It is essential for the person to be technically competent for being a successful technical writer. The technical field on which a technical writer is required to write can be software applications, electronics, automobiles or any other field. Through their technical content they need to make others understand a technical product, its features, benefits or procedures, etc.
The technical writers are also known as the technical communicators and their profession involves designing, writing, creating, maintaining and updating of the technical information of a company or firm. The scientists, engineers as well the other professional people can also produce the technical writing. In most of the cases, their work is handed over to the professional technical writers for editing, proof reading and also formatting.
Before writing any technical document, they need to research, study and update themselves on the precise technical area by referring to the technical books or documents and reading journals on technological development in the particular area for performing the tasks that are assigned by the manager.
They need to maintain up to date records and files of various works and revisions. Editing, standardization and thereon making necessary changes in documents is part of their job profile. Technical writers are required to confer with the customer representatives, publishers, vendors and plant executives in order to institute technical specifications and to settle on subject material that is to be developed for publishing.
Publication of the reviewed material and recommendations for improvement also fall within the responsibilities of technical writers. They also help select sketches, diagrams, photographs, drawings, and charts to demonstrate the overall material.
A degree in communication and technical writing is required to be in the field of technical writing. A degree in literature along with a certificate course in technical writing will also do. Along with that knowledge of the various methods and principles for training design and group and individual instruction are an indispensable part. Also, technical writers need to have a thorough knowledge of the technical writing guidelines.
Being a technical writer requires the person to have apt skills and knowledge that are essential and cannot be overlooked. Some of the essentials include the technical skills, writing sills, designing skills, tools skills, testing and usability skills. Technical writers need to quick learners, must have good communication skills, must be well-organized and must also have analytical abilities. They should be good team players as well.
Excellent writing skills are one of the most essential requirements for being a technical writer. Writing in a concise and clear manner is a must for the technical writer so that the information is conveyed to the people in an appropriate manner.
It is also essential for technical writers to posses the technical skills depending on the product or service as well as the subject matter that calls for documentation. Listening and interviewing skills are also a must for the technical writers as they often need to discuss things with subject matter experts. One needs to have skills for communicating with the other person and must know the ways in which the questions can be asked. Having an appropriate approach to know the person that can be the best one for approaching according to the subject matter they are working upon.
The employment opportunities for technical writers are anticipated to grow considerably through the year 2014. With the continuous growth in law, medicine, science, and technology, the need for technical writers to communicate this information effectively is also growing.
The median standard salary drawn by a technical writer is $53,490 per annum. The companies employing experienced technical writers pay a respectable salary that ranges from $85,000 to $95,000 per year. Also if the technical writers are working on the contract basis, they can charge $50 to $60 per hour from the client.
There are increasing job opportunities for the technical writers in the newspapers, wire services and news magazines. A technical writer can also find jobs in an IT company or work on a freelance basis. They need to work for long hours and meet stringent deadlines. At times they may need to work on multiple projects. This field is very challenging and quite lucrative if you know your job well.