Have you ever been frustrated while following a new recipe?

Person looking at recipe in cookbook Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

Or tried to assemble a piece of furniture, but got lost halfway?

Ikea furniture manual with screws scattered Photo by Semyon Borisov on Unsplash

What made the process so difficult? Perhaps the instructions were not clear, the photos did not match the instructions, the steps were missing, or the organization was poor.

This is when a technical writer can help!

Technical writers are responsible for creating manuals and recipes that we commonly use. Pursuing a career in technical writing can give you a chance to create or improve these documents that confuse readers.

What is technical writing?

Review the video clip below, "An Explanation of Technical Writing", to learn more about the job of a technical writer.

Do you think you'd enjoy the technical writing field? Check out this Byte: Should I be a technical writer?


What is the main goal of technical writers?

What you will learn in a technical writing program?

When you study technical writing, you will gain or improve several skills.

Skills gained while studying: writing, editing, audience analysis, research, design, new tech, teamwork, etc. Image created by Adeesha Hack under Creative Commons License CC0

  • Writing: Convey complex technical information clearly and concisely.

  • Editing and proofreading: Ensure documents are clear and accurate.

  • Audience analysis: Identify the needs, knowledge level, and expectations of your readers.

  • Research skills: Do research to gather information.

  • Design: Create attractive documents for "readability".

  • Technology: Use various tools and software commonly used in the field.

  • Teamwork: Collaborate effectively and communicate clearly with others.

  • Learning: Be adaptable and willing to learn new skills and technologies to stay current in the field.

Together, these skills will help you to produce effective pieces of information for the people using it.


As a technical writer, what is the best way to meet the needs and expectations of your audience?

Where can you study technical writing?

You can study technical writing:

  • At universities

  • At colleges

  • Through online courses

  • By self-study

If you want to become a technical writer, it's a good idea to get an educational credential (certificate, diploma or degree). If you have a credential, your employer knows you have training in this field.

A sample of a technical writing certificate . Image created by Adeesha Hack under Creative Commons License CC0

How do I choose the "right" program?

Finding a technical writing program that is right for you may be daunting. Many technical programs exist.

You can find technical programs or courses by doing an online search. Type "technical writing programs" to find out where you can study near your home or online.

A Google search of Image created by Adeesha Hack under Creative Commons License CC0

Many institutions offer certificates, diploma and degrees in the technical writing field.

You don't necessarily need to register in a full program right away.

Get started on your technical writing journey

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Check out job postings. Focus on the "job duties" and "qualifications". Note the salary to a range how much you be paid as a new or seasoned technical writer. This will also give you an idea of the industries in which you could work.

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Write a short technical document of your own. Suggestions: How to play a (choose a game); How to operate (choose an appliance); How to make (choose a recipe). Alternatively, review a document already written and think how you would improve it.

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Research the types of documents technical writers create. You can get a head start on expectations.

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Take one technical writing course to determine if you'll enjoy an entire program. Talk to the teacher about what to expect in the field.


In what ways could you determine if a technical writing career is for you? Choose all that apply:

How long are technical writing programs?

Studying technical writing varies from months to years, depending on the credential you are hoping to get. You may choose to only complete a few courses, or to achieve a credential. Use the following as a guide, but it is best you complete your own research:

  • Courses: usually, courses are three to four months (30 to 45 hours)

  • Certificate programs: one year of study

  • Diploma programs: two years of study

  • Degree programs: three to four years of study

Programs are offered full-time or part-time.

Books, an apple, and a mouse on a table

Where can you work as a technical writer?

Technical writers can work in a variety of industries and environments, wherever there is a need for clear and concise communication of technical information:

As a technical writer, you can work in education, medicine, government, manufacturing, communications and transportation. Image created by Adeesha Hack under Creative Commons License CC0

Who would make the best technical writer?

Flaticon Icon Ava: Highly organized, detail-oriented, with a calm and methodical approach. Proactive, collaborative, and consistently produces high-quality documentation.

Flaticon Icon Sarah: Highly analytical, precise, prefers working independently, but sometimes overanalyzes, which can slow down the process.

Flaticon Icon Juan: Creative thinker with innovative approaches to documentation. Can stray from standard formats and may need direction to align creativity with project requirements.

Flaticon Icon Michael: Enthusiastic and adaptable, but prone to taking on too many tasks, resulting in missed deadlines and inconsistent quality.


Select the candidate that would make the best technical writer.

Take Action

Flaticon Icon To learn more about whether you should take a program in technical writing, complete the following tasks:


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