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How can you become a technical writer?

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Quick Answer

Technical writers typically have a bachelor's degrees in English, journalism, communications or marketing and experience in specific fields such as computer science, manufacturing, engineering or medicine. Technical writers gain experience in specific fields from internships, volunteerism, long-term hobbies or entry-level employment.

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Full Answer

Experience in a specific field allows technical writers to create documents such as training manuals, standard operating procedures, diagrams, white papers and spec sheets. These documents must include correct terminology, graphics and required industry-specific information. By participating in various writing projects requested by employers, technical writers develop sharp communication skills and advanced knowledge in products and services offered by a specific company or by the entire industry.

Technical writers work for small and large companies, non-profit organizations or as freelancers. Writers may find entry-level employment as researchers, analysts or junior technical writers that report to senior level writers. Freelance technical writers find work by contacting companies and organizations to participate in short-term projects.

Additional training and certification by organizations such as the Society for Technical Communication or the American Medical Writing Association can help technical writers advance in their careers. Through additional training, technical writers can learn about new technologies, consumer trends, writing styles and procedures that affect specific industries.

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