Who is a technical writer: responsibilities, training, and peculiarities of the profession


2018-04-02 02:13:14




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We rarely hear about such a profession as technical writer. However, it is extremely necessary specialty in industrial enterprises and companies of the IT sector. What does this expert? What is the education required to work as a technical writer? How much earns a professional of this sector? We will try to answer many careerists questions.

technical writer

About the profession

Technical writer – specialist in the preparation of engineering documentation. It performs the following activities:

  • Preparation of documents describing the production process (explanatory notes to projects and drawings, technical specifications, instructions, passports to the finished product);
  • Maintain engineering documentation up to date;
  • Editing of technical texts;
  • A description of the rules, standards work, algorithms for the execution of actions;
  • Analysis, systematization, grouping of engineering documentation;
  • The design is made up of texts if necessary – layout of print material;
  • Drafting of speeches, reports, presentations, complex technical products;
  • Writing of advertising articles;
  • Translation of technical documents from one language to another;
  • Maintain corporate website;
  • A description of the methods of work of the enterprise;
  • Preparation of manuals for training new employees;
  • Participation in the drafting of contracts (if necessary);
  • Preparation of descriptions and instructions to software products;
  • Maintain reference resources.

technical writer remotely

In every company where a company has a technical writer, responsibilities it depends on what are the challenges facing the firm-the employer in the short term.

What is important and unique profession of the technical writer?

Note that the documentation that you are working with this specialist, might be for internal or external use.

Making “internal” the technical documents, the author provides a rapid exchange of information between all links of the production chain. The task of the technical writer – to ensure that all staff involved in the process of production, had a common understanding on:


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  • Characteristics of individual parts;
  • The rules of operation of the devices, hardware systems, tools;
  • The application software;
  • Methods of product testing.

“External” to the documentation the technical writer is to clients, customers, investors and other stakeholders “side”. In presentations, advertising brochures, on the corporate website of the company the expert should present the difficult to understand technical information in easy to understand form.

At industrial enterprises the author of engineering documentation – this is one of the first employees who turn in work with a new product. He studies and describes.

Where need technical writers?

Jobs for these specialists often can be found in IT-companies producing software products or automated systems administration.

Also engineers for the development of the documentation are always happy to see large industrial enterprises, where, as a rule, created whole departments to work with the documentation. Technical writers are in demand in the chemical industries and in the aerospace industry. Not do without them and the plants that produce cars, appliances and tools.

technical writer resume

Jobs for writers of technical documentation often is in the budget structure. Expert engineers are preparing the text of regulations, normative acts and instructions in the sphere of production.

Where to go to school?

In Russian universities do not prepare professionals of the specialty «writer». Training future authors of engineering documentation is carried out most often by place of service. Technical writers are, as a rule, specialists with engineering backgrounds who are able to competently Express their thoughts in written form. In the forensic document examiners are often perekvalifitsiruetsya former engineers, at least – philologists translators. Technical writer is often required knowledge of the English language.

technical writer training


Gets How much a technical writer? Salary depends on responsibilities and on what conditions performed by this specialist.

If a person is employed on a large industrial enterprise where you want to cook large volumes of text with descriptions of production processes, and his monthly income ranges from 60 to 120 thousand.

Specialist documentation may consistently earn as a freelancer serving multiple clients. Many firms are simpler to pay for the services of a professional contractor which is the technical writer. Remotely executing orders, expert, proven in the market gets up to 150 thousand rubles. per month. The first work of a beginner is 5-10 thousand rubles. per month.

technical writer salary

Job Search

A Graduatea technical College may try to start a career engineer for documentation in an industrial plant or in an IT company as a trainee. In the beginning of their professional career will need to perform simple activities: to assemble information, draw graphs, work with lists, making screenshots of screens for inclusion in documents.

If you have already found the open position "technical writer" of summary, try to be competent. Any inaccuracy (incorrect wording error in spelling or punctuation) will point to low skills or carelessness of the candidate.

In summary, you will need to make a portfolio with samples of work done.

Opportunities for professional development and career growth

As we said, a technical writer can be employed by the company or to carry out orders as a freelancer. Some experts combine both ways of earnings. You can develop your career on a horizontal or vertical direction.

technical writer responsibilities

In that case, if you select horizontal development, the author of the documentation is constantly improving skills and expanding range of activities. Due to this he earns more.

Choosing horizontal career development, the technical writer is guides, manuals, technical dictionaries, popular among industry professionals, and receives them royalties. He can also earn by writing articles for specialized magazines and websites.

An Experienced engineer on documentation teaches the tricks of his trade young colleagues. It not just gives them the necessary knowledge in an oral form, but also plans a training program and prepares tests to assess the quality of the learning material. For this the employer usually pays the “teacher” additional cash bonuses.

To Increase your earnings it is possible to learn foreign languages. Linguistic education makes such an applicant in an exclusive specialist in working with documents for foreign companies.

Vertical career development is associated with a movement up the administrative ladder. Working in a large enterprise, a technical writer may gradually become the head of the working group. Under his command in this case will work not only colleagues in the specialty, but also copywriters, programmers, translators, PR experts. A higher level career – head of Department of technical documentation.

Required competencies and skills

The Technical writer should:

  • Good understanding of their professional field;
  • Be fluent in the language in which preparing documentation, writing without spelling, punctuation and stylistic errors;
  • To have an idea about programming, computing, and information products;
  • Be aware of what your colleagues related specialties;
  • Owning a computer at a confidence level of the user to know special program to edit the text, layout and web design;
  • To be able to quickly learn new computer programs and their updates;
  • Proficient in technical English;
  • Have the skills of self-organization and work planning.

technical writer responsibilities

Medical limit

This work is not connected with risk for life and health. At first glance, there are no special restrictions. However, the technical writer can't work people with low intelligence, mental disorders, and poor eyesight.

Now you know who the technical writer and how to develop his career. This specialty in our country are still quite rare. So now professional writers are very in demand in the labour market.

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