What Does a Technical Writer Do?

To be a successful technical writer, you must understand the subject you’re writing about. It is essential to understand the complexities of the subject and be able to explain them in laymen’s terms. 


Technical writing for manufacturing reports and documents should contain high-level information on a product. They often detail the product’s development, progress, and history. In addition, technical reports are often required for regulatory reports, audits, and policy and governance. These documents need to be clear and trustworthy. Technical writers should also have thorough cybersecurity knowledge, another area where their skills are vital.

In addition to strong communication skills, technical writers should have a curious mind. This will help them understand different topics crucial for a successful technical writing career. Furthermore, technical writers are responsible for making technical information accessible to users. 


There are many roles for technical writers in the modern world, but some also require management skills. A technical writing manager should understand all aspects of the product or technology under development and should be able to adapt to changes in the industry. In addition, they should be able to identify structural issues and problem areas. Using a content management system is a key responsibility, as is regularly communicating with the Director of Documentation and Certification. This person should have at least two to five years of experience in the field, be capable of analysis and synthesis of complex content, and have a good technical aptitude.

After acquiring the necessary knowledge and experience, the Technical Writer must be able to communicate clearly and concisely to the target audience. This includes conducting research, reading literature, and consulting subject matter experts. They should be able to present the subject matter in an easy-to-understand manner while acknowledging any expertise the client has provided. 

Education Required

A technical writer is an information communicator. Their main job is to create and transfer information. They work in various fields and need to have some education or experience in the subject matter they write about. Technical writers must understand science and math to be effective at their job. Most of the time, technical writers typically begin their careers as research assistants or specialists in a technical area. This helps them acquire the background knowledge necessary for their position and helps them develop their writing and communication skills. However, if they find writing more enjoyable, they may want to pursue a four-year degree in an entirely different field. Alternatively, they may consider double-majoring in English and a technical minor to develop their writing and research skills. An education in English, computer skills, and basic web development skills are essential for a career as a technical writer. In addition, many companies are moving towards online training to save paper. Some training programs require you to work with online publishing software and content management systems. 

Career Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics published a report on the career outlook for technical writers in October 2017. According to this report, employment opportunities for technical writers are expected to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026. This is faster than the average rate for all occupations. This growth is expected to be driven by the growing use of Web-based products and services.

Many companies are seeking writers with specific expertise in their industry. These individuals have the skill to communicate complex concepts clearly and understandably. They will also need to read and translate complex technical terminology documents. While some companies require that technical writers work on-site, an increasing number are hiring freelancers.

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