Technical writers, also called technical communicators, prepare instruction manuals, how-to guides, journal articles, and other supporting documents to communicate complex and technical information more easily. They also develop, gather, and disseminate technical information through an organization’s communications channels.
Technical authors write scientific and technical information for a variety of products including web pages, printed documents and computerized help files. They are responsible for writing specialist articles and user guides for a range of products – these documents prioritize user-friendly structures and are aimed at the consumer, for example the instruction manual for a DVD player. Often the information is of a technical nature so a thorough understanding of the subject matter is essential.
You will need to explain the working of a product in a way that is easy to understand and is concise.
Starting salary: £18,000 to £25,000. With experience: £25,000 to £45,000. Senior positions: over £60,000.
Working hours are usually 9am to 5pm, but may include extra hours to meet deadlines. With freelance work is common.
You can work across different sectors, like finance and pharmaceutical, or to use your specialist knowledge for different publications, such as writing manuals or magazines.
Skills Valued by Employers
• Eye for detail
• Technical knowledge
• Sense of narrative and ability to articulate meaning
• A feel for words and a good command of grammar and vocabulary
• Good documentation skills and the ability to produce visually attractive instructions
• interpersonal and communication skills to effectively gather information
• an enquiring mind with attention to detail
• editorial judgement
• the ability to work to tight schedules
• excellent planning and organizational skills
• analytical and questioning skills to get information from experts
• the ability to work successfully as part of a multidisciplinary team
• a good understanding of computers and other communication tools.