Are you one of those people that everyone turns to when they need an explanation they can understand? Did your Boomer aunt ask you to help her buy vape online because she knew you’d be able to break the process down into manageable steps? You might have a great career ahead as a technical writer.
Bridging the Gap
The main job of technical writers is to take information that is difficult for a general audience to understand because of its technical nature, and essentially translate it into a more manageable and understandable form. This can take the form of complex mathematical equations, scientific studies or detailed engineering documents that need to be turned into instruction manuals, reports to stock holders or press releases and news articles for the general public. Technical writers create that link between complex information and general education that is crucial in an ever more detailed world.
Attention to Detail
Technical writers need to have a good eye for detail because their source information is so precise and they must make sure that nothing is changed when they create their copy. The main message must remain the same. Technical writing isn’t “dumbing down.” It is breaking complex information into a more general form, and that means making sure that there are no typos or spelling mistakes that could change the meaning from the original source material.
Many technical writers have multiple degrees, depending upon the subject matter that they work with. Mathematics, engineering, bio-medical technology and law are all areas where technical writing is needed. People interested in this field often major in English with a minor in another field. It is possible, however, for someone to get a job as a technical writer from knowledge and proficiency alone. If you are familiar with how algorithms work and have experience with writing apps, you may be able to turn that into a technical writing job.
On Your Own
Some technical writers work for large companies or academic and research institutions, but many work as freelancers and consultants. This means having the additional skills of being able to reach out and find clients, as well as learning how to run your own business. Many people start out freelancing and then work into more permanent positions, but many companies prefer to hire technical writers as temporary employees.
If you are adept at figuring out complex material and explaining it to others, you may have a future as a technical writer.