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What are the Different Technical Writer Careers?

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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 08 October 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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Technical writers are prized for their ability to take specialized information and present it to a general audience using formal, easy to understand language. As technology and business continue to expand, so does the need for competent technical writers. There are a number of different technical writer careers, including jobs with information technology corporations, manufacturing firms, large businesses, and a number of other organizations and industries. Many technical writer careers involve contracted freelance work, though some writers find permanent employment with a company, where they may work as part of a team.

The bulk of technical writer careers involve work in the ever-expanding computer, Internet, and information technology industry. Writers may be contracted to create user tutorials for software, online help documents, or privacy policies for web sites. Writers who create user guides and tutorials typically spend a great deal of time researching and experimenting to learn the ins and outs of a program. Those who specialize in creating online contracts and policy statements must master the ability to convey very confusing information in understandable, unambiguous language.

Technical writer careers are also prominent in business. Businesses might hire technical writers to draft contracts or compose employee training manuals. Still others write and edit proposals, documents, and reports. Typically, business writers are salaried employees of specific companies, rather than contracted freelance workers. They frequently work in teams with other technical writers to complete large-scale projects within a given time frame.

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Many technical writers are hired to create guides for setting up, operating, and troubleshooting consumer products, especially electronic devices. Writers are usually given an overview of a product and general instructions on what to write. Technical writers must attempt to organize the information they are given and present it to consumers in a clear, concise manner. They often integrate pictures and diagrams into their user guides and instruction manuals to clarify their words.

Some technical writers specialize in putting together operations and maintenance manuals for industry-specific equipment. In order to present accurate information in the manuals, writers must become very familiar with the products and equipment they describe. A writer for a medical equipment manufacturer, for example, would need to have a background in medical technology and applications. Since these manuals are geared towards industry professionals rather than general consumers, these writers often use specialized language and provide very specific details about operations. They usually correspond with engineers and experts to make sure their manuals contain valid information.

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