How Do I Become a Freelance Technical Writer? (with pictures)

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen
Freelance technical writers may be hired by manufacturing companies to write assembly instructions and operation manuals.
Freelance technical writers may be hired by manufacturing companies to write assembly instructions and operation manuals.

To become a freelance technical writer, consider ways in which you can gain professional experience creating industrial documents and then use this to launch your freelance career. Education can be quite beneficial; consider receiving a degree in writing or in a particular technical field that you are interested in working in. Professional experience can also make it much easier for you to become a freelance technical writer. Look for opportunities to begin working at different companies to produce documents such as assembly instructions for various pieces of equipment.

Skilled technical writers can often find work through online freelance employment sites.
Skilled technical writers can often find work through online freelance employment sites.

One of the first things to consider that can help you become a freelance technical writer is an educational foundation in writing or a mechanical field. A degree in language or writing can be helpful, especially when you are first looking for work and do not have much professional experience. If you know that you want to become a freelance technical writer in a particular field, such as electronics, then consider receiving a degree or having a minor focus in that subject. To write about computers, for example, you might pursue a degree in computer science, with a minor in language or writing.

Gaining professional experience can also help you become a freelance technical writer, especially in related fields. You might consider finding a contract job with a particular company, such as a business that produces components for computers. This gives you experience writing about computer parts and allows you to gain professional work for your portfolio. Use this as an example of what you are capable of producing for clients once you become a freelance technical writer. You may find that you prefer working on a contractual basis, rather than as a freelancer, though many skills you gain performing this type of work transfers well into freelance writing.

Once you have the education and professional experience to become a freelance technical writer, then begin looking for additional opportunities in your area or online. You can contact companies that you have worked with to see if they have any work for a freelancer. There are also numerous websites and similar resources that you can use to find freelance work, especially in various technical fields. Consider opportunities for you to become a freelance technical writer based on the type of work you have already done. If you have experience writing manuals for using new products, then look for small companies that may need a writer with your skills to create such a document.

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Discussion Comments

anon347019

Very useful article; it helps me to think in a proper way to start a career in freelance technical writing.

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    • Freelance technical writers may be hired by manufacturing companies to write assembly instructions and operation manuals.
      Freelance technical writers may be hired by manufacturing companies to write assembly instructions and operation manuals.
    • Skilled technical writers can often find work through online freelance employment sites.
      Skilled technical writers can often find work through online freelance employment sites.