What Does a Technical Content Writer Do?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
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Businessman giving a thumbs-up

Many types of companies often rely on the expertise a technical content writer can offer. This professional is responsible for creating clear and understandable documents that explain, interpret, guide, or otherwise present information. This information can be used for a variety of applications, including instruction manuals, correspondence, legal documentation, bookkeeping, and much more. The technical content writer will often be responsible for doing research on a particular topic, or conferring with subject matter experts (SMEs) who can provide guidance or information that must be recorded or otherwise documented.

In most cases, a technical content writer will hold a degree from a college or university. He or she will usually major in a subject relevant to writing, such as English or another relevant language, writing, technical writing, journalism, or communications. Technical writing certificates can also be earned, thereby enhancing the credentials of the technical content writer. Not all companies will require this employee to hold a college degree, but many will and it is fairly uncommon for a technical writer to be without a college degree.

Some of the responsibilities of a technical content writer include determining an audience, using appropriate language for that audience, clarifying information, presenting legal information or documentation, and using industry-specific terminology. Audience consideration is exceptionally important because the technical content writer will often need to change the way he or she writes in order to ensure that a specific audience understands the information and responds to it appropriately. Further, the writer must consider the audience when using industry-specific language to ensure all readers know and understand specific information regarding the industry topics. This may mean the writer will need to undergo training in industry terminology; this is especially true as it relates to medical terminology.

Sometimes the technical content writer may need to earn other endorsements or certificates in order to be considered for a job in a specific industry. If, for example, the content writer develops website content, he or she may need to be trained in HTML formatting. Some employers may require the content writer to receive specific computer training so he or she will be prepared to use various computer programs for word processing, design, or other types of content generation. It is best to read job descriptions to find out what certifications employers value; a candidate can therefore earn such certifications to become a more valuable job candidate.

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