A career in technical communications involves researching and creating information about a specific service or product. The information is then relayed to the intended audience via several different media sources. The media sources that technical communicators use include paper, video and the Internet.
The types of information that technical communicators produce include, technical manuals, specifications online help, data sheets, user guides, procedures manuals, technical reports, etc.
The essence of good technical communication is to provide understandable information that will not only promote the service or product but that it can be easily understood by the intended audience. It is paramount that the technical communicator (i.e. technical writer) provides accurate information, on time and within budget to the end user.
It is essential that the technical communicator has specific qualities to help in this process.
Essential Qualities of Technical Communicators
A technical communicator must have, analytical, logical and be very creative in their specific field of technical communication. They must have the potential to analyse and understand the technical terminology of the specific field they are in. This gives them the ability to implement the specific creativity needed to communicate the desired information.
They should also have a good command of the language they are creating their information in so that they can easily implement their terms that the end user can easily understand.
As new communications technology appears for the technical communicator to use then they must be aware of these changes even if it means having to retrain to keep ahead of the changes. The changes to their communications tools and media will only be good for both the technical communicator and the end user.
A good technical communicator will not only be able to produce good quality information they also must be able to integrate into their working environment and be able to take on any difficult assignments they are given with the minimal amount of stress.
They must be sure that the work they have been given is not beyond their capabilities because the consequence of producing information that is incorrect can be very embarrassing for the technical communicator and the company they are working for.
Job Opportunities for Technical Communicators
Due to the technology available today technical communications has become one of biggest growth areas for any looking for a career. There are a lot of varied areas within business and technology where the demand for technical communicators is very high. The following list gives some of the careers available:
- Technical writer
- Technical editor
- Technical illustrator
- User Interface designer
- Information architect
- Technical translator
- Technical trainer
- API writer
- Usability expert
- User experience designers
- Graphics designers, etc
If you have the correct educational background along with some practical exposure in the field you are interested in then you can expect to have a very good career in technical communications.