If you are a writer and you are looking for a career in writing but are not sure what area of writing are most appropriate for your skills. The question: “what is technical writing” springs to mind every time you see a job vacancy for a technical writing position. As it is quite possible that you have never heard of technical writing you begin to wonder if you would even been qualified to pursue it as a career.
If you start to think about the phrase “technical writing” I think you will realise it is exactly what is says it is. It doesn’t need a complex description to explain what it is because it is basically writing technical information.
Technical writing is a form of technical communication. It is a style of writing that is used in every field of industry, commerce and business. It is used in such fields as the aerospace industry, financial services, engineering, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and even government offices. That is just a small variety of areas where technical documentation can be found.
Basically, if there is a need for any form of technical communication then you will find that technical writing will play some part in delivering the information to the intended audience. Technical writing is the means of communicating any form of technology to both technical and non technical audiences.
Let’s say a domestic appliance manufacturer has a new dishwasher they are about to bring to the market. That dishwasher will need some form of user guide to explain how to use it. That is where technical writing comes in to the equation. A technical writer or technical author (as some prefer to be known) will determine what the intended audience will need to understand how to use the dishwasher. The technical writer will then develop the user guide based on their research of the intended audience’s needs. That is just an example of one of many applications where technical writing can be used to communicate technical information.
Technical writing is an excellent career for anybody that has the necessary qualifications and technical knowledge for the specific products or services. To be able to successfully write technical documentation you will not only need to possess good writing and grammar skills but also some technical knowledge of the products or services so that you can write intelligently about the subject.
Most employers tend to look for technical writers who have at least some form of academic qualification in the discipline that they want the technical writer to write about.
More often than not you tend to find that if as a technical writer you at least have knowledge and technical understanding of the technology field you are interested in then you can forge a great career in technical writing for yourself.
Technical writing can involve producing various types of documents for a single product. These documents can vary from a user guide, technical specification, operating manual, maintenance manual, troubleshooting guide or even all of the mentioned.
You do not have to understand the subject of the technical documents because technical writing requires that you be able to decipher and use the terms that arise in the everyday usage of the products or services with your industry.
Although technical writing does not require an intimate knowledge of every function of every item you write about, it does mean that you will need to have some experience in the field you are writing about.