HobinCynthia N. FuhrmannBill LindstaedtPhilip S. To learn more about myIDP and begin the career-planning process, please visit http:
Healthcare, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and environmental Manufacturing and aviation Within their chosen industry, many technical writers will specialize further. For example, technical writers in the computer industry might specialize in software documentation, tutorials, or user manuals.
Technical writers design and develop a broad range of information and produce a variety of communication products. User's guides, reference manuals, policies and procedure guide, quick references, online help, online wizards, guided tours, and online cue cards explain how to use products, services, and policies.
Web sites provide support and documentation. Technical reports, articles, and books exchange "basic" scientific information. Proposals, catalogs, brochures, videotapes, audio tapes, and demonstrations market products and services. Workbooks, tutorials, quick references, and online coaches train users.
Newsletters, magazines, and e-zines have a combination of purposes. What kinds of working conditions can I expect?
The normal work week is 40 hours; however, this is often exceeded to meet publication deadlines, and tight deadlines can create stressful working conditions. Most technical writing is done at a desk in an office.
However, during planning and production of publications, writers may be required to travel to discuss a project with others. Some technical writers are able to do much of their work from a home-office, using teleconference technology and the Internet to communicate with others.
Some companies pay time-and-a-half for overtime, while others offer compensatory time off. Benefits available in some companies include vacation, holidays, flexible hours, sick leave, bonuses, health and life insurance, and retirement plans.
Technical writers use personal computers and word processing or desktop publishing packages as typical tools for text, graphic, and multimedia production.
Writers may work alone or together under the supervision of a publications chief or editor, a product or procedure specialist, or a marketing manager. What's the difference between freelancing and working directly for a company?
About one fourth of technical writers are independent freelancers and consultants. Choosing to work as a freelance technical writer can be both liberating and frustrating.
You can choose when you want to work, and you have a wider variety of experience available to you than the technical writer that works for a single company. However, finding freelance work requires self-discipline and motivation.
Jobs can sometimes be hard to come by. Self-employed technical writers must carefully estimate the number of hours needed to complete a project under contract. Technical writers who work under contract or freelance may work from their home or at the employer's site.
Self-employed technical writers must pay for their own insurance.
Is this a secure profession? Technical writing has become an increasingly essential occupation in business and government, and jobs can be found in almost any industry sector because of the need for users' guides, instruction manuals, and training manuals.
Demand for technical writers is expected to grow because of the need to communicate new scientific and technical information to others. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupation Outlook Handbook edition predicts that over the next several years, among the different areas of writing, the most job opportunities will be for technical writers and writers with specialized training.
It goes on to say that demand for technical writers and writers with expertise in specialty areas, such as law, medicine, or economics, is expected to increase because of the continuing expansion of scientific and technical information and the need to communicate it to others.The technical documentation skill of a technical writer depends greatly on the subject matter, product, or service that requires documentation.
Most writers expand their knowledge through experience in the profession or by taking specialized technical writing training. Technical writing skills Systematic reviews Systematic reviews are used to rigorously analyze and aggregate current research to answer a question based on making best use of existing evidence rather than commissioning new primary studies.
Technical writing is the art and science of translating technical information into readable, accessible writing usable by a wide audience.
If you have ever read the user's manual for a piece of software or equipment you've purchased, you've seen technical writing in action. Employers typically look for soft skills, in addition to technical skills, in their research assistants.
Soft skills may include written and spoken communication skills, the ability to focus, critical thinking, excellent time management skills, personal integrity, and a willingness to maintain confidentiality.
Research skills. Whether you work at the bench or in the field, you must have the research and technical skills required to execute your studies.
Technical skills are the abilities and knowledge needed to perform specific tasks. They are practical, and often relate to mechanical, information technology, mathematical, or scientific tasks. Some examples include knowledge of programming languages, mechanical equipment, or tools.