How To Become A Technical Writer: Degree and Education Requirements

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what degree do you need to become a Technical Writer
majors for Technical Writers

Technical Writers

Other names for this job might include Assembly Instructions Writer, Chief Writer, Com Writer, Contract Writer, Director, Medical Writing, Document Specialist, Documentation Designer, Documentation Specialist, Documentation Specialist/Technical Writer, Documentation Writer


  • $73350
    Salary
  • 68%
    Job satisfaction
  • Quite Hard
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank

B



Be A Technical Writer: What You Really Need


In this requirements guide for Technical Writers, you will find out what do you need to become a Technical Writer and what it takes to become one.

After reading this, you will be able to plan for your future if you want to be a Technical Writer.



Degree required

Recommended degree level

Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)

Associates degree
35.25%

Bachelors degree
33.02%

Some college courses
15.89%

Certificate
6.9%

Master’s degree
5.46%

Generally, employers are looking for Technical Writers who have a Associates degree. They also prefer someone who is good in Writing and Reading Comprehension.

1 common question that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become A Technical Writer or what courses do I need to take.

We did a survey to ask other Technical Writers what did they major in college or university and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Technical and Scientific Communication
Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences Communication
Writing, General
Professional, Technical, Business, and Scientific Writing
Business/Corporate Communications

Employers generally prefer Technical Writers with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, English, or communications. Many technical writing jobs require both a degree and knowledge in a specialized field, such as engineering, computer science, or medicine. Web design experience also is helpful because of the growing use of online technical documentation.



Schools

schools for Technical Writers

Interested in becoming A Technical Writer? Find the right schools that can help you to become one. You will need some of your details to get you matched with the right college or university. This service is free thanks to our sponsors.

Questions to ask the university or college:

  1. How many students are in the program?
  2. Is your program accredited?
  3. How many faculty members do you have? Do they hold the right credentials?
  4. What is your job placement rate?
  5. Does your school hold career fairs or other on-campus events with employers? How many employers typically attend?
  6. How many of your students have at least one internship by graduation?

Click to start becoming a Technical Writer




How long does it take

Difficulty
Quite Hard

You will need a considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge or experience to be A Technical Writer.

For example: An accountant must complete 4 years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.

To become A Technical Writer, you will need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training or vocational training.


How long does it take
1 1/2 to 3 years


Work experience
1 to 2 years

1 to 2 years
38.73%

4 to 6 years
22.96%

6 to 8 years
12.46%

2 to 4 years
9.16%

8 to 10 years
9.06%

Job training
6 months to 1 year

6 months to 1 year
42.34%

1 to 3 months
29.98%

0 to 1 month
9.19%

No training
8.08%

2 to 4 years
8.08%

Most Technical Writers have 1 to 2 years work experience and 6 months to 1 year job training.

To increase your chances of getting a job, you can look for job training while studying to be one.



License and certifications

Do you need any license or certification
Recommended but not required


Some associations, including the Society for Technical Communication, offers certification for technical writers. In addition, the American Medical Writers Association offers extensive continuing education programs and certificates in medical writing. These certificates are available to professionals in the medical and allied scientific communication fields.



Skills required

We asked other Technical Writers if they could only have 5 skills, what would they be. Here is what they said.

1. Writing what does this mean
2.Reading Comprehension what does this mean
3.Active Listening what does this mean
4.Speaking what does this mean
5.Critical Thinking what does this mean
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

We did some research and found that most successful Technical Writers have these 5 common characteristics. Most of them had Attention to Detail and Dependability.

1.Attention to Detail
2.Dependability
3.Integrity
4.Initiative
5.Cooperation




Knowledge required

Just like any other job, you will need some know-hows to do the job. To become a successful Technical Writers you need to acquire knowledge in these 5 key areas.

1. English Language what does this mean
2.Computers and Electronics what does this mean
3.Clerical what does this mean
4.Communications and Media what does this mean
5.Administration and Management what does this mean

As A Technical Writer, you may also be required to know how to use certain Document management software, Computer based training software and Web page creation and editing software tools.

Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat (Document management software)
Adobe Systems Adobe Captivate (Computer based training software)
Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver (Web page creation and editing software)
Adobe Systems Adobe Flash Player (Web page creation and editing software)
Adobe Systems Adobe FrameMaker (Desktop publishing software)
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for




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Related to Technical Writers Requirements

Technical Writers requirements, how to become Technical Writers, degree required to be a Technical Writer, Technical Writers license and certifications, majors to be a Technical Writer, is it hard to become a Technical Writer and how long does it take

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/media-and-communication/technical-writers.htm
http://www.amwa.org/
https://www.nasw.org/
http://www.stc.org/

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Technical Writers
Written by: Stanley Tan
Technical Writers write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions. May assist in layout work.
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