What Do Technical Writers Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life.

Job Description

Technical Writers write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions. May assist in layout work. They also organize material and complete writing assignment according to set standards regarding order, clarity, conciseness, style, and terminology.

Other tasks include:

  • Maintain records and files of work and revisions.
  • Edit, standardize, or make changes to material prepared by other writers or establishment personnel.
  • Select photographs, drawings, sketches, diagrams, and charts to illustrate material.
  • Interview production and engineering personnel and read journals and other material to become familiar with product technologies and production methods.
  • Develop or maintain online help documentation.
  • Assist in laying out material for publication.

We asked Technical Writers how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

68%

How meaningful is this job

41%


68% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 41% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Technical Writers organize material and complete writing assignment according to set standards regarding order, clarity, conciseness, style, and terminology. They maintain records and files of work and revisions.

A typical day for a Technical Writer will also include:

  • Analyze developments in specific field to determine need for revisions in previously published materials and development of new material.
  • Select photographs, drawings, sketches, diagrams, and charts to illustrate material.
  • Develop or maintain online help documentation.
  • Arrange for typing, duplication, and distribution of material.
  • Edit, standardize, or make changes to material prepared by other writers or establishment personnel.

We asked some Technical Writers a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?49% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?76% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?66% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?45% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?1% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?33% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Technical Writers also observe production, developmental, and experimental activities to determine operating procedure and detail. They may also interview production and engineering personnel and read journals and other material to become familiar with product technologies and production methods.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Technical Writers Review published materials and recommend revisions or changes in scope, format, content, and methods of reproduction and binding. They might also Draw sketches to illustrate specified materials or assembly sequence.

In addition, they Study drawings, specifications, mockups, and product samples to integrate and delineate technology, operating procedure, and production sequence and detail.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Confer with customer representatives, vendors, plant executives, or publisher to establish technical specifications and to determine subject material to be developed for publication.

To some Technical Writers, it is also their responsibility to Arrange for typing, duplication, and distribution of material.


Working life

Working hours

More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as a Technical Writer, you can expect to work more than 40 hours per week.

Do Technical Writers work in an office-style work environment?

Every day
75%


Never
17%


Do Technical Writers work outdoors?

Never
92%


Once a month
8%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Artists and The Thinkers

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules..

They also like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

You can read more about these career personality types here.




Learn more about Technical Writers

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Related to Technical Writers Job Description

Technical Writers job description, what do Technical Writers do, typical day for Technical Writers, what is it like to work as a Technical Writer, how many hours do Technical Writers work, day to day work of a Technical Writer

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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