I want to learn about careers as a Technical Writer

Job Title – Technical Writer

Description

A Technical Writer, also called a technical communicator, prepares instruction manuals, journal articles, and other supporting documents to communicate complex and technical information more easily. A technical writer also develops, gathers, and disseminates technical information among customers, designers, and manufacturers.

Technical writers often work with computer hardware engineers, scientists, computer support specialists, and software developers to manage the flow of information among project work groups during development and testing. Therefore, technical writers must be able to understand complex information and communicate the information to people with diverse professional backgrounds.

Typical Job Activities

Determines the needs of end users of technical documentation
Studies product samples and talk to product designers and developers
Works with technical staff to make products easier to use, thus needing fewer instructions
Organises and writes supporting documents for products
Uses photographs, drawings, diagrams, animation, and charts that increase users’ understanding
Selects appropriate medium for message or audience, such as manuals or online videos
Standardises content across platforms and media
Gathers usability feedback from customers, designers, and manufacturers
Revises documents as new issues arise

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Related Occupations

Computer Hardware Engineer
Computer Programmer
Editor
Interpreter or Translator
Public Relations Manager
Public Relations Specialist
Writer or Author

Educational Requirements

Senior Certificate with matric exemption
Diploma or bachelor’s degree level 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 is also helpful because of the growing use of online technical documentation.

Compulsory subjects: English and/or languages
Recommended subjects: Computer science, technical subject, web design, or engineering

What natural skills and/or aptitudes do I need for this occupation?

Excellent or advanced  word processing skills using MS Office Suite
Sound analytical skills, ability to investigate and understand how technical processes work
Above average attention to detail and ability to work in a structured method
Sound administrative , planning and organisational skills
Very good numerical skills essential
Technical background, experience in a technical environment will be an advantage
Knowledge /experience in an ISO environment will be an advantage
Good attendance record
Ability to work as part of a team and without supervision
Ability to take clear instruction
Able to be quality conscious

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Employment Opportunities 

High

Market Competitiveness

Moderate

Income Potential

High

Self-Employment Opportunities

High

International Employment Opportunities

Moderate

Possible Employers

Big private companies – Any company using computer systems and networks
Medium or small companies – Could be an engineering company
Own consultancy – Assist Engineering or computer companies

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Relevant Contact Details

The Information Technology Association of South Africa
https://ita.org.za/ituc

Society for Technical Communication
https://www.stc.org

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
http://www.ieee.org.za

Career Progress and Path

Further Studies in the specific career field
Experience in specific fields
Work performance
General management studies

Possible Career Paths

Specialist career in the specific field
Management positions in the specific field
Management positions in related field
General business management

Employment Stability

Moderately stable

Reasons to consider this career

I can be of service to people
I can create new things
I can work with languages
I can entertain people
I am very interested in a specific subject or field
I can communicate and interact with people