Background

The Occupational Outlook Handbook emphasizes that job prospects are best for tech writers "with training in a specialized field." Areas expected to have an increased demand for tech writers include:

  • Computer systems and software
  • Publishing
  • Science
  • Engineering

Having a technical background, like in computer science, allows you to communicate with engineers, designers, and other highly technical teams. This gives you the ability to understand the complexities of your projects and pass along that information to your various readers—whether it be a manual for the general public or specs for engineers.

Other positions, like those in the publishing field, may provide you with the chance to learn on the job. As Katherine Haramundanis, the author of The Art of Technical Documentation, points out, there are opportunities to gain these much needed background skills by attending seminars, conferences, and classes (34). Haramundanis stresses, though, that the ability to write clearly and concisely is a skill that must already be well developed to be considered for a tech writing position (33).


Works Cited

Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Technical Writers." Occupational Outlook Handbook, 17 Dec. 2009. Web. <http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos319.htm>.

Haramundanis, Katherine. The Art of Technical Documentation. 2nd ed. Boston: Digital Press, 1998. Print.

Comments