Computer Skills

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the growing complexity of online publications and services demands advanced skills (275). For tech writers, that may mean experience in a range of software and programming languages.

These ten jobs from the Washington DC area, which has one of the highest concentration of tech writers, spotlight the range of computer skills you can be expected to have.

 Type of company or industry Required computer skills
 Business solutions company Create, edit, and format documents in MS Word (expert level)
 Computer hardware company MS Office, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, Project, and SharePoint
 Computer industry 

Linux Cent operating system; Apache web server software; PHP and Python scripting languages; MS Office (Excel), Visio, and Project

 Computer software industry Proficient in MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access), Visio, Windows Vista, and MS Exchange/Outlook
 Electronics company Adobe FrameMaker, MS Office Suite, and desktop publishing programs
 Healthcare company MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
 Healthcare company Advanced knowledge of MS Office tools (including Visio and PowerPoint) and Sharepoint
 Information systems company                    
 Spreadsheet and graphics software
 Offshore oil and gas industry Well-developed application software skills in Windows environment, emphasis in MS Office applications
 Pharmaceutical company MS Word, Excel, Outlook, Project, PowerPoint, and Visio; Adobe Acrobat, InDesign, Framemaker; document management system (eg, Documentum, LiveLink); programming languages (eg, XML, XSLT)

Works Cited

Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Technical Writers." Occupational Outlook Handbook, 17 Dec. 2009. Web. <>.