What Does a Technical Writer Do?

Technical Writers Write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions. May assist in layout work.

Typically, Technical Writers perform these tasks every day:

    Maintain records and files of work and revisions.

    Organize material and complete writing assignment according to set standards regarding order, clarity, conciseness, style, and terminology.

    Select photographs, drawings, sketches, diagrams, and charts to illustrate material.

    Analyze developments in specific field to determine need for revisions in previously published materials and development of new material.

Most days, Technical Writers perform these tasks:

    Develop or maintain online help documentation.

    Review manufacturer's and trade catalogs, drawings and other data relative to operation, maintenance, and service of equipment.

    Interview production and engineering personnel and read journals and other material to become familiar with product technologies and production methods.

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

    Edit, standardize, or make changes to material prepared by other writers or establishment personnel.

    Draw sketches to illustrate specified materials or assembly sequence.

    Assist in laying out material for publication.

    Arrange for typing, duplication, and distribution of material.

    Observe production, developmental, and experimental activities to determine operating procedure and detail.

    Review published materials and recommend revisions or changes in scope, format, content, and methods of reproduction and binding.

    Confer with customer representatives, vendors, plant executives, or publisher to establish technical specifications and to determine subject material to be developed for publication.

Other tasks that Technical Writers perform include:

Other Questions about Technical Writers

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What Tools and Technologies Are Technical Writers Using to Do Their Job?

Universal serial bus USB flash drives

Personal computers

Laptop computers


Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Systems Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator

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What Skills Should a Technical Writer Have?


Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Reading Comprehension

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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What Subjects Should I Study to Become a Technical Writer?

English Language

Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Computers and Electronics

Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.


Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.

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How Much Experience is Needed to Become a Technical Writer?

A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for this occupation. For example, a person in this occupation must complete four years of college and work for several years in industry to be considered qualified.

  • 35.25% said they needed a Associate's Degree.

  • 33.02% said they needed a Bachelor's Degree.

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