What does a Technical Writer do?
Technical writers are responsible for the management of the consistency of technical written content. Because technical writing is versatile in nature and demand, it can be found across many company departments, including marketing and customer relations. Technical writers also assist research scientists and institutions with writing grants and proposals and prepare instruction manuals, how-to guides, journal articles and other documents that represent complex and technical information more easily to the reader.
Technical writers help develop and gather relevant technical information and to share the completed information through an organization's communication channels, which could be internal, external, or both. Technical writers may be called upon to work with product liability specialists or customer service managers to improve the end-user experience through design change for new products. They manage the flow of information during product development and testing processes and phases. They can also conduct usability studies to improve product design and gather research courtesy of libraries and websites and their own observations and discussions with technical experts. Technical writers often have a bachelor’s degree in journalism, as well as specialized knowledge or additional degrees in related fields like medicine or computer science.
- Updating existing documentation for both user groups (new and existing customers).
- Create illustrations, graphs, charts and other media for materials, as needed.
- Develop content that is consistent with company branding and style guidelines.
- Consistently meet program and quality objectives for technical orders.
- Work with developers to produce quality documentation and training materials.
- Under general direction, write technical copy for various type of documents for a program/project of similar complexity.
- Revise documents according to internal specifications and client feedback.
- Build presentations and project documentation as requested using government furnished software.
- Update spreadsheet daily on the status of workflow products.
- Lead proposal development efforts, working closely with a capture manager.
- Prepare and maintain operations documentation, user guide and manuals and technical publications.
- The Writer will develop outlines and drafts for review and approval by technical specialists and project management.
- Bachelor's or Graduate's Degree in business, computer science, engineering or information systems, or equivalent experience.
- Advanced writing and editing skills.
- Experienced with user documentation.
- Quick learner who pays careful attention to detail.
- Able to work in an environment using cloud systems.
- Demonstrates excellent leadership and collaboration abilities, along with solid time management and problem solving skills.
Technical Writer Salaries
Average Base Pay
Technical Writer Career Path
Learn how to become a Technical Writer, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.
Average Years of Experience
Technical Writer Insights
“Monthly business updates are informative and fun at the same time—recent example: our CTO introduced his new pup after reviewing the product roadmap.”
“I’m rarely stressed in this role and have a great manager who ensures we keep our workload manageable.”
“I started as a new technical writer and was given opportunities to learn and grow my skills.”
“Not sure the manager I worked with even knew what he was doing when it came to managing others.”
“My supervisor was not qualified to build a toy with LEGOs let alone build a team or oversee responsibilities.”
“If you're looking for a freshers job this a good place where you can start your career.”
“Comp offs are provided if adding extra login hours on weekends based on project requirement.”
“Manager is also very supportive in taking online courses that I feel help my career.”
Technical Writer Interviews
Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of technical writers
Technical writers are responsible for taking complicated information and laying it out for a specific audience in an easy-to-understand way. Working as a technical writer can include writing items such as instruction manuals, user guides, reference articles, and more.
Technical writers can work in a variety of industries, and many job openings are now for partially or fully remote positions. Technical writer job satisfaction comes from having a good work-life balance, and technical writing places second on U.S. News' Best Creative and Media Jobs list.
The average pay for a technical writer in the U.S. is $80,000 per year. The low end of the pay range is $66,517 per year, while those at the top of the field can earn as much as $100,000 per year.
Technical writers may need to put in extra hours when deadlines are approaching. When becoming a technical writer, developing good writing and revision skills is a necessity since these professionals often must turn difficult jargon into pieces that the average person can understand.