Also called: Documentation Specialist, Information Developer, Technical Communicator, Technical Writer
Produced by CareerOneStop
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When a nineteenth century British author wrote “the pen is mightier than the sword,” he was referring to the tremendous power of words used skillfully by writers and authors. Writers use their language skills to produce content for an audience. They compose books, movie screenplays, magazine articles, and web content. Writers need creativity to come up with ideas, critical thinking skills to convey their concepts clearly, and persuasively, when needed, and adaptability to understand their audience’s perspectives. The work of different types of writers varies significantly: creative writers like novelists, songwriters, poets, and playwrights are generally self-employed, and may labor for months or years before getting published, while technical writers and copywriters often work 9-to-5 jobs with a clear career path. Copywriters work on ad campaigns, and technical writers prepare instruction manuals and how-to guides. Using specialized skills, often learned on the job, they simplify complex ideas for the public, or write highly-technical material for a specific professional audience. Writers and authors often work in offices, but may work from any location with Internet access. Most writers have a bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, or English, and lots of writing practice. Aspiring writers who want to enter the field often gain experience from internships, blogging about their personal interests, writing for school publications, small businesses or non-profits, or local news organizations.
What they do:Write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions. May assist in layout work.
On the job, you would:
- Organize material and complete writing assignment according to set standards regarding order, clarity, conciseness, style, and terminology.
- Maintain records and files of work and revisions.
- Edit, standardize, or make changes to material prepared by other writers or establishment personnel.
Arts and Humanities
Engineering and Technology
Ideas and Logic
People interested in this work like activities that include creating, designing, and making your own rules.
They do well at jobs that need:
You might use software like this on the job:
Web platform development software
Web page creation and editing software
Graphics or photo imaging software
You might like a career in one of these industries:
See more details at O*NET OnLine about technical writers.