In today's rapidly evolving job market, the term "technical writer" may seem mysterious to many. What exactly do they do, and is it limited to the realm of Information technology?

We will help you understand the multifaceted role of a technical writer, break through common misconceptions, and explore the journey to becoming one.

Whether you're a job seeker looking for a career path or simply curious about this profession, we'll delve into the essence of technical writing, qualifications, skills, and real-world examples that illustrate its profound impact across industries.

What is Technical Writing?

Technical writing is the art of conveying complex information clearly and concisely.

It involves the creation of various types of documents, such as user manuals, product guides, reports, and documentation for software and hardware systems.

The core purpose is to make technical information understandable to non-technical readers, facilitating comprehension and problem-solving. Here are some examples of technical documents:

  • User Manuals: These guides empower users to navigate and optimize the functionality of products, software, or equipment, ensuring a seamless experience.

  • Assembly Instructions: Step-by-step instructions that simplify the process of assembling complex products, from furniture to electronics.

  • Technical Reports: Comprehensive documents used to present research findings, project progress, or technical data analysis in a structured and accessible format.

  • API Documentation: Vital for software developers, API documentation elucidates the functions, endpoints, and data formats needed to interact with a particular application or system.

  • Scientific Research Papers: These papers communicate the methods, results, and significance of scientific experiments or studies, contributing to the knowledge base of various fields.


Source: Technical Writing Examples by Whatfix

Also read: Technical Writer Resume: The 2023 Guide with 10+ Examples & Samples

Is Technical Writing an IT Job?

Contrary to popular belief, technical writing is not exclusive to the IT sector.

While it is prevalent in the technology industry, technical writers find employment in diverse fields, including healthcare, engineering, manufacturing, and finance.

They play a pivotal role in bridging the gap between complex technical concepts and end-users, regardless of the industry. Following are the industries where technical writers are essential:

Industry Examples of Technical Writing
Information Technology Software User Guides, API Documentation
Healthcare Medical Device Manuals, Research Papers
Engineering Product Specifications, Maintenance Guides
Manufacturing Process Documentation, Quality Reports
Finance Financial Reports, Compliance Manuals

Also read: Research Experience on Resume: How to Showcase Them in 2023

How to Become a Technical Writer?

Becoming a technical writer involves a structured path that combines education, practical experience, and the development of specific skills.

Here are the steps to embark on this fulfilling career journey:

  • Educational Background: Many technical writers hold bachelor's degrees in fields such as English, communication, journalism, or a technical discipline related to the industry they wish to work in.

  • Gain Experience: Internships, freelance work, or volunteer opportunities can provide valuable hands-on experience. Building a portfolio of diverse projects is crucial to demonstrate your skills to potential employers.

  • Networking: Join professional organizations like the Society for Technical Communication (STC) to connect with industry experts and stay updated on trends.

  • Learn Technical Tools: Familiarize yourself with industry-standard software tools like Adobe FrameMaker, MadCap Flare, or Microsoft Word to efficiently create and format technical documents.

  • Continual Learning: Stay updated with evolving technologies and industry trends to remain relevant in your chosen field.

Also read: Top Technical Writer Interview Questions with Example Answers

How to Become a Technical Writer with No Experience

Entering the field of technical writing without prior experience is not only possible, but also a viable option. Here's a strategic roadmap to help you kickstart your career:

  • Self-Study: Invest time in self-study to familiarize yourself with technical writing principles, style guides (e.g., Chicago Manual of Style, Microsoft Manual of Style), and industry-specific terminology. Online resources, textbooks, and courses can be valuable allies.

  • Build a Portfolio: Even without professional experience, create a portfolio of technical writing samples. Write user manuals for common devices, document software installation procedures, or craft how-to guides for everyday tasks. This showcases your skills and dedication.

  • Volunteer and Freelance: Seek volunteer opportunities or freelance projects to gain practical experience. Non-profit organizations, open-source software projects, and local businesses often welcome help with documentation.

  • Join Communities: Engage with the technical writing community through forums, social media, and industry-specific groups as it can lead to opportunities and valuable insights.

  • Online Courses and Certifications: Consider enrolling in online courses or obtaining technical writing certifications to further boost your credentials and knowledge.

Hiration pro tip:
Remember, becoming a technical writer is about your ability to convey complex information clearly and your dedication to learning and adapting to new challenges. With determination and perseverance, you can enter the field and build a successful career, even if you start with no prior experience.

Also read: How To Write A Resume With No Experience: Steps For Writing Your First Resume

Technical Writer Qualifications and Skills

To excel in the role of a technical writer, you must possess a combination of qualifications and skills that extend beyond the ability to write effectively. Here's a breakdown of what's required:


  • Bachelor's degree in a relevant field: While a bachelor's degree in fields like English, communication, or journalism provides a strong foundation, technical writers often excel when they have degrees in relevant fields such as engineering, healthcare, or computer science. These degrees not only offer subject matter expertise but also make it easier to understand and communicate complex technical concepts.

  • Industry-specific knowledge: Technical writers benefit greatly from industry-specific knowledge. For instance, a technical writer in the healthcare sector should understand medical terminology and regulations, while one in software development should be familiar with coding languages and software development methodologies. This knowledge ensures accuracy and relevance in their documentation.

  • Project management skills: Beyond writing, technical writers often handle documentation projects. Project management skills, including task scheduling, resource allocation, and project tracking, are vital. They ensure that documentation projects are completed efficiently and meet deadlines.

Essential Skills

  • Communication Skills: Technical writers must excel in conveying intricate information clearly and succinctly. They must bridge the gap between technical experts and non-technical users, making complex concepts accessible to a wider audience.

  • Attention to Detail: Precision in writing and formatting is paramount. Errors or ambiguities in technical documents can lead to misunderstandings, product failures, or safety issues. Technical writers must meticulously proofread and edit their work.

  • Technical Proficiency: Familiarity with tools and software relevant to their industry is essential. For instance, a technical writer in the software industry should be proficient in documentation tools like MadCap Flare or Confluence. This proficiency streamlines the documentation process and ensures consistency.

  • Research Skills: Technical writers often work with subject matter experts to gather information. Strong research skills enable them to extract valuable data from experts, reference materials, and documentation sources, ensuring the accuracy of their work.

  • Collaboration: Collaboration is key, as technical writers frequently work alongside engineers, designers, and other experts. Effective collaboration ensures that the documentation aligns with the project's goals and accurately represents the product or system being documented.


Technical writing is a multifaceted profession that transcends industry boundaries.

Aspiring technical writers can follow a structured path of education, experience, and skill development to thrive in this role.

With the ability to convey complex information clearly, technical writers are indispensable in making intricate concepts accessible to diverse audiences across various fields.

Embracing this career path offers both job seekers and industries the promise of enhanced communication and improved user experiences.

Now, that you have an in-depth understanding of “what is a technical writer,” commence your professional journey with the help of Hiration’s ChatGPT-powered career service platform.

It will cater to all your professional needs - from building a shortlist-worthy resume and cover letter to optimizing your LinkedIn profile, preparing for interviews, and more!

For any queries or concerns, feel free to drop a mail at support(at)hiration(dot)com.

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