How To Become A Technical Writer

Technical writing is an exciting career that can be rewarding, challenging, and fun. It’s also a field with lots of demand for qualified employees. If you’re interested in becoming a technical writer, here are some things to consider:

How to get started as a Technical Writer – YouTube
Develop strong writing skills.
Acquire a solid understanding of technical concepts.
Consider obtaining a relevant degree in English, communications, or a related field.
Gain experience in technical writing, either through internships, freelance work, or personal projects.
Familiarize yourself with industry-standard tools and software used in technical documentation.
Hone your ability to simplify complex information for different audiences.
Build a portfolio showcasing your technical writing samples.
Stay up-to-date with industry trends and advancements.
Network with professionals in the technical writing field.
Continuously improve your communication and collaboration skills.

Understand The Job

If you’re looking to become a technical writer, the first thing you must do is understand what it means to be a technical writer. This means that your main focus will be writing about technologies, but it also means you’ll be doing other things as well as marketing and business writing, editing, and proofreading.

In short: technical writers are responsible for creating content that helps people use or understand new technologies or products. 

Technical writers may write user manuals and how-to guides; they may create marketing materials such as brochures or white papers; they may edit product descriptions on an eCommerce website before they go live; they may even work in marketing at some companies (e.g., IBM). 

In all cases, their job is to translate complex topics into understandable copy so that customers can make informed decisions about their purchases.

When delving into the world of technical writing, having the right tools can make all the difference. Learn about the essential tools I use for creating effective technical documentation in our article on writing technical documentation tools.

Get An Education

You don’t need to go to college to become a technical writer, but if you want to make it your career, it’s important that you get some formal education.

You can learn the basics of technical writing at community colleges and technical schools. At these schools, you’ll most likely take courses in:

  • Technical Communication
  • Business Communications
  • English Composition

Many universities also offer specialized degrees and certificates in technical writing. If you decide that this is what you want to do with your life, consider attending school for a bachelor’s degree in English or journalism. A master’s degree will give you an edge when applying for jobs as well as provide opportunities for advancement within the field itself.

Curious about the day-to-day experiences of a technical writer? Gain insights into the daily life, challenges, and rewards of being a technical writer in our post about what it’s like to be a technical writer.

Take Classes In Technical Writing

Take classes in technical writing. You’ll learn how to write for a target audience, how to use proper grammar and punctuation, and what the best practices are for presenting complex information.

Take classes in journalism. Being a journalist is not just about getting facts straight; it’s also about understanding how to ask good questions and get people to talk candidly. 

Journalism will teach you these skills so that when you’re working with other people’s words, you’ll be able to draw out their meaning more easily than if you didn’t have journalistic training.

Take business writing classes. Business writing isn’t the same thing as technical writing, but there are many similarities between them and they’re both useful skillsets! 

Business writers are trained in marketing copywriting (the art of creating advertising copy), which has much in common with technical documentation copywriting.

They both need strong attention to detail while still being concise enough not to lose readers’ interest; they both require knowledge of various industries/fields so that writers can accurately portray those fields through language that makes sense within context; etcetera!

Develop Skills For Technical Writing

To become a technical writer, you need to develop some basic skills.

Learn how to use a word processor. This can be Microsoft Word, LibreOffice Writer, or another program that allows you to create text files and save them as .docx or .odt files.

Learn how to use a markup language (like Markdown). You will use this language when writing documents for your clients. 

It allows you to format the document in different ways without knowing HTML code. It will also allow you to easily post your work online by formatting it so that it looks good on any type of device whether it’s mobile phones or computers with large screens and slow internet connections

Strengthen Your Grammar And Writing Skills

The first step to becoming a technical writer is to learn how to write well. You need to know the rules of grammar, how to write clearly and concisely, and how to adapt your writing style for different audiences or contexts. 

You should also keep in mind that technical writing is not an excuse for poor spelling or punctuation; if anything, it’s more important than ever that you make sure your language is correct and clear.

Technical writers are often asked questions about their audiences’ needs so that they can better tailor their content accordingly – this means you’ll need a basic understanding of what makes people tick (or at least what keeps them interested). 

At its core, good technical writing boils down to three things: 1) understanding 2) providing value 3) making it easy for readers who are trying something new (or old!).

Have you ever wondered why technical writing matters? Discover the significance and impact of technical writing, along with reasons why you should care about it, in our comprehensive article on the importance of technical writing.

Get Some Experience

As with any career, you’ll want to start at the bottom and work your way up. You can’t expect to be an expert technical writer if you’ve never done one day of it! 

The best way to learn about the job and the industry is by actually doing it. If there’s a company in your area looking for help with their documentation, then offer your services as an intern or apprentice.

Even if they don’t have an open position, they may have room for someone who can work on-call or freelance from time to time. Other options include finding freelance opportunities online or approaching local businesses directly with proposals.

Decide Whether You Want To Go Freelance Or Find A Full-Time Position

If you’re looking for a full-time position, you’ll need to find a company that’s hiring. You’ll also have to be prepared to relocate if necessary.

If you’re thinking about going freelance, then the first thing to do is determine whether or not your skills are worth being paid for. If they aren’t, then it’s time to improve them before continuing with this path. 

If your skills are good enough and you’re ready to commit full-time work towards building your business as a technical writer, then great! The next step is finding clients who will hire your services.

Understand The Market For Technical Writers

The first step to becoming a technical writer is understanding the market for technical writers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the demand for writers will grow by 7% from 2016 to 2026, which is slower than other professions such as software developers and computer programmers.

The average salary for all writing jobs in 2018 was $51,470 per year, with the top 10% making more than $81,800 annually. The median annual wage for all writing occupations was $45,150 in May 2017 according to the BLS. This means that half of all technical writers were paid more than this amount while half were paid less than this amount during that month.

Get Certified

If you’re serious about becoming a technical writer, certification is an important first step in certifying your skills and proving them to potential employers. While there are no specific requirements for becoming a technical writer, there are certifications available that can help you gain the skills you need to succeed.

Certification is a way for people who already have experience and knowledge in a certain field to prove their competency and skill set. In the case of technical writing, it’s important because it shows employers that you have both the knowledge base needed for this job and some experience doing it as well. 

It also provides an opportunity for workers who want to transition into this career field but don’t necessarily have any previous training or education (or even time spent working) in the writing or communications fields.

There are several different types of certification tests currently available:

Transitioning from writing for experts to a broader audience can be a challenge. Find useful tips and insights on making this transition effectively in our guide to transitioning from expert to general audience writing.

Build Up A Portfolio Of Your Work, Either From Freelance Positions

Once you’ve decided that technical writing is the field for you, the next step is to start building up a portfolio of your work. You can do this by writing for your blog or website, or by writing for other sites as a freelancer. This can also be an excellent way to build up your resume if you’re currently looking for full-time employment as a technical writer. 

Of course, if you already have some experience in this field (either through working at an IT company or having studied it at university), then building up a portfolio of your work should be fairly straightforward.

The best way to make sure that prospective employers see what kind of writer they’d hire is through direct contact with them via email or telephone calls with specific questions about their needs and requirements. 

It may take some time before someone hires them based on their resume alone because not everyone knows how important it is yet but once word starts getting around then more people will be willing to give them an opportunity that could end up being just what they need!

Create A Resume For Potential Clients To See That Works Well For Technical Writing Positions

You’ll have to create a resume for potential clients to see that works well for technical writing positions. When creating your resume, be sure to include:

A cover letter explaining why you are the best person for the job.

A professional profile should include information about where and when you received your degree (if applicable), what years of experience you have as a technical writer, and any other relevant credentials or skills.

A portfolio of work that shows off your best projects or examples from previous jobs.

A list of references who can vouch for your abilities as a technical writer (and who will be willing to speak with potential clients on your behalf).

Keep Up With Technology Changes In The Industry That Affect How You Write

Since you’ll be writing about technology, you must keep up with the industry so that you can write articles that are up-to-date and helpful to your readers. You’ll need to know how people are using software, what they’re struggling with, and how they might use a new piece of software in the future.

This means staying on top of the latest trends in your industry by reading blogs or attending events where experts discuss them. You should also read user manuals when they’re released so that you don’t miss out on any useful information about a new product’s functionality.

Dreaming of a fulfilling career as a technical writer? Explore the journey to becoming a well-paid technical writer in our in-depth guide on how to become a technical writer and get paid. Unlock opportunities and insights in the world of technical writing!


If you’re looking to become a technical writer, there are several ways you can do it. It may take time, but if you keep at it and are willing to learn as much as possible about the job and its related skills, then your chances of success will increase. 

This is a great career opportunity for those who want to write about technology without having any formal training in journalism or creative writing; however, it does require some education before getting started on this path. If you want more information on how to become an IT writer today and not just tomorrow contact us today!

Further Reading

How to Become a Technical Writer on Indeed: Explore valuable insights and steps on how to embark on a career as a technical writer.

Becoming a Technical Writer on Built In: Learn about the skills, education, and experiences required to excel in the field of technical writing.

A Comprehensive Guide to Becoming a Technical Writer on Technical Writer HQ: Delve into an in-depth guide that covers the journey to becoming a successful technical writer.


How do I become a technical writer?

Becoming a technical writer involves developing strong writing skills, understanding technical concepts, and often obtaining relevant education or training in technical communication or a related field.

What qualifications are required to be a technical writer?

While there’s no strict set of qualifications, a bachelor’s degree in English, communications, engineering, or a related field can provide a solid foundation. Relevant experience in technical writing or familiarity with specific industries can also be valuable.

What skills are important for a technical writer?

Key skills for a technical writer include excellent writing and communication skills, the ability to simplify complex information, attention to detail, and proficiency with tools used in technical documentation.

Is technical writing a lucrative career?

Yes, technical writing can be a lucrative career path, especially as industries increasingly rely on clear documentation for their products and services. Experienced technical writers with expertise in certain domains are often in high demand.

How can I improve my technical writing career?

Continuously improving your technical writing skills, staying updated on industry trends and technologies, and seeking opportunities for professional development and networking can all contribute to a successful and fulfilling career as a technical writer.