How To Build A Technical Writing Career You Can Enjoy

Technical writing is about writing for an audience who doesn’t know much about the subject. So why do technical writers exist? Because if you can write clearly and accurately, and if you have a true passion for your industry, then there are many opportunities to build a career doing what you love. 

That’s because technical writing jobs are in high demand these days! And with the right education or experience, plus some good luck on your side, it’s possible to work in this field no matter where you live or how much money is in your wallet right now.

How to Build Your Career as a Technical Writer – YouTube
Key Takeaways
1. Understand the skills needed for technical writing.
2. Embrace continuous learning to stay updated.
3. Build a strong portfolio with diverse projects.
4. Network with professionals in the field.
5. Explore opportunities in various industries.
6. Focus on creating clear and user-friendly content.
7. Master industry-specific tools and software.
8. Develop research skills to grasp technical concepts.
9. Consider contributing to open-source projects.
10. Adapt to changing technologies and trends.

Do What You Love

If you’re going to spend a lot of time with something, it should be something you love. You don’t have to be the world’s best technical writer, but if you hate what you do, then it will show in your work and that means less than stellar reviews from clients and employers.

Exploring the world of technical writing can open up diverse opportunities. Whether you’re just starting or looking to improve, our guide on What Is Technical Writing and How Can I Do It? provides valuable insights into this field’s nuances and potential.

But What If I Can’t Do What I Love?

You may not get the chance to do exactly what you want right away, but this doesn’t mean that there aren’t other options out there for you. If technical writing isn’t quite right for your personality or skillset yet, then look into other areas within tech (like UX design). Learn more about these other roles by reading our article “What Skills Do Technical Writers Need?”

Do What Interests You Most

If you’ve ever had a job that was so boring, tedious, and unpleasant that you considered quitting on the spot, then you already know how important it is to do what interests you most. 

The best jobs are those that offer opportunities to learn new skills and grow professionally. They also give workers an outlet for creating something they can bring home with them at night and share with family members in their free time.

If your goal is to build a career in technical writing, then there are many things about this field that might appeal to you: if not for its challenges (both professional and personal), maybe for its challenges; 

If not for its potential earnings or stability or lack thereof maybe for its flexibility; or perhaps even just because it allows one more opportunity among many others out there today where one could make some money doing something enjoyable!

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Learn As Much As You Can About Your Chosen Industry–Start Now

The best technical writers are those who know as much about the industry they’re writing about as possible. And when I say “industry,” I mean the whole shebang: technology, business processes, people, and culture.

So how can you do this? First, read up on your chosen field (or industries). Consider buying a book that covers the topic in depth you’ll find plenty of them out there if you go searching. 

If that’s not an option for you (or if you’re just not into reading), try Googling some relevant keywords; chances are good that someone has already written an article or two on this subject! You could also check out some podcasts or videos there are tons of free things online these days!

Get A Certification

If you’re serious about building a technical writing career you can enjoy, get a certification. While there is some debate over whether or not certifications are worth the time and money, I think it’s good to have one that demonstrates your skills and knowledge in the field.

There are several types of certifications for technical writers:

Some colleges offer undergraduate degrees in technical communication; these require students to complete coursework as well as take industry-based exams. If your school offers this type of degree, I recommend it you’ll learn much more than just tech writing skills!

Professional associations like ASTD offer several levels of certification based on specific qualifications (a bachelor’s degree in English or mass communications). These programs generally include training modules along with an exam at each step (Certified Technical Communication Specialist, Certified Senior Technical Communication Specialist).

I chose Adobe Systems’ official AATC certification because I wanted an industry-recognized credential that would prove my competency with their software applications (which are constantly changing).

Work For A Company That’s Industry-Leading

You want to work for a company that’s respected in its industry, and one that’s innovative and creative. A company that has an open mind about technical communication, and will value your skills as a communicator. A customer-focused organization that cares about its customers’ needs, especially when it comes to technical content.

Work For Companies That Are Respected In The Industry

If you want to work in a company that’s respected by your peers and customers, look for companies with a good reputation in the industry. 

The best way to do this is to ask colleagues or friends who have worked for the company what their experiences were like. If you can find someone who’s willing to give an honest opinion about their experience at the company, even better!

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Find Work That Lets You Grow Your Skills On The Job

You can learn more from a job that challenges you. You’re going to get better at what you do when the tasks are difficult, and if your current position doesn’t offer enough of this kind of challenge, it might be time to look for another one.

You can learn more from a job that lets you try new things. Taking on new responsibilities is a great way to grow your skillset and become more valuable as an employee but only if those new responsibilities are within your current area of expertise! If they aren’t, it might be time to consider changing jobs again (or even careers).

You can also learn more from working with different people than you ever have before and sometimes this means switching jobs! Consider taking on some freelance work on the side while keeping your day-to-day gig to expand those contacts and build relationships with folks outside of our immediate circles

Find Work Where You Can Use Your Skill Set To Do Something Different, But Still In The Same Industry

One way to do this is by finding work where you can use your skill set to do something different, but still in the same industry. The more technical skills you acquire and the more experience you have, the better off you’ll be when it comes time for a job change. 

If your current role doesn’t offer these opportunities or much room for growth, consider finding another job in an area that does.

The other option is to find work where you can use your technical skill set for something different but still related to technology or business communications. 

This could mean working as an IT consultant rather than managing project teams; writing marketing copy instead of user manuals; or helping customers with their tech problems instead of training users on how to use a new product.

Find Work That Encourages Innovation And Creativity

If you’re looking for a company to write for, look for one that will allow you to practice the skills you’ve learned in your training. When it comes to technical writing jobs, these companies often encourage innovation and creativity. 

They also tend to be open-minded about new ideas and are willing to try something new if it’s effective. Make sure the company has a good history of innovation; if they’ve been successful innovating before, there’s no reason why they can’t do it again!

If possible, find someone at the company who is already familiar with what products or services they offer and ask them questions about how their organization approaches each area of its business. 

For example: “How does your company decide which projects are worth pursuing?” Or: “Does your company have any policies regarding how employees should interact with clients?” 

These kinds of questions will help paint an accurate picture of what working there would be like so that when an opportunity comes along (and it will), you’ll know exactly where things stand with regards

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Find An Employer That Values Technical Communication And Cares About Its Customers

The first step to building a career in technical communication is finding an employer that values technical writing. Don’t be tempted by companies that say they value the profession, but don’t put their money where their mouth is. If a company doesn’t care about its customers, you can be sure it won’t care about you either.

You want to work for an organization that shares your passion for written communication and cares deeply about its customers and employees alike. 

Ensure this is true by asking questions during interviews and research online before committing yourself to join the team of any company even if they’re paying well or offering other perks like free food!

Don’t Settle For Working With Companies That Have Poor Technical Communication Strategies

One way to avoid a job that doesn’t value technical writing (or any other aspect of your job) is to take control of your career. Make sure you’re working for companies that do value the work you do and how it can help them succeed.

Here’s what I mean by this: If a company’s technical communication strategy is poor, then it likely won’t be enough for you to just go in and write good documentation. You’ll still have to deal with lots of issues like unclear requirements or ineffective processes and those things can sap your energy and cause burnout.

On the other hand, if a company has an effective technical communication strategy and stays on top of its internal processes, then there shouldn’t be too many roadblocks to what needs to happen for great documentation products to get built out successfully. 

This means that when someone like me comes along with my skillset and experience as a writer (and as someone who has worked at several high-performing companies), I’m able to make an impact right away instead of having my time wasted trying to fix problems created by previous writers (or even worse: managers).

Consider Working For A Small Company Or Start-Up

When you’re first starting, it’s best to work for a small company. Small companies are more flexible with your time, and they often have more innovative products. 

They can be fun places to work and rewarding in many ways that larger corporations couldn’t match: You’ll probably be able to use your technical skills in new ways, you’ll have more opportunities to learn from other team members, and there will likely be opportunities for growth within the company itself.

Small companies also tend to pay better than larger ones do (though this isn’t always true). This is especially true if you choose to specialize in certain niches like security consulting or software development.

Where demand far outstrips supply on both sides of the business equation you’ll find that smaller firms are eager to hire someone who knows their stuff while many large companies don’t feel like they need experts because they have so much money that they can hire consultants instead!

Build Good Relationships With People

When it comes to getting a job, you need to be able to work with people. You’ll probably find yourself working on technical writing projects for several years before landing a permanent position, and that means collaborating with different kinds of people not all of them will be like you. 

You may have to work with someone from an entirely different culture or demographic, who has different habits and preferences than what you’re used to. Learning how to navigate these situations effectively is essential if you want your career in technical writing (or any profession) to thrive.

For this reason alone, it’s important for technical writers who are just starting in the field not only to learn about their target audience but also to understand themselves well enough so that they can identify what makes them tick and interact appropriately with others based on their personalities and preferences. 

After all, being able to relate well with others is one of the most important skills anyone needs if they’re going anywhere professionally!

Technical writers often rely on efficient tools to enhance their productivity. Explore our list of Top 16 Most Useful Easy-to-Use Technical Writing Tools to discover resources that can streamline your workflow and help you create impactful technical content.


That’s all there is to it! Keep doing what you love, and keep learning about the industry. You can do this. If you keep at it, soon enough you’ll be well on your way to an awesome career that makes you happy and fulfilled every day (and makes other people happy too)!

Further Reading

How to Become a Technical Writer on IndeedLearn about the steps, skills, and qualifications needed to kickstart your journey as a technical writer.

Become a Technical Writer: A Comprehensive GuideExplore a comprehensive guide that covers the essential aspects of becoming a successful technical writer.

Building a Career in Technical Writing on PowerToFlyDiscover insights and strategies for building a rewarding career in the field of technical writing.


How do I get started as a technical writer?

Starting a career in technical writing involves developing strong writing skills, understanding technical concepts, and familiarizing yourself with industry-specific tools. Online courses and resources can provide foundational knowledge to begin your journey.

What skills are important for a technical writer?

Technical writers need excellent writing and communication skills, as well as the ability to understand complex information and translate it into clear, user-friendly content. Attention to detail, research skills, and the ability to work with various software tools are also crucial.

Do I need a technical background to become a technical writer?

While a technical background can be beneficial, it’s not always a strict requirement. Technical writers often learn about the subject matter as they work on projects. Strong research skills and the ability to grasp technical concepts are more important.

How can I improve my technical writing portfolio?

To enhance your technical writing portfolio, consider contributing to open-source projects, writing blogs, or creating sample documents that showcase your ability to explain complex topics clearly. Collaborating on projects and receiving feedback can help you refine your skills.

What job opportunities are available for technical writers?

Technical writers can find opportunities in various industries, such as software development, healthcare, engineering, and more. They can work as part of product teams, creating user manuals, documentation, tutorials, and other forms of instructional content.