Technical Writer Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Technical Writer, or a Technical Author writes complex ideas in simple ways. They author how-to guides, white papers and manuals. They research, create write and edit content for internal or public use. Technical Writers provide applicable skills in all stages of business communications.


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Technical Writer duties and responsibilities

The range of duties of Technical Writers varies depending on the position and the size of a company. Some roles are  private in nature, while others can be public job posts and press releases. Technical Writers with large companies commonly work within a team. They directly partner with a Marketing or Communications Director as needed. Their main tasks generally include:

  • Creating clear and concise material, taking care of editing and proofreading tasks
  • Updating and maintaining a library of technical terminology and documentation
  • Revising or rewriting existing technical literature
  • Researching and gathering technical information and studying target audiences
  • Testing whether users understand newly developed material
  • Collaborating with engineers, developers and other technical specialists to ensure that they understand the subject 
  • Working closely together with printers, illustrators, graphic designers, translators and other relevant professionals
  • Staying up to date with the latest trends and developments in the industry
  • Producing electronic documentation in addition to hard copy manuals


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Technical Writer Job Description Examples:


Example 1

To really stand out and make us fit for the future in a constantly changing world, each and every one of us at PwC needs to be a purpose-led and values-driven leader at every level. To help us achieve this we have the PwC Professional; our global leadership development framework. It gives us a single set of expectations across our lines, geographies and career paths, and provides transparency on the skills we need as individuals to be successful and progress in our careers, now and in the future. As a Senior Associate, you'll work as part of a team of problem solvers, helping to solve complex business issues from strategy to execution. PwC Professional skills and for this management level include but are not limited to: Use feedback and reflection to develop self awareness, personal strengths and address development areas. Delegate to others to provide stretch opportunities, coaching them to deliver results. Demonstrate critical thinking and the ability to bring order to unstructured problems. Use a broad range of tools and techniques to extract insights from current industry or sector trends. Review your work and that of others for quality, accuracy and relevance. Know how and when to use tools available for a given situation and can explain the reasons for this choice. Seek and embrace opportunities which give exposure to different situations, environments and perspectives. Use straightforward communication, in a structured way, when influencing and connecting with others. Able to read situations and modify behavior to build quality relationships. Uphold the firm's code of ethics and business conduct.

Example 2

This role is being offered on a 6 - 12 month secondment basis and can be based at any one of our PwC offices nationally Reporting to the Technical Content Senior Manager, the Audit Technical Author is responsible for the development of Audit technical learning content which includes years 1 to 4, partner / manager, experienced joiners and other entry / induction routes training. We operate in a strict regulatory environment based on defined learning objectives, largely driven by global network requirements, findings from regulatory reviews and input from various subject matter experts (SMEs). The work undertaken and the specific projects you will be involved with will be based on your skillset, areas of expertise and interests, and an accounting qualification is required. You will be expected to maintain and update your technical expertise, your links with your home business unit, and current engagements as required. The role The Audit Technical Author is responsible for applying foundation design skills in conjunction with their technical accounting and audit expertise to develop Audit training material for classroom or solutions. As current auditing practitioners, the authors are the first line of defence to ensure materials are technically accurate, however, they will work closely with the relevant SMEs. Specifically, they will be responsible for designing and writing Audit technical learning materials in partnership with experienced T&D professionals including both new content required to address emerging business requirements, and substantial tailoring of existing UK content to reflect changing regulatory or business requirements. This will be across a range of delivery approaches, [website] face-to-face sessions, simulation or elearn. Essential Skills & Experience Accounting qualification [website] ACA Have strong technical accounting and audit skills – with current client engagement exposure Significant experience in executing financial statement audit Have a strong working knowledge of Aura and a number of the systems / tools used within the audit environment Work and operate within an environment of constant regulatory scrutiny Strong interest in T&D design and delivery, and application of 70:20:10 Proven ability to self-motivate and work independently as well as a track record of working professionally and collaboratively as part of a wider-team Ability to build and maintain good relationships Communicate confidently and effectively, both in written and verbal form Innovative and creative in approaching new challenges Proven ability to work to deadlines and manage time effectively Effectively use online collaboration tools [website] online meetings and Google@Work An experience of tutoring / facilitating Audit programmes would be beneficial

Example 3

*CDS Defence Support *(CDS DS) provides a comprehensive range of sophisticated consultancy to the UK Defence and Security sectors, as well as adjacent markets. Based in Cheltenham and Bristol, the company is split into 4 operating divisions: *Training*, providing a full-spectrum Defence Systems Approach to Training capability and consultancy at all levels from training architecture design and high-level systems analysis, to individual training requirement analysis, design, delivery and assurance in Phase 1, 2 and 3 training. *Cyber Security and Information Assurance*, for strategic UK MOD capability. *Technical, training and operational support* to UK strategic capability, overseas and in the UK. *Supportability engineering*, covering multiple disciplines, including Integrated Logistics Support (ILS), technical publications and safety consultancy. CDS DS is contracted to the Tier 1 Defence primes for major Land and Maritime capital equipment programmes. *Primary purpose of the role* Owing to continued success and planned growth aspirations, CDS Defence & Security are looking to employ a Technical Author, to join the Support Information Services department on a full-time and permanent basis. The role will involve working onsite with our customers on a full-time basis for at least the first year. *Main * * Production of commercial technical documentation, including user and training guides. * Production and management of compliance and assurance documentation (policies and procedures). * Production and management of technical assurance policies. * Production of data center management documentation including risk assessment and safety policies. * Production and management of System Operating Procedures (SyOps). * Support and organisation of knowledge base articles and web-based self-help guides. *The successful candidate: * * Experienced using web-based authoring tools. * Capable of producing basic supporting illustrations. * Knowledge of document and content management systems. * Ability to liaise between staff and external contractors. * Versatile and able to adapt well to changing scenarios. * Driven by new challenges and able to work efficiently with minimum supervision. * Strong attention to detail. *You will also: * * Either currently hold UK DV Clearance or able to gain UK DV Clearance *Benefits: * * Competitive remuneration package * Life assurance scheme * 25 days annual leave (excluding bank holidays) * Childcare voucher scheme * Flexible working hours * CDS cycle to work scheme * Pension scheme * Medicash Job Types: Full-time, Permanent Benefits: * Bike to work scheme * Company pension * Referral programme * Sick pay Schedule: * Monday to Friday Work remotely: * No

What does a Technical Writer do?

The main task of a Technical Writer is to relay an employer’s instructions into some type of written form. A Technical Writer studies target audiences as part of their research for reports. They become experts about any subject matter they’re writing about. They can write for example, guides, memos, descriptions and datasheets.  They can also create illustrations and graphics when working alongside other Media Specialists.


Technical Writer skills and qualification

Technical Writers need a combination of technical, interpersonal and language skills. They have to be skilled writers and should have a sound command of language and vocabulary. A successful Technical Writer candidate will have various prerequisites skills and qualifications that typically include:

  • Objective analysis, listening with verbal reasoning to assess an employer’s needs or direction
  • Expert application of syntax and punctuation, regarding language as it pertains to the field or subject area
  • Collaborative, being aware of the relative responsibilities of Designers, Developers or Publicists
  • Word processing in both remote and in-house software including the use of spellcheckers, stylebooks and HTML
  • Targeting, using market research and analysis to assess the specific audience of any document they create
  • Time management, project planning and execution


Technical Writer experience requirements

Technical Writers typically need previous technical writing experience. They should have a solid track record of producing engaging and effective technical content within a specific field. They need to show a working knowledge of software programs including authoring, graphic and presentation tools. Experience in project management is beneficial for roles with more responsibility.


Technical Writer education and training requirements

Technical Writers need at least a bachelor’s degree in technology, engineering or other sciences. Although a postgraduate qualification is not compulsory, it will be beneficial. Postgraduates demonstrate in-depth knowledge and speciality in a particular field. 

Candidates can also prove their technical writing expertise by completing a postgraduate. These include qualifications in technical communication or technical writing. In addition, a variety of specialised courses in technical writing and publishing are available to these professionals. The Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators (ISTC) offers courses such as the Armada Technical Author Training Programme.


Technical Writer salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Technical Writer in the UK, is £36,296 per year. Salaries will vary, depending on factors like location and level of experience.


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Technical Writer job description FAQs


What are the hours of a Technical Writer?

Technical Writers typically have normal 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. work hours. However, they may need to work overtime when deadlines are looming. Some Technical Writers have more flexible hours. Many of them can work part-time, and some may also be able to work from home.


Can a commercial business benefit from the services of a Technical Writer?

Yes. Commercial businesses can definitely benefit from using these professionals. Technical Writers can assist them in drafting various documents, including business proposals, memos, reports and press releases. A Technical Writer can edit documents for grammar, consistency, style and clarity.


Where do Technical Writers belong in an organisation?

Technical Writers can work as part of a team, several teams, or as individuals. Their work depends on the needs and structure of an organisation. They may, for instance, be part of a product-development, user-experience or support team. Additionally, they may work alongside other Technical Writers with different levels of authority.

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