Many individuals who choose to enter the technical writing field decide to work as freelancers. These individuals may complete a variety of projects that fall under the general category of technical writing, such as developing manuals, writing help files, and preparing annual reports. However, many individuals also decide to secure full-time employment. Here are some of the different positions a full-time technical writer may be hired for:
RFP technical writer: The companies that will usually hire these types of technical writers are those that frequently hire outside companies to provide goods or services. A request for proposal, or RFP, is a document that invites potential suppliers to submit a bid and a proposal to the hiring company. An RFP will request a supplier's price structure, but other information like the company's financial figures, a timeline for completion, and references from past customers may also be requested. Because the criteria for submitting a proposal are established upfront for suppliers, the company can make an impartial and informed decision about which supplier they should work with.
Technical writer - mechanical systems: In this type of position, the technical writer will spend most of their time creating manuals for machinery. The machinery may be used in manufacturing, the military, or a number of other industries. The technical writer will usually work with mechanical engineers. They will typically be required to be familiar with concepts related to mechanical drafting. These types of technical writers also usually need to know how to read blueprints.
Technical writer - developer documentation: Instead of writing about technology and products for general consumers, this type of technical writer prepares documentation for other developers. For example, the company the technical writer works for might produce a computer chip that is used by numerous companies that manufacture computers. The technical writer who specializes in developer documentation would prepare guides and manuals for these computer companies.
Technical writer - business analyst: The position of business analyst is a multi-faceted one, and a technical writer in this role is expected to perform a variety of tasks. Some typical duties include preparing reports and presentations about the business's activities and finances. The business analyst will also often be asked to develop charts and diagrams to supplement report content, review existing technical documents to determine whether they can be improved, and write regular status reports about the company's activities and progress.
Senior technical writer: Most industries and companies that employ technical writers also hire senior technical writers. These are individuals who have significant experience in the field of technical writing. Senior technical writers, in addition to developing documents, are often expected to take on project management roles and oversee the activities of junior technical writers. They may also act as editors.
These are just a few of the many full-time positions for technical writers. There are plenty of job boards out there that focus exclusively on positions within the technical writing field. Spend some time exploring these opportunities, and you'll likely find a technical writing job that will fit your background and skill set perfectly.
Last Updated: 05/05/2014