Become A Technical Writer with Hands-On, Real World Training
Is technical writing an academic subject? In other words, does it require a certificate or degree?
Of course not.
Just as architects and attorneys do not become “official” when they earn their degree, you won’t become a tech writer by earning a degree. Unfortunately, there is no official tests or licenses for technical writers. Never has been.
My local barber has two licenses from the State of New York. One is required for his occupation. The other is required for his business. Technical writing? No.
Why Become a Technical Writer?
There are some good reasons to get into technical writing today. Its prospects in the U.S. are good. Opportunities worldwide are very good. For example, there has never been so many new software companies in need of help from a technical writer.
What Traits Do You Need to Become a Technical Writer?
After working 20 years in the New York City region, I’ve identified 7 personality traits of a good technical writer. They:
- Write and edit well
- Learn quickly and holistically
- Speak well and often (but not too often)
- Enjoy learning about technology
- Perform independent research
- Operate well in a support role (not the center of attention) and
- Take pride in refining their craft.
Many people are shocked to hear that getting started as a technical writer does NOT require technical knowledge. Sounds like a contradiction, right? There’s a very good reason for the confusion.
*YMMV. If you possess these 7 traits and do the work in this course, you could win your first contract in less time.
Your Host, a Technical Writer
Hey there, I’m Bobby Kennedy, and I’ve worked as a Technical Writer in the New York City area for twenty years.
When I was your age… wait, let me try that again.
When I started out in 2000, I was already in my thirties, and the only thing I knew about work was: I wanted to write. I liked technology. My last position had been in technology sales. But when I walked into the office of Dow Jones in New Jersey on that fateful first day, I didn’t have much of a clue what I was getting into.
Over the next few years, I bumbled and stumbled my way onward. It was painful and awkward. There were no online schools to help me out then.
Fortunately, I learned enough to become proficient and make more than six figures for many years and help support a family of four.
Recently, as I neared the twenty year mark as a technical writer, I began to learn copywriting and SEO. And I started to moonlight in these new areas. However, it also occurred to me that I wanted to preserve what I’d learned as a technical writer and share it with others somehow.
Then a former employer reached out to me. His daughter, a college student, wanted to become a technical writer. Could I teach her how to get started?
This is how this effort began.
- B.A. English, St. Joseph’s University
- US Army Paratrooper (82nd Airborne)
- 5-Year Residency in Europe (Fluent Speaker of German)
- Published Poet