Goals And Skills Required
The main aim of a technical writer is to communicate scientific and technical information to other people using easily understandable language. To be a technical writer, a person needs strong language skills, demonstrated by college-level training. A college degree in English, journalism, or communication is preferred, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The person also should also have some familiarity with scientific or technical topics. Finally, the person should have experience using word processing and desktop publishing software, graphics programs, and Web publishing tools.
Specially trained people began to be employed as technical writers in the late 1930s. Prior to the 1980s, however, most technical documents still were written by scientists, engineers, and other specialists, many of whom found it difficult to write for nontechnical audiences. With the rapid expansion of science and technology, however, the need increased for people who could both understand complex ideas and convey them effectively to a variety of audiences.