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Details for Technical Writers


Description

Write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions. May assist in layout work.

Tasks

  • Organize material and complete writing assignment according to set standards regarding order, clarity, conciseness, style, and terminology.
  • Maintain records and files of work and revisions.
  • Edit, standardize, or make changes to material prepared by other writers or establishment personnel.
  • Confer with customer representatives, vendors, plant executives, or publisher to establish technical specifications and to determine subject material to be developed for publication.
  • Review published materials and recommend revisions or changes in scope, format, content, and methods of reproduction and binding.
  • Select photographs, drawings, sketches, diagrams, and charts to illustrate material.
  • Study drawings, specifications, mockups, and product samples to integrate and delineate technology, operating procedure, and production sequence and detail.
  • Interview production and engineering personnel and read journals and other material to become familiar with product technologies and production methods.
  • Observe production, developmental, and experimental activities to determine operating procedure and detail.
  • Arrange for typing, duplication, and distribution of material.
  • Assist in laying out material for publication.
  • Analyze developments in specific field to determine need for revisions in previously published materials and development of new material.
  • Review manufacturer's and trade catalogs, drawings and other data relative to operation, maintenance, and service of equipment.
  • Draw sketches to illustrate specified materials or assembly sequence.

Interests

  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
  • Experience - A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.

Knowledge

  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Skills

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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Wages for this career
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