Technical author: job description
Technical authors are responsible for writing specialist articles and user guides for a range of products – usually these documents should be user-friendly and aimed at the consumer, for example the instruction manual for a DVD player. Often the information is of a very technical nature so a thorough understanding of the subject matter is essential.
Technical authors are responsible for:
- writing, editing and proofreading text
- collating and verifying information
- creating and editing pictures and diagrams
- liaising with other staff such as printers, photographers and translators
- producing indexes and catalogues
- Telecommunications companies
- Engineering companies
- Computer hardware and software companies
- Technical publishers
- Manufacturers of technical equipment
- The Civil Service
- The Ministry of Defence
- Local authorities
Opportunities for advancement may occur in related areas of employment.
Vacancies are advertised online, by TARGETjobs, by careers services and specialist recruitment agencies, in newspapers and relevant publications such as New Scientist, Computing, Computer Weekly and ISTC Communicator as well as their online equivalents. Self-employment and freelance work are possible for individuals with several years' relevant experience.
Any degree discipline is acceptable, although scientific, computing, technical or engineering qualifications may be required for some positions. Previous relevant experience is not necessary, although any experience gained from published articles, freelance work or writing competitions may be helpful, particularly for mature candidates.
- Eye for detail
- Technical knowledge
- Sense of narrative
- Ability to articulate meaning