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The Linguistic's interests are usually focused on ideas and information exchange. They tend to like reading a lot, and enjoy discussion about what has been said. Some will want to write about their own ideas and may follow a path towards journalism, or story writing or editing. Others will develop skills in other languages, perhaps finding work as a translator or interpreter. Most Linguistic types will enjoy the opportunity to teach or instruct people in a topic they are interested in.

Occupation Details

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Technical Writer

Job Zone

Education
Most occupations in this zone require job specific training (vocational training) related to the occupation (NFQ Levels 5 and 6 or higher), related on-the-job experience, or a relevant professional award.

Related Experience
Previous work-related skills, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, several years of full or part-time employment in the area may suffice.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognised apprenticeship or training program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organisational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include restaurant managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, hairdressers, and web developers.

€28k > 55
Technical Writer
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€28 - 55
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
Brightwater / Morgan McKinley

Last Updated: July, 2015

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Writes technical information instruction manuals and textbooks.


Videos & Interviews header image

Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

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Go..Software Technical Illustator/Writer - from: YouTube Video


The Work header image

Technical Writers in Ireland are mainly concerned with producing the documentation which accompany both hardware and software products. However they also deal with a variety of other products e.g. those in the aviation and healthcare fields.  
 
In the ICT sector they produce the installation guide, user guides, troubleshooting manuals, technical description of the software, as well as the on-line help option provided in most software applications.  
 
Technical Writers work very closely with Software Engineers and Designers when planning the documentation needed to support the particular software product. In some cases this may be written for different people within an organisation e.g. the technical support staff, the information technology manager responsible for purchasing the product and the end user who will operate the system.  
 
The amount of documentation or on-line help required will depend on the size and complexity of the system developed by the Software Engineers. Technical Writers will also be involved in the development of the various screens in the software product, checking that the language used is correct and understandable. Often on a small project the technical writing will be done by the Software Engineer.  
 
Technical Writers may work individually or as part of a team on a bigger project. There may also be an Editor involved, if the project is large enough. Technical Writers need to adopt a neutral style of writing, be able to communicate clearly and organise their thoughts logically.  
 
Technical Writers will need word processing and desk top publishing skills to prepare the documentation, although on larger projects, desk top publishing specialists will be employed to complete the documentation, and to review and give final approval on all printed materials.  
 
Technical Writers start each job by finding out what the reader needs to know. They do this by referring to relevant documents and by consulting experts and people working in the area they are writing about.  
 
Often, they have to visualise equipment and products without having them to look at because they haven't actually been manufactured when they write the documents. They also have to decide the best way to put across information and select the right language and style for their readers.


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Organize material and complete writing assignment according to set standards regarding order, clarity, conciseness, style, and terminology.

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Maintain records and files of work and revisions.

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Edit, standardize, or make changes to material prepared by other writers or establishment personnel.

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Select photographs, drawings, sketches, diagrams, and charts to illustrate material.

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Interview production and engineering personnel and read journals and other material to become familiar with product technologies and production methods.

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Develop or maintain online help documentation.

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Assist in laying out material for publication.

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Study drawings, specifications, mockups, and product samples to integrate and delineate technology, operating procedure, and production sequence and detail.

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Arrange for typing, duplication, and distribution of material.

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Observe production, developmental, and experimental activities to determine operating procedure and detail.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Processing Information: Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

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Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others: Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events: Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

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Analyzing Data or Information: Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

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Documenting/Recording Information: Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Interacting With Computers: Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Computers and Electronics: Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

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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.

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Communications and Media: Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.

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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.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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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.

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Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

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Time Management: Managing one's own time and the time of others.

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Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

As a Technical Writer, you need to be able to write in a clear way, and work to a firm's specification. You need to be organised and methodical in your work. Communication skills are useful, as you need to work with other professionals. Good English and interpersonal skills are necessary to communicate effectively with other team members or clients. Computer literacy is essential.  
 
Technical writers also need to master logical thinking and the ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines.


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

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Go..Technical Author - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Technical writer - from: GradIreland

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Smart Futures
Address: Discover Science & Engineering, Wilton Park House, Wilton Place, Dublin, 2
Tel: (01) 607 3171
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Organisation: Institute of Medical Illustrators (IMI)
Address: 12 Coldbath Square London EC1R 5HL
Tel: +44 0207 837 2846
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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