Technical writing goes far beyond writing manuals and contracts for the business sector. Many companies are hiring technical writers for their expertise in writing, editing, communication, formatting, organization, and much more. In fact, technical writers are hired in more industries than you may think. Document 360 states in their article “The Industries That Value Technical Writers the Most” that technical writers are needed in any industry that is “information heavy.” Some common examples of such industries are engineering (including machinery and automobiles), healthcare, and education.
Engineering, Machinery, and Automobiles
Most (if not all) technology or machinery needs instructions on how to use them properly. Some products require documentation more than others. For example, using a heavy crane can be very dangerous (and therefore requires more documentation). Document 360 notes that, “providing appropriate documentation is often a legal requirement” for heavy, sometimes dangerous machinery used in fields like construction. However, even safe and ordinary products usually include documentation of some kind. Another example of technical writers contributing to other fields is the car industry. Automobile engineers and companies are required to include an owner’s manual with each car they sell, with each manual being specific to that particular car’s model and make. As demonstrated, technical writing within the engineering industry is very versatile.
As healthcare becomes more technology-focused, there is a greater need to provide clear, detailed instructions on how to use medical equipment. Even well-trained medical professionals must keep up to date on the latest technology in their field, whether they are a specialist or primary care doctor (medical equipment such as CT scans and ultrasounds are some common examples). Other than manuals, technical writers may also write reports that medical and healthcare professionals use to conduct studies or do research. Technical writers are able to provide professionals with the documentation they need to run a hospital or health insurance company. After all, the healthcare field is a business that needs organized and effective documentation, just like any other company does.
In education, technical writers have a variety of options. They may work with experts to help write textbooks and other educational resources. Or they may write and design training (including online training) for both teachers and students. Technical writers who design and produce such training materials are also called Instructional Designers.
In all of these fields (and many not covered here), technical writers provide content for customers, other members of their team, or experts who need detailed, accurate documentation. Document 360 notes that beyond manuals, technical writers can develop “grants, proposals, project and business analysis documents, and reports.” With technical writing, the need is everywhere and the possibilities are endless.