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Certification for Technical Writers

Posted by
Anastasia in TechComm Career Path on 9/27/20193 min read

To land a good job, you need to do well at a job interview. But, first, you need to make sure you even get invited.

Today we are going to figure out how a technical writer can prove their worth in front of a potential employer. Specifically, we'll talk about certification in technical writing.

Certificates exist not only for impressing employers, of course. Getting a certificate goes hand in hand with improving knowledge and gaining expertise. They are also a recipe for promotion.

Here are several ideas on how to get certified.

College Degree

The most basic certificate that you probably already have is a college degree. And, that is everything you might need in most cases to become a technical writer. But as we mentioned earlier, those looking for self-improvement options, a promotion or a specific job that requires a certain expertise level, shouldn't stop pursuing knowledge.

The degrees that are more suited for a career in techcomm are - languages, journalism, linguistics. If we are talking about specific fields like IT, medicine, etc. then just throw the corresponding degrees on top.

The Society for Technical Communication

The Society for Technical Communication offers a lot of possibilities for technical writers of any level. There are three tiers of certification: Foundation, Practitioner, and Expert. This organization is well-known in the techcomm community and including it into your resume will definitely give you authority points. Through this certification, you will study project management, content development, reviewing and editing, visual communication, project analysis and more.

National Association of Science Writers

If you are interested in science writing, then becoming a member of the National Association of Science Writers is a step to consider. NASW is a big player in science writing, so getting a membership there requires some effort and investment: you need to submit five pieces of writing, seek the support of two current NASW members and pay a membership fee. In exchange, you will become part of a big community of professional science writers. You will be able to communicate with other techcomm pros and share knowledge, get free access to scientific journals and searchable databases, find job leads, receive massive discounts for attending the ScienceWriters conference and a lot more.

Online Training

Another way to improve your professional skills is through online training available on such platforms like Udemy and Coursera. There you will find ways to upscale both hard and soft skills useful for technical writing. We created an article that describes various resources tech writers can use, including online courses, check it out for more info. These courses can provide you with online certificates that maybe won't have the same value as what NASW offers, but are still much appreciated. Plus, these training sessions are not very pricey, so you can work your way through them without large spendings.

Conclusion

It doesn't really matter what goal you are trying to achieve by pursuing certification in technical writing, as strengthening your knowledge is always a great idea. Just remember that the certificate itself won't mean much if there hasn't been real effort behind it. A couple of decades ago, there was hardly such a thing as technical writing certification and, yet, that fact in no way limited the potential of the techcomm specialists who started writing technical texts at that time. There are always ways to improve for the ones who seek them. So, choose your path wisely and make the most of the resources offered to you.

Good luck with your technical writing!
ClickHelp Team
Author, host and deliver documentation across platforms and devices

 

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