What skill sets do we need?
To be a technical communicator you need some formal training and a range of specific skills. You also need to be prepared to constantly build on your knowledge and skills.
Basic writing skills
All technical communicators must be able to write clearly in the language in which they are working. Some formal training or education in writing is important, either through specific courses in technical communication or through tertiary study generally, where there is a requirement to produce written papers as part of the courses.
A range of other skills and abilities
The technical communicator needs to be able to demonstrate at least some of the following skills and abilities.
Written and oral communication skills
- write good plain language
- listen effectively
- express themselves clearly using the spoken word
General work practices
- demonstrate good organisational skills relating to themselves and their work
- follow appropriate codes of ethics and good practice
- show an understanding of business and how it functions
Working with others
- be part of a team
- exercise effective interviewing skills
- respect the opinions of others
- analyse material logically
- organise and structure information based on its characteristics and the needs of its audience
- solve problems
Using computers to produce printed or online documentation
- manage their own computer system
- demonstrate a good level of skill in using word processing, desktop publishing and graphics applications.
Tech Comms body of knowledge
For further information on skills and personal attributes required by technical communicators, go to the page on the tech comms body of knowledge.