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How to become a Technical Writer?

By AutumnDusk ·
The best part of my IT job is when I have the chance to do software and training documentation (user guides, FAQs, step-by-step instructions, etc.). I enjoy it so much that I'd like to do it full time...without having to go back to school for 2-4 years for a piece of paper saying I'm qualified to do it.

In your opinion/experience do you think it is possible for someone to break into the technical writing profession without having a BA or diploma in the subject? Would you hire someone with a good portfolio, a few years of experience and only a few courses in technical writing? Do you have any advice for making this possible?

Thanks!

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Technical Writer Portfolio

by kss91354 In reply to How to become a Technical ...

Hi!
I have 3 good friends who are technical writers. None of them have bachelor degrees in writing or technical writing. One has only one year of college and gained his tech writing experience in the military. All three have excellent portfolios and believe that it's their portfolios that get them in the door.
I am also a writer for an I.T. consulting firm, but I write P.R. and marketing materials. I do have a degree in education -- Physical Education! I've always been an excellent writer and started out in the industry doing freelance jobs for very little pay, just so I could build a professional portfolio. It worked! Anyone who wants to write must have a portfolio, and if you have published pieces (manuals, case studies, training materials, a website), you should definitely showcase these things when you are applying and interviewing for jobs.
Good luck to you!

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