Top Technical Writing Training Courses In The USA - Henry Harvin

You will need to pursue a technical writing course to get technical writing training so that, you become a qualified technical writer.

If you ask a question “How do I become a technical writer?”.

Briefly, the answer given in the first sentence makes sense but, it won’t satisfy you by much.

In fact, you must be wanting to know more.

See, technical writings are of vast varieties.

These range from most-commonly known writings like e-mails, user manuals etc. to more sophisticated documents like research papers.

To be able to write quality technical documents, a technical writer requires a sophisticated technical   writing training program.

Hence, you may be thinking of pursuing a technical writing course from a well-reputed institute.  

This post is intended to cover the following topics:

  • Firstly, technical writing definition and types of technical writing.
  • Secondly, technical writing certification.
  • Thirdly and majorly, the top technical writing training courses in the USA.
  • Finally, some frequently asked questions.

Technical Writing: Definition and Its Types

Technical writing is a type of writing in which a subject/project/product details are to be explained in a pre-defined format document.

The format should be such that the technical details should be well-understood by the readers.

In general, the types of currently existing technical documents are:

  • Instructional/procedural documents like user manuals.
  • Proposals like a detailed RFQ (Request for Quotation), for a product/accessory.
  • Product specifications and descriptions.
  • Emails, Letters etc.
  • Resumes and Job applications.
  • Technical reports like research papers, experiment results etc.
  • Case studies.

Technical Writing: Training, Courses and Certifications

It should be known, that currently, technical writing training and certification are not mandatory prerequisites to land a technical writing job.

Officially, a bachelor’s degree is sufficient for eligibility but strategically, it’s not enough.

In general, a technical writer must have the following skills:

  • First, Expertise of a particular technical domain.
  • Second, Writing and language skills.

These 2 skills are developed during our education.

Furthermore skills required are:

  • Knowledge of technical writing formats.
  • Knowledge of requirements of a company.
  • Incorporating data into formats.

To develop these skills, ideally, an internship or a trainee development program, conducted by a company is required.

In today’s world, not many companies would be kind to provide such opportunities.

Hence, the best option is to pursue a technical writing course, providing good quality technical writing training and certification.

In the upcoming content, the top institutes providing technical writing training are covered.     

The Top Technical Writing Training Courses

1# Society for Technical Communicators (STC)

STC is the world’s largest, oldest and the most reputed organisation in the world, for technical writing training and communication.

a) Mission

The mission of this organisation is:

  • First, to help its members identify and promote best practices in the field of technical writing.
  • Second, to demonstrate the economic value, a technical communicator delivers.

b) Vision

The vision of this organisation is:

  • First, to be the international authority in technical content design and delivery.
  • Second, advancement in professional development of its members.
  • Third, articulating the value of technical communication within the industry and academia.

c) Technical Writing Training/Certification

STC provides technical writing training in the form of webinars, online technical writing courses from affiliated organisations, but the USP of this organisation is its certification.

The certification program of STC is called CPTC (Certified Professional in Technical Communication).

This certification is developed by STC and APMG international.

The certification provided, is of 3 levels:

Founder level

The purpose of this certification is to check that how much knowledge, the candidate possesses about technical writing.

Necessarily, the candidate should have good understanding of the following 9 key areas of technical writing:

Project Planning, Project Analysis, Content Development, Organisational Design, Visual Communication, Reviewing and Editing, Content Management, Production Delivery.

Exam: The exam comprises of 50 questions (MCQ) and the maximum time given is 40 minutes.

Fees: USD 260 for STC members and 510 USD for non-STC members.

Practitioner level

The purpose of this certification is to check a candidate’s knowledge and capability in applying technical communication guidance to an organisation’s project. 

Exam: The exam comprises of 4 questions and the maximum time given is 100 minutes.

Each of the 4 questions have 20 separate question lines (MCQ), which are scenario-based.

Fees: USD 360 for STC members and 610 USD for non-STC members.

Expert level

As of now, no exam is conducted for this certification.

The certification is given, on the basis of a candidate’s contribution to the technical writing field.

2# Henry Harvin Education

The founder and CEO of this organization is Mr Kounal Gupta. This education group is based in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India.

This organization provides courses for the following domains:

Writing, Sales, Marketing, Management, Finance, Analytics and many more.

a) Mission

The mission of this organisation is to develop careers and competency.

b) Vision

The vision of this organisation is to make education, employable.

c) Technical Writing Training/Certification

For technical writing training, this organisation provides a technical writing course, called Certified Technical and Research Writers (CTRW).

Suitability

Clearly, the title of the program suggests that this technical writing course is suitable for research writers.

Also, it is beneficial to those people, who are new to this field.

Learning outcomes

The following points are the learning outcomes of this course:

  • Effective communication with non-technical audience while, discussing technical details.
  • Writing User Manuals, Project Reports and other relevant forms of technical writing.
  • Ability to write research papers and thesis.
  •  Usage of graphics in beautiful manner.

Duration: 24 Hours.

Fees: INR 8500 (114 USD).

3# APMG International

It is the premier affiliate institute of the Society of Technical communicators; based in the UK.

a) Mission

The mission of this organisation is to enable organisations and professionals to maximise their effectiveness.

For this objective, they believe in usage of latest methodologies and core competencies.

b) Vision

The vision of this organisation is apply excellence and integrity to any work they do and learn from experiences.

c) Technical Writing Training/Certification

Primarily, this institute provides world-class certifications.

The CPTC certification program, discussed earlier, is actually developed by APMG, on the behalf of the STC.

The technical writing training is provided by institutes/private trainers, which are accredited to the APMG.

You can pursue your technical writing course from these institutes/private trainers, as per your convenience.

4# Techwriters Communication

Techwriters certification is an online certification and training platform, owned by the JER group.

Initially, the courses were developed by Dr John Reid and Dr Kenneth Rainey, particularly, for working professionals only.

The further developed programs of training were made, keeping students in mind.

a) Mission

The mission of this platform is:

  • First, Continuous development of technical writing courses.
  • Second, meet the business and industry requirements of its clients.

b) Vision

The vision of this organisation is:

  • To address the diversity of jobs, that rely on technical designers rather than technical writers.
  • To engage technical designers into the technical communication process.

Technical Writing Training/Certification

This online platform provides 6 technical writing courses for technical writing training, namely the following:

1. Basic Certificate in Technical Writing

This course is suitable for:

Graduates, Undergraduates, Teachers of technical communication and those who wish to switch to technical communication as a career.  

There are 3 parts of this course, namely the following:

Introduction to Technical Writing for Industry

This course is to give the candidate, exposure of professional life in technical writing.

Intermediate Technical Writing

This course is to teach the candidate, the basic components of writing like headings, lists, tables, figures etc.

Advanced Technical Writing

This course is for introducing the candidate with the various skills, which are required to enhance the quality of technical writing projects.

Note: The time taken to deliver this whole course is 90 hours.

2. Certificate in Writing for Current Technical Writers, Editors and Designers

Clearly from this title, you will know for whom, this course is for.

There are 3 levels of this course:

Basic Certificate in Writing for Current Technical Writers, Editors and Designers

This course is designed to check how well, the candidate’s technical writing work fits into a project management process.

Intermediate Technical Writing

This course is to teach the candidate, the basic components of writing like headings, lists, tables, figures etc.

Advanced Technical Writing

This course is for introducing the candidate with the various skills, which are required to enhance the quality of technical writing projects.

Note: The time taken to deliver this whole course is 90 hours.

3. Comprehensive Career Builder Certificate in Technical Writing

This course is for students/professionals, who want advance jobs in technical writing like government jobs, research etc.

There are 3 parts of this course:

Technical Communication

This part is like an orientation to the other parts of this course.

This course is for introducing the candidate to grammar, punctuation, styles and formats;

used for industry, government, business documents and technical documents.

Technical Reports for Industry, Government and Business

This part is for learning strategies for finding authentic sources to enhance the writing process;

And to practice methods for documenting information gathered from these sources.

User Documentation for Technology Products

In this part, the students will learn to create:

Task Orientation Manuals, Set of Instructions and Standard Operating Procedures.    

 

Note: The time taken to deliver this whole course is 140 hours.

4.  Certificate in Professional Technical Communication

This course is designed to help new and existing technical writers; works within a range of styles, skills; which are specific to particular fields of technical writing.

The particular fields of technical writing covered are:

Proposals, Data Reports, Scientific Research, How-to Guides, Instructional Material, Articles.

Note: The time taken to deliver this whole course is 140 hours.

5.  Certificate Course in Structured Writing for Technical Documentation

This course is for teaching candidates, to present technical documents in electronic means like PC’s, Laptops and mobiles etc.

Note: The time taken to deliver this whole course is 30 hours.

6.  Writers at Work Certificate Certification Program

It is mostly believed that professional communication enhances a person’s image.

The course is specifically designed for professional communication only.

This Course covers important issues of professional communications like grammar, punctuation and tone of writing.

Note: The time taken to deliver this whole course is 40 hours.

5# UC San Diego Extension

This online technical writing course is a collaborative course of the Extension Inc. and UC San Diego University.

a) Mission

The mission is to fulfil life-long learning and skill development needs of individuals, organisations and communities.

b) Vision

To harness the power of education to transform the lives of people.

c) Technical Writing Training/Certification

UC San Diego Extension conducts a comprehensive and long-duration technical writing training program.

Suitability

This course is designed for the following group of people:

  • First, communicators working in any field like medical, engineering etc. where generally, technical writers are in demand.
  • Second, working professionals, who are unable to attend a classroom programme.
  • Also, for working professionals in fields of journalism, visual media and other media backgrounds.

Learning outcomes

In this course, the following learning outcomes will be there for the candidates:

  • Basics of technical communication such as audience analysis, page layout, forms of communication etc.
  • Effective usage of tools like MS office, Adobe and grammar, style guides.
  • Critical Thinking.

Duration: 18-24 Months.

Fees:  5250 USD.

6# UC Berkeley Extension

This online technical writing course is a collaborative course of the Extension Inc. and UC Berkeley University.

a) Mission

The mission of this training program is:

  • First, to help people gain promotion by improving their performance.
  • Second, to help people switch career to technical writing.
  • Third, to educate those, who love to learn.

b) Vision

The vision of this training program is to:

  • First, maintain high standards of education, set by UC Berkeley University.
  • Second, learn from working professionals.

c) Technical Writing Training/Certification

UC Berkeley Extension conducts a comprehensive and long-duration technical writing training program.

Suitability

This technical writing course is suitable for those professionals, who are working in the following fields:

Software, Hardware, Consumer Electronics, Biopharmaceutical and Financial Services.

Learning outcomes

In this course, the following learning outcomes will be there for the candidates:

  • Importantly, define the purpose and target-audience, of the document.
  • Technical documentation with correct grammar and syntax.
  • Learn about the using tools like MS word, tables, graphics; for technical writing.
  • Understanding of the principles and best practices for information design in today’s work.

Duration:  1 Year (120 Hours Program).

Fees: USD 3300.

7# Oregon State University

This highly-reputed university is based in Oregon.

a) Mission

The mission of this university is the promotion of economic, social, cultural and environmental progress.

To accomplish this mission by producing skilled graduates, who are critical thinkers and are searching for new knowledge, solutions.

b) Vision

The vision of this university is to engage communities in mutual learning and problem solving via:

  • First, conducting basic and applied research.
  • Second, pursue economic development.
  • Third, provide good-quality higher education.

c) Technical Writing Training/Certification

Suitability

The technical writing course, provided by this university is suitable for undergraduates, who want to build a seriously good career in the field of technical writing.

Learning outcomes

The following are the learning outcomes from this course:

  • Analysis of writing contexts and audiences.
  • Designing effective format/layout for a technical publication.
  • Gather and apply researched information.
  • Construction of logical outline of a technical document.

8# University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

This institute is a partner of JER online Incorporation.

a) Mission

The mission of this institute is to spread the power of education, to the masses.

b) Vision

The vision of this institute is to spread the power of education.

c) Technical Writing Training/Certification

Suitability

The technical writing course provided by institute, is suitable for the following type of people:

  • First, those who want to develop/update technical writing knowledge and skills.
  • Second, working professionals of a downsized-IT industry.
  • Third, those who want to prepare and deliver technical writing training to companies.
  • Fourth, recent graduates.

Learning outcomes

The following are the learning outcomes from this course:

  • Identifying the target audience.
  • Managing production processes and evaluate project success & failures.
  • Documenting these results in technical documents.

Duration:  90 Hours.

Fees: USD 975.

9# Universal Class

Universal Class Incorporation is accredited as an authorised provider, by the International Association for Continuing Education Units (IACET).

a) Mission

The mission of this organisation is to provide education at affordable prices.

b) Vision

The vision of this organisation is to enhance a person’s understanding of any subject.

c) Technical Writing Training/Certification

Suitability

This technical writing course is suitable for undergraduates, graduates who want to make a career in technical writing.

Learning outcomes

The following are the learning outcomes from this course:

  • To understand what technical writing is.
  • To identify the types of projects, which a technical writer does.
  • Writing technical documents, keeping a user in mind, instead of a client.
  • Enhanced time management skills.
  • Evaluation of technical writing documents.

10# Communicaid

This is a UK based organisation for technical writing training service.

The US branch of this organisation, is in the New York City.

a) Mission

The mission of this organisation is to:

  • First, help organisations to overcome the communication challenges they face during their expansion.
  • Second, to help organisations, in growing their global workforce.

b) Vision

The vision of the organisation is to enhance the competence of their client’s employees.

c) Technical Writing Training/Certification

In this technical writing course, the emphasis is given to the key areas of technical writing, namely the following:

  • Audience Analysis.
  • Planning Techniques.
  • Layout and Structure of technical documents.
  • Signposting to support your readers.
  • Highlighting the benefits of the technical content.
  • Techniques for presenting complex concepts and ideas, clearly & simply.
  • Presenting numbers, charts and graphics.
  • Editing and improving readability.

Suitability

This course is for the following sort of people:

  • First, for engineers or scientists, required to write technical reports.
  • Second, product technical specifications, for customer’s reference.
  • Third, for writing technical specifications, as a part of a large contract proposal.

Learning outcomes

The following are the learning outcomes from this course:

  • Framework for planning and structuring technical documents.
  • A better understanding of the audience’s needs.
  • Practical tools to express complex ideas and issues effectively, for expert and non-expert audience.
  • Understanding of describing and using visuals, in the best manner possible.
  • Awareness of the principles of plain English.
  • Editing and proofreading techniques.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1 what is the eligibility criteria for technical writers?

It should be known, that currently, technical writing training and certification are not mandatory prerequisites to land a technical writing job.
Officially, a bachelor’s degree is sufficient for eligibility but strategically, it’s not enough.

Q2 whom should pursue technical writing?

Mostly, technical writers are required in the following sectors:
Software.
Engineering.
Healthcare.
Finance
Consultation.

Q3 what are the skills required by technical writers?

Majorly, the following skills are required by technical writers:
Expertise in the relative domain.
Ability to interact with Subject Matter Experts (SME).
Good Understanding of writing formats.
Writing Skills.

Q4 are technical writers in demand?

The demand for technical writers will increase with time due to the increasing popularity of digital content, as a source for promoting businesses.

Q5 what is the average salary of technical writers?

The average salary of technical writers in the USA is about 60,000 USD/annum.

Q6 what is a technical writing badge?

After the completion of a technical writing course, a candidate receives a certificate/badge.
These badges enhance a resume and showcase the candidates skills. 

Q7 what is CEU?

CEU stands for Continuing Education Units. These are a measure of participation of an individual in any professional development program/course.
1 CEU = 10 hours of participation time in any professional development program/course.

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