Certified Technical Writer

Effective communication is essential in today's business world. Technical writers are professional communicators whose role varies across industries and contexts. They may create manuals and instruction documents, write grant proposals for nonprofit organizations, manage social media accounts, or create compliance documents for pharmaceutical companies. They may work in industries as different as aeronautical engineering and healthcare or be self-employed. With skills and experience, technical...

6 Months / 125 Course Hrs
Open Enrollment
Offered in partnership with your preferred school

George Mason University

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Course code: GES2110

What you will learn

  • Writing to meet the needs of your audience, including writing with clarity and focus
  • The differences between technical writing and other types of writing
  • Ethical issues in technical writing
  • Advanced grammar rules and effective research methods
  • Writing effectively for websites and social media
  • Developing strategies to prepare for the Certified Professional Technical Communicator exam

How you will benefit

  • Obtain a professional writing portfolio to showcase your work to current and potential employers
  • Be prepared for technical writing jobs in a variety of industries like software companies, nonprofit organizations, marketing agencies, and more
  • Receive a certificate of completion and prepare to sit for the CPTC exam

How the course is taught

  • Self-paced, online course
  • 6 Months to complete
  • Open enrollment, begin anytime
  • 125 course hours
  1. Introduction to Technical Communication
  2. Your Role as a Technical Writer
  3. Common Types of Technical Writing
  4. The Seven Principles of Good Writing
  5. Writing as a Process
  6. Research
  7. Organization
  8. Rough Draft
  9. Revising and Editing
  10. Writing for the Web and Social Media
  11. Certification
  12. How to Find a Job in Technical Writing (Optional Lesson)
  13. Final Exam

Janet Underwood

Janet Underwood is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience as a senior technical writer. Janet started her career as an English teacher. She then went on to work as an editor and writer for several internationally known trade publications before marrying her love of technology with her passion for writing to become a technical writer. Janet has developed technical documentation for major corporations in the computer, information technology, telecommunications, financial, medical industries, U.S. government agencies, and public utilities organizations. She has also written several books used as textbooks for college technical writing courses and has been an adjunct professor.

Lynn Atkinson

Lynn Atkinson earned a B.A. in English from the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) in 1993 and an M.A. in English with an emphasis in rhetoric in 1996. A published writer and editor, including contributions to college textbooks, she considers her greatest accomplishment educating thousands of students at UTA, DeVry, Tarrant County College, Southeast Career Institute, and Everest College. She has also been nominated for and awarded "Outstanding Teacher" at several of these institutions. Lynn has developed or co-developed several writing curriculums, won writing contests and conducted over 10,000 hours of tutoring.


There are no prerequisites to complete this course. This course is designed to prepare you for a career as a technical writer. You do not need any prior experience or training in this field.


Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC, Mac, or Chromebook.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 8 or later.
  • Mac: macOS 10.10 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox is preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Microsoft Word Online
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment. The following textbooks will be shipped to you approximately 7-10 business days after enrollment:

  • Technical Communication: A Reader-Centered Approach, by Paul V. Anderson
  • Technical Writing for Success, by Darlene Smith-Worthington and Sue Jefferson

The following eBook will be provided to you approximately 7-10 business days after enrollment:

    • Technical Communication Today, by Richard Johnson-Sheehan (eBook)

    Please note: You will receive a digital book if the physical book is on backorder.

    According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, technical writers, also called technical communicators, prepare instruction manuals, how-to guides, journal articles, and other supporting documents to communicate complex and technical information more easily. Technical writers also develop, gather, and disseminate technical information through an organization's communications channels. Indeed.com reports some notable examples of technical writing job duties, including:

    • Instruction manuals
    • E-learning content
    • Product specifications
    • Product descriptions
    • Reports
    • Press releases
    • Business proposals
    • Job descriptions
    • Textbooks

    Indeed.com states that technical writing is a form of communication professionals use to convey information about specialized topics. A technical writer might create content to provide instructions or explain technical concepts regarding environmental regulations, computer applications, or medical procedures. Some of the most common industries that rely on technical writing include:

    • Engineering
    • Computer software and hardware
    • Robotics
    • Chemistry
    • Finance
    • Consumer electronics
    • Forestry
    • Aeronautics
    • Medical and healthcare
    • Biotechnology

    According to Lightcast, the annual median salary for a technical writer has been $80,800 over the last 12 months.

    Yes. You will prepare for the (CPTC) Certified Professional Technical Communicator exam offered by the Society for Technical Communication (STC).

    Yes, ed2go courses are completely online. However, keep in mind that not all certifying bodies or industry-specific certifications are recognized internationally. Please review your country's regulations prior to enrolling in courses that prepare for certification.

    This course is open enrollment, so you can register and start the course whenever you are ready. Access to your course can take 24-48 business hours.

    After you register, you will receive (6) months to complete the course. The time allotted for completion has been calculated based on the number of course hours.

    If you are unable to complete the course, contact your Student Advisor to help you work out a suitable completion date. Please note that an extension fee will be charged. If you are funded through a third-party organization, approval may also be required.

    The course instructor will be available by email to answer any questions and provide feedback on your performance. Occasionally, your course may be supported by a team of industry experts. You will also receive support from the student advising team.

    Upon successfully passing the final exam, you will be awarded a certificate of completion from the school or organization that you registered through.

    ed2go courses will help you gain the skills you need to obtain an entry-level position in most cases. However, you should always research the job market in your area before enrolling.

    ed2go courses are non-credit, so they do not qualify for federal aid, FAFSA, and Pell Grant. In some states, vocational rehab or workforce development boards may provide funding to take our courses. Additionally, you may qualify for financial assistance if you meet certain requirements. To learn more about financial assistance.

    If you have questions that are not answered on our website, representatives are available via LIVE chat. You can also call us at 1-877-221-5151 during regular business hours to have your questions promptly answered. If you are visiting us during non-business hours, please send us a question using the "Contact Us."