Online Certificate Programs in Technical Writing

Penn Foster Career School
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  • Education Prerequisites: Applicants to an online certificate program in technical writing must have a strong command of the English language, including knowledge of proper grammar and sentence construction.
  • Professional Prerequisites: None.
  • Average Program Length: 27 weeks (full-time)/ 15 credit hours

Technical writing is the process of simplifying highly technical information, such as for computer hardware, engineering, or robotics, into language that is understandable to the layman. Writers in this occupation produce content for hardware manuals, reports, and online documentation. As such, enrolling in an online technical writing certificate program would benefit a wide range of people, including engineering managers, documentation project leads, visual designers, user experience architects, and those interested in changing their career to technical writing. The added benefit of enrolling in an online certificate program is that students can complete their course work and earn their certificate without having to travel to and from campus to attend class. Instead they can complete their studies at home in their own time which means they don’t have to set aside professional or family obligations to get their certificate.

Completing an Online Certificate Program in Technical Writing

An accredited online technical writing certificate program should provide students the skills and knowledge they need to succeed as technical writing professionals. Many programs encourage the development of organizational and project management skills, and they also give students hands-on practice in creating user guides and manuals and writing documentation for online formats. Students of the online certification program may enroll in courses such as technical writing project management, documenting policies and procedures, and creating manuals and user guides.

A technical writing project management course may include instruction on how to determine the scope of a project, developing an information plan, estimating page count, and ensuring the quality of the product. Meanwhile, a creating manuals and user guides course may discuss how to translate complex information into easy-to-understand language, design templates, and research and consolidate information. Online technical writing certificate programs typically don’t require students to complete an internship program. Instead students must complete each of the courses with at least a grade of “C.”

What Your Online Certificate in Technical Writing Can Do for You

Graduates of an online certificate program in technical writing may be qualified for employment as a technical writer for computer systems design, architectural, engineering, or software companies. Technical writers write instruction manuals that translate complicated topics into understandable language for users of a product. They determine the needs of users, study product samples, work with technical staff to create easy-to-understand instructions, and revise documents. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a college degree is typically required for employment as a technical writer and experience in computer science, engineering, or any other technical subject could help make an applicant more competitive in the job market. Therefore, a certificate program in technical writing may be the most beneficial to individuals who already have a degree.

Technical writers earned a median annual salary of $63,280 in May 2010, according to the BLS. Employment of technical writers is projected to increase 17%, or as fast as average for all occupations, from 2010 to 2020. Demand for technical writers will be spurred on by growth in the high-technology and electronics industries because more writers will be needed to create manuals and other communications that help users understand their products, according to the BLS. However, these projections are no guarantee of salary or employment opportunity, which is determined by location, employer, and condition of the economy.

Online Certificate Programs by School

Herzing University
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Herzing University - Herzing's online certificate program offers the flexibility, personalization, and support you need to succeed in today's ever-changing job market. Discover Herzing's hands-on coursework, experienced faculty, and student-first approach which sets them apart from other online universities.

Ultimate Medical Academy
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Ultimate Medical Academy -
Get personalized attention with UMA.
One-on-one tutoring, pre-interview coaching, job search assistance, alumni services—they’re all included in Ultimate Medical Academy’s competitively priced tuition. As a nationally accredited school, we provide quality career training online and at our two campuses in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Let’s talk about your needs, your career goals and how UMA can help you succeed.

Gainful employment information can be found at and includes information on tuition, loan debt, completion, placement and occupations.

Penn Foster

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Penn Foster Career School - Penn Foster Career School offers over 85 online career diploma and certificate programs that can help students prepare for a career path in some of today’s fastest growing fields. If you are looking for training in allied health, business, education, or the trades, then Penn Foster Career School is a great choice. Penn Foster Career School is regionally accredited by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.