Do you want to develop a technical writing career? Getting the proper technical writing skills and picking the industry you want to specialize in is challenging. Fortunately, there are several fantastic technical writing courses out there that can help you level up your career.
But how do you pick a technical writing course that’s perfect for you without wasting precious time and money? In this article, we’ll go over what technical writing is and the best technical courses for your buck that you can do in 2023.
Let’s dive right in.
Best Technical Writing Courses for Technical Writers Today
While technical writing can take years to master, you can improve your technical writing skills by doing online coursework. Technical courses teach you how to write, format, and develop better documentation.
To quickly gain popularity in your industry, it’s always best to get some certificate courses under your belt. While having a business communication degree may help you, getting some industry-specific technical certificates will boost your professional development. The more technical courses you finish, the better it is for your career.
Consider doing the following technical courses to develop a stronger portfolio.
1. Technical Writer HQ
Technical Writer HQ offers the Technical Writing Course that’s great for beginners and advanced writers alike. It’s a well-rounded program making it our favorite one.
Not only does the program teach you the fundamentals, but it also puts them to the test with practical exams to ensure what you learn isn’t just theory.
Some aspects that the program covers are:
- Document formatting
- Document design
- API writing
- FAQ & release note writing
- Writing white papers
- Audience analysis
You can make progress at your own pace and after finishing the course, you get your certificate.
The curriculum is by Josh Fechter, founder of Squibler, a writing and publishing software. With more than ten years of experience as a technical writer, the program offers everything Fechter learned in his career in a comprehensive and educative package.
To learn more, visit Technical Writer HQ.
How Much Does the Technical Writer HQ Course Cost?
You can get the One Week Technical Writing Course for $299.
Who Should Take the Technical Writer HQ Course?
The program is well-rounded, making it suitable for writers from different experience tiers. Additionally, since the program manages to pack everything you need in a single week, it doesn’t require expert time management on your end. You can take the course if you’re running short on time but feel like improving your knowledge and if you have extra free time.
2. Certified UX Writing Course
The UX writer course from Technical Writer HQ allows you to unleash and nourish your technical writing and content design skills. With this UX writer course, you can gear up your technical writing skills required for a UX writer’s role and learn the fundamentals of technical writing so you may refer to yourself as an expert technical writer.
This specialized course is not just a video course. It also includes steps to prepare your portfolio through its 10+ capstone projects that you can use later to showcase your talent and technical UX writing skills to potential recruiters and clients.
How Much Does the UX Writing Course Cost?
You can get lifetime access to the course with a one-time payment of $499.
Who Should Take the UX Writing Course?
This course is a perfect choice for anyone who’s not just looking to master technical writing skills but also looking to become a specialized UX writer. This course is an all-in-one course that teaches you the fundamentals of UX writing and also provides capstone projects as homework to work on to build your portfolio. Anyone looking to jump into UX writing, nourish the skills, and become even better at it must join this UX Writing Certification Course.
To learn more about the course, explore UX Writing Certification Course at Technical Writer HQ.
3. Society for Technical Communication (STC)
The Society for Technical Communications is a member-based group of technical communicators and technical writers. It’s one of the oldest and largest associations of its kind and dedicates to helping advance the field of technical communication.
As a technical association, the STC offers several online courses and certifications. If you have the experience, you can opt for the STC’s three-tiered professional certification, including a Foundation, Practitioner, and Expert certification.
If you want to learn, you can check out the various online courses on the STC website. STC members can check live online classes that take place on specific dates. They often cover topics related to technical writing, technical communication, and even things like public speaking, leadership, and more.
The STC offers six CEUs that help fulfill the continuing education requirement for CPTC. However, there are some strict requirements you have to adhere to.
You can learn more about the technical writing courses at the Society for Technical Communication.
How Much Does the Society for Technical Communication Course Cost?
The price varies on your membership tier. A single course costs $375 for STC Members, $300.00 for STC Gold Members, $295 for STC Student Members, and $595.00 for Non-Members.
Who Should Take the Society for Technical Communication Course?
SOC has many courses for beginners and experienced technical writers looking to brush up on their writing and communication skills, but they are pricier than other online courses. Due to the course quality (and pricing), SOC courses are for people serious about their writing careers and perfecting different writing types of technical documentation.
Keep in mind that participants must always log in for live sessions and complete around 3-hours of homework per week. If you’re not currently residing in the United States, all courses are in Eastern Standard Time (EST).
4. Udemy Technical Writing Courses
Udemy is a well-known library of courses where you can find online technical writing resources for practically any industry.
You will find countless courses on the correct writing process and things like technical document design, proofreading, and other writing-related content. It’s important to single out the courses for good technical writing.
For example, this course is for new technical writers. It focuses on the basics and fundamentals of technical writing and editing. It’s a complete starter course that also delves into the right way to develop a technical document template and how you can write your first user guide.
Furthermore, the syllabus focuses on teaching you proper headings, revising, and formatting.
Enrollment in the course is straightforward since it’s a self-paced program; however, you will need a Windows PC and Microsoft Word and Excel (2007 or 2010). The award-winning course costs $199.99, but you may be eligible for a discount.
You get access to 107 lectures, 22 exercise sheets, 22 solution sheets, and 36 quizzes. You’ll also get six PDF e-books, 40 PDF supplement documents, and a final assignment that the instructor personally reviews.
You can also find other writing courses on Udemy.
How Much Does the Udemy Course Cost?
Courses range from $11.99 to $199.99 on Udemy. Additionally, Udemy often has discounts, so it’s a good idea to find classes you want to take and keep an eye on them if the current price isn’t right for you.
Who Should Take the Udemy Course?
With many courses and affordable pricing, Udemy technical writing courses are perfect for people running on a budget but still want quality technical writing education. Although a schedule does exist, you can be more flexible with your timing than on other platforms.
Most Udemy courses provide essential knowledge, making them great for writers looking to scratch the technical writing surface.
Coursera is another massive platform with many courses on different subjects. On the site, you can find various courses developed by individuals, organizations, and even universities.
While you’ll find plenty of technical writing courses on Coursera, it’s best to start simple.
For example, this course offered by the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology is an excellent course for people looking to specialize in writing for STEM subjects. The course is free to enroll in, and you receive a shareable certificate upon completion.
The course’s deadlines are flexible, and it takes approximately 19 hours to complete. The program takes five weeks with 33 videos, countless reading material, quizzes, and more.
You can check other courses by visiting Coursera.
How Much Does the Coursera Course Cost?
General courses on Coursera are free. But remember that additional features such as specializations, certificates, or mentorship are behind a monthly paywall. Depending on the course, specializations can cost anywhere from $39 to $79 per month.
Who Should Take the Coursera Course?
Coursera is a great testing ground for writers who aren’t 100% sure about dedicating their time to technical writing. You can take courses for free, see if you like what you’re learning, and then invest further depending on the experience.
There’s a minimum risk if you don’t have much money to spare, but you still want to check if you got what it takes to be a technical writer.
6. Technical Course by Emphasis
Emphasis is a learning company dedicated to offering business-writing consultants and writing trainers. The site provides various resources, courses, and services to help writers and companies develop better writing portfolios.
Emphasis’ technical writing course is by a team of professional technical writers that are supposed to help communicate technical information. The program isn’t for freelancers but for in-house technical writing teams. Technical writers work in groups, so this can be a great program if you’re a part of one.
The company also offers in-house training at your company or remotely. On average, the course takes one day in total. The pricing depends on the organization and the number of people that require assistance.
You can learn more by visiting Emphasis’ technical writing course.
How Much Does the Technical Course by Emphasis Cost?
The pricing depends on whether you’re taking the class individually or as a team. For individuals, the price is $681 plus tax. The platform considers the team size, requirements, and other elements for teams, but the average price is $327 to $412 plus tax per participant.
Who Should Take the Technical Course by Emphasis?
Emphasis courses are suitable for beginners and experienced technical writers alike. Furthermore, Emphasis is excellent for companies looking to educate a team due to their tailored approach.
Instead of having team members take the test individually, they can grow as a team and apply the knowledge to benefit your company.
7. Fundamentals of Technical Writing by the University of Waterloo
Like most universities, the University of Waterloo offers individual courses that don’t require any entrance exam or prerequisites. You can opt for these courses at any time you want.
The Fundamentals of Technical Writing course by the University of Waterloo is a six-week-long course designed to cover all the basics of technical writing and editing. After the six weeks, participants have two weeks to complete the final exam that’s online and open book. Upon completion and passing the exam, participants will receive the certificate of completion.
Depending on your familiarity with technical writing, you can take the course at your own pace. That means you may be able to complete the course much faster if you have prior experience with technical writing. It’s best to take your time and learn as much as possible since it’s a paid course.
You can learn more by visiting the University of Waterloo’s Fundamentals of Technical Writing course page.
How Much Does the Fundamentals of Technical Writing Course by the University of Waterloo Cost?
You need to have Microsoft Word to start the course. Including all the resources, the course will set you back $190, plus any applicable tax.
Who Should Take the Fundamentals of Technical Writing Course by the University of Waterloo?
The course is excellent for individuals who prefer the college-style approach to education. Although not too expensive, the online technical writing course requires dedication, so it’s better to take this one if you’re serious about becoming a full-time technical writer.
The course explores many aspects of technical writing to be ready to engage if you want to get the most of what the course offers.
8. Online Technical Course by the Oregon State University
Similar to the technical writing course by the University of Waterloo, Oregon State University also offers a complete technical writing course. The online course covers the basics of technical writing, technical documentation types, writing styles, and how you can design technical publications, among other things.
You’ll get personalized instructor feedback on your chosen writing project. The course can run for up to four weeks and starts on specific dates, so it’s best to apply before the starting date.
You can learn more by visiting Oregon State University’s online technical writing course page.
How Much Does the Online Technical Course by the Oregon State University Cost?
The price is $425. It’s best to commit at least three to eight hours to the course per week.
Who Should Take the Online Technical Course by the Oregon State University?
This is another excellent program for beginners. This one stands out because you’ll learn how to write compelling technical copies and how your writing syncs with the UX. This can be valuable knowledge since you’ll often work with product developers as a writer.
Choosing the Right Technical Course for Your Career
Whether you’re writing technical reports for an organization or product user manuals, technical writing will require specific skills and knowledge. The best way to attain those skills is through completing writing courses.
That’s especially true if you’re starting your technical writing career. However, if you’ve spent some years in the field, you can still finish the courses above to strengthen your portfolio. Still, you should also look into some industry-specific certifications and courses.
Choosing the right technical writing course will always be about what industry you’re in and your writing style.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions about technical writing courses.
What is Technical Writing?
Technical writing is a form where you create content that’s easy to understand for the everyday user—translating technical jargon and complex information into easier and readable content so users can better understand their products and services.
There are many different types of products and services; therefore, there are various types of technical writing. Each type has another format, template, process, and structure. You may write FAQs for a technical website or end up supporting technical documents for research journals.
Common technical writing types include instruction manuals, user manuals, API documentation, financial documents, white papers, case studies, and more.
Most technical tasks usually depend on formatting, and that’s why using technical writing templates is essential. You can find various templates for inspiration for different kinds of technical online. It’s best to review some technical writing examples and samples and then work on your technical documents.
The field of technical writing is complicated because it requires writers to know the subject matter alongside having proper technical writing skills. In some cases, people prefer that technical writers should have direct or prior experience in the field to grasp the subject’s complexities. The technical writer needs to have a great understanding of the product or what it’s about.
As a result, if a technical writer doesn’t have the required technical writing skills, they have to work closely with the industry experts. It’s their job to keep professional communication channels between them and any expert they need to consult.
Excellent writing is not just about technical skills but also communication skills, years of experience, and overall subject knowledge.
Is technical writing a good career?
With many SaaS companies emerging every year, technical writing can be quite a fruitful career. The hardest part is finding initial clients who help you build a quality resume. But since not many writers (or SaaS companies in general) are familiar with technical writing and the required professional communication, it’s relatively easy to stand out if you have the proper knowledge and communication skills.
Are technical writing courses worth it?
Due to general unfamiliarity with technical writing across multiple industries, a quality writing course can be your gateway to a rewarding career. Although you should research before deciding on a program, technical writing courses are worth your time and money.
What are the qualifications to be a technical writer?
The qualifications for technical writers include A bachelor’s degree or certification in technical writing, communications, or a related field. You should also have experience as a technical writing intern.
How do I learn technical writing?
You can improve your technical writing skills and general business writing by taking a course on technical writing online or at a university. If you’re on the fence about learning technical writing, then I recommend you start with Technical Writer HQ’s certification to get a better understanding of the general technical writing process and audience analysis.