Career Story: Engineering Technical Writer

Engineering Technical Writer

Job Title: Engineering Technical Writer

Type of Company: My company provides low-cost engineering services as a vendor to major engineering companies.

Education: BS, Electrical Engineering, City College of New York

Previous Experience: I worked as a experimental test engineer for a large jet engine manufacturer. I also worked for an engineering contractor, updating jet engine repair manuals

Job Tasks: My jobs consists of technical writing that provides instructions to the individuals of the organization to perform job functions as outlined in the instruction manuals.

The task may include documents requiring different software programs, such as Microsoft Word or PowerPoint. We also use a program called Interleaf, which is especially well-adapted to produced service bulletins for jet engines service procedures.

The tasks that I receive are usually in electronic format with a marked-up hard copy which contains the desired changes to the current issue of the procedure. After the editing is completed, I produce a hard copy and also an electronic copy to submit to the person who submitted the task. If additional changes are required then the process is repeated. Sometimes it is necessary to sit down with the individual and discuss the project to make sure we have a good understanding of the requirements. Sometimes we have to come up with art work for a PowerPoint presentation. It is very important to make sure the slide is balanced well and that entire slide contains very little white space. The font and colors that are used should be pleasing to the eye. The artwork needs to be large enough to make sure it is readable and understood.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part about this job is that you have to use your skills to produce a high quality product that will be published and part of the organization's documentation requirements. You get a chance to use your imagination and creativity.

The worst part about the job is that sometimes there is a total misunderstanding concerning the requirements and I have to start all over again.

Job Tips:
1. You have to make sure that you know all the software applications that are required to perform your duties in a timely fashion.

2. You have to be able to perform well under pressure. Sometimes there are deadlines to produce the final products and there may be more than one task to do at a time.

3. You have to be well-organized so you can keep all your tasks in order.

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