How Do I Earn a Technical Writing Certificate Online?

Technical writers rewrite technical information for a nonprofessional audience. Technical writing certificate programs are available online through colleges and universities for both graduate and undergraduate students. Schools offering English Reading & Writing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Program Overview

You can choose from many schools that offer online technical writing certificate programs. Some certificate programs are specifically designed for graduate students. A good understanding of English and grammar is suggested upon applying. Some programs may also require you to have a degree in science or technology, or demonstrate knowledge of these fields before enrolling.

You'll learn how to write technical documents for businesses in a clear, easy-to-understand manner. You'll also learn how to analyze the needs of your customer, to establish a team of subject matter experts to verify information and to produce a valuable finished product. These skills can benefit your writing career, and they can be useful in other careers, like business, finance, engineering, human resources, information technology, electronics, healthcare or education. A certificate of completion is awarded upon completion of the program.

Important Facts About These Programs

Key SkillsSelf-discipline, basic computer skills, basic writing skills, ability to learn independently
Possible Careers Technical writers, information developers, usability engineers, user-experience designers and more
Professional Certification Earning a technical writing certificate may prepare students for certification exams offered by the Society for Technical Communication
Continuing Education Program graduates might pursue a master's degree in technical writing or a related field

Common Coursework

You can expect to take up to 10 courses within a 3 year period to complete certain online technical writing certificate programs. Some schools dictate what you'll study, while others offer you several class choices. You may need to achieve a grade of C or better in each class. Some examples of course subjects covered include:

  • Technical communication fundamentals
  • Online technical writing
  • Managing projects and teams
  • Procedure writing
  • Creating user manuals
  • Policy documentation
  • Editing
  • Writing specifications, proposals and grants

How Online Programs Work

Some of these programs divide their courses into learning sessions you can access online. Typically, you'll log in to an online course delivery system and complete your courses in a specific order and within a certain timeframe. Some offer live curriculum delivery, where you can interact and communicate with your instructor or peers while participating.

Finding an Online Program

The Society for Technical Communication (STC) allows you to search for technical writing certificates in their academic database. In addition, the STC website provides information on its own online courses, Web seminars and annual events. Another resource for your program search is the National Center for Education Statistics ( This website allows you to search for certificate programs and filter your search by location and institution type.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:

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