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Following your comment, I think not all non-certified TW fit your description.
I, for one, drifted from a help desk supervision position to my current
position as a technical writer. Before drifting though, I took a one year
intensive course in aeronautics TW. I had good business writing skills but I
lacked the skills on how to have the right structure, how to explain stuff
clearly and in a concise manner.
After the course, I got what we call an "Attestation", but that doesn't make
me a certified TW. Nonetheless, I think my employer as well as our clients
are more than satisfied with my work (yes, they do tell me).
You're right, bad TW or I should say people representing themselves as such
do embarrass the profession and the companies they work for. But I'm sure
they don't remain in the field too long... ;-)
Josee Sevigny Technical Writer
M3i Systems Inc., Longueuil, QC
e-m joseey -at- m3isystems -dot- qc -dot- ca
Tel (514) 928-4600
Fax (514) 328-8785