Query about a technical writing career

Subject: Query about a technical writing career
From: Philip Margolies <MARGOLIP -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 5 Aug 1996 12:44:51 -0400

Hello all!

Pardon my picking of your brains.

I am planning a career in technical writing/editing, and would appreciate
advice on how to pursue one.

After graduating with an aerospace engineering degree, I decided to combine
the degree with my interest and (pardon the hubris) ability in writing, and
become a technical writer. My first job was as a technical editor, involved
with editing and indexing journal abstracts for a NASA database. When the
contract was cancelled, I moved laterally within my company to my current
position as a "chemical analyst." I very much would like to return to
technical writing.

My questions are these:

1) What (additional) skills and/or coursework do I need for a successful
career as a technical writer? (I took the required technical writing course
in school, and an editing class since graduation).

2) How can I best market myself as a technical writer?

3) Following the recent threads on Techwr-L, I have noted how diverse
technical writing has become. What are the key areas in the field at
present, and in the near future? Also, where do technical writers see the
field going?

4) Are there any areas of technical writing I should be especially
interested in, or conversely, especially avoid?

Thank you for your time and assistance.

Phil Margolies
MargoliP -at- aol -dot- com

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