Best Technical Writing Certifications in 2022
As a technical writer, if you’re not consistently honing your abilities, sooner or later the competition will catch up to you. To stay on top of your game, completing a well-recognized technical writing certification course can go a long way.
There are a lot of continuing education/training opportunities for technical communicators out there. Whether you’re a beginner or a current writer who wants to take the next step in your career, there’s a technical writing certification program for everyone.
To help you pursue the right one, in this article, we’ll review some of the best technical writing certification programs being offered in 2022.
Table of Contents
What is a Technical Writing Certification?
A technical writing certification showcase your knowledge of delivering highly complex information in a targeted way via easy-to-comprehend, and structured writing. Usually, you get the certificate after finishing technical writing courses and a final exam. Stakeholders, software developers, engineers, scientists, and business analysts use technical to share technical information with a defined audience.
Used in fields like software engineering, medical science, maintenance, finance, etc., technical writing is a form of technical communication. For technical communicators and other technical writing professionals, the basic principle is that it relies on using unambiguous language to convey otherwise highly technical information.
Technical writing takes a lot of shapes and forms, including, but not limited to:
- Software documentation
- User manuals
- Financial reports
- White papers
- Business plans
Of course, different technical documents have different goals (like explaining the usability of a software product, sharing set-up instructions for a team of engineers, etc.). Furthermore, the tone, selection of words, and depth of information depend on the final audience.
The structure for technical documentation is one of the few things that separate it from most forms of.
Technical writing is a rewarding career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of current technical writers in the US is $76,860. If you enjoy explaining technical information, have a knack for structured writing, and are passionate about a technical area, this might be the perfect career path for you.
Top 8 Technical Writing Certification Options
There’s always room for improvement in the technical field. Whether you’ve been in the game for a while now and want to further polish your skills, or set foot in the field for the very first time, you can find a ton of technical writing courses and certificate programs catered to your needs.
After reviewing several technical writing certificate courses, we’ve shortlisted the following 8 that are worth checking out:
1. Technical Writing Certification Course by Technical Writer HQ
Technical Writer HQ is a place for everything technical writing. They have guides on API writing, interviewing, crafting a technical writer's resume, and formatting technical documentation.
The organization offers the renowned Technical Writer Certification Course. This is the most up-to-date course on technical writing in technology companies. They teach everything from working with product managers, engineers, and designers to how to manage the document development lifecycle. Here's a recent testimonial from the course:
"I took Josh's course, did the capstone project, and became certified in August. I've recently been offered a job as a Technical Writer for Amazon at $150k per year! I used my capstone project when they asked me for writing samples." -Henry Fuse
The Technical Course Certification Course is a widely recognized credential that helps people land technical jobs and up-level their careers. Here are just a few of the things you'll learn in the certification course:
- How to Implement Technical Key Responsibilities
- How to Set Scope and Purpose of Your Documentation
- How to Analyze Your Audience
- How to Write an FAQ
- How to Write White Papers
- How to Write User Manuals
- How to Write Case Studies
- 50+ Interview Questions Answered
The course was designed by Josh Fechter who's the founder of Squibler, a writing software. He has over ten years of technical writing experience and has been writing software tutorials, manuals, handbooks, and white papers for over eight years. His work has been praised by Facebook's and LinkedIn's engineering team, Reuters, Inc., and Forbes.
To learn more visit Technical Writer HQ
How Much Does the One Week Technical Writer by Technical Writer HQ Cost?
Technical Writing HQ provides extensive resources such as homework, practical exercises, and video material for $299.
Who Should Take the One Week Technical Writer Certification?
This certification is great for writers who don’t know where to start with their technical writing career. You’ll get a helpful 360-degree overview of technical writing, alongside practical advice that goes outside just the usual writing.
As a writer, it’s essential to know how to communicate with developers and engineers, something you’ll learn as well.
2. Certified Professional Technical Communicator (CPTC) by the STC
The Society for Technical Communication (STC) is a professional association of technical writers, editors, technical communicators, and managers. The STC’s mission is to promote the growth of the field of technical communication through multiple technical writing programs.
To that end, the association offers networking events, competitive online courses, and a professional certification program known as the “Certified Professional Technical Communicator (CPTC).”
The CPTC is a widely recognized credential that speaks volumes in the technical writing industry. The program is split into the following 3 tiers (passing one tier will unlock the next):
- Foundation – the first tier is for beginners. Completion of this certification demonstrates that the professional has sound knowledge of the principles of technical communication.
- Practitioner – this is the next step in your CPTC journey. Those who hold the Practitioner certificate show that they have high proficiency in applying the best practices of technical communication.
- Expert – this is the ultimate proof of a technical communicator’s high expertise. The assessment is based on special interviews and work products. As of now, the STC still has to announce the exam for this tier.
In order to get started with the CPTC, you’ll also need to become a member of the STC. Furthermore, there are many online courses being offered by the STC, each of which can award certification holders with continuing education points (CEPs).
All in all, if you’re looking for a decent program with a path for steady growth, the CPTC is a good choice.
How Much Does the Society for Technical Communication Certification Cost?
The foundation certificate costs $260 for STC members and $515 for nonmembers. The practitioner certificate costs $410 for STC members and $615 for nonmembers.
Who Should Take the Society for Technical Communication Certification?
If you’re serious about your career, getting the foundation certificate is a great way to solidify yourself as a professional technical writer. After, depending on your needs, you can ramp up your professionalism with practitioner and expert certificates as well.
But if you’re looking for technical writing to be more of a side-gig, there are better courses that you can take.
3. Medical Writer Certified (MWC) by the American Medical Writer’s Association
This certification has a narrow target audience in that it’s only meant for technical writers who specialize in medical science writing.
The Medical Writer Certified (MWC) program is offered by the American Medical Writer’s Association (AMWA) in collaboration with the Medical Certification Commission (MWCC).
The AMWA has over 4,000 members and a simple goal – to help fellow medical writers excel in their careers by providing them with training, networking, and continued education opportunities.
By acquiring this writing certification, you can solidify your medical skills, strengthen your professional profile, and attract better employment opportunities.
In order to qualify for the examination, you must:
- Have at least a bachelor’s degree in any field
- Have at least 2 years of experience in the field of medical communication
The exam for this specialized technical certification is based on 125 multiple choice questions, lasting 2.5 hours. It is conducted at more than 300 testing centers worldwide.
You can learn more about examination get answers to FAQs regarding eligibility on the program’s main landing page.
How Much Does the MWC by the American Medical Writer’s Association Cost?
To get the certificate, first, you have to pass the application which costs $150. After, you can apply for an examination, which will cost another $495.
Who Should Take the MWC by the American Medical Writer’s Association?
The certificate is for professional medical writers looking to establish themselves further in the industry. Since it requires two letters of professional reference, a university transcript, and a total fee of $645, it’s mostly for writers looking to build a professional medical writing career.
4. Coursera’s Technical Certification Courses
Coursera is one of the largest e-learning platforms out there, offering over 3,000 online courses, specializations, and certifications in hundreds of disciplines.
The platform offers a good selection of self-paced, 100% online courses on technical writing. From basic certificates to advanced credentials, you can easily find a program that meets your learning needs.
Here are a few that are worth exploring:
- Technical Writing – this is an intermediate-level course that is offered by the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. If you want to demonstrate proficiency in the principles of sharing experimental/professional results, this course is ideal.
- Skills for Engineering Leader – if you’re a seasoned engineer who wants to learn the basics of technical writing, this 16-hour long course is perfect for you. It is a part of the “Communication Skills for Engineers Specialization” program.
You can consume the learning material/watch the lectures for free. However, to obtain the certification and share it in a professional capacity, you’ll need to pay the set fees.
How Much Does the Coursera’s Technical Certification Cost?
While courses are free, you’ll pay anything between $39 and $79 per month for advanced education and certification.
Who Should Take the Coursera’s Technical Certification?
Due to its pricing and educational model, Coursera is great for beginners and advanced technical writers. More experienced technical writers might prefer a more “technical writing oriented” platform for the certification, but due to Coursera’s strong presence in the education industry, the certificate has value. Especially for beginners.
5. Udemy’s Technical Certification Courses
Like Coursera, is a massive online training platform with far greater of courses in hundreds of fields.
Furthermore, compared to Coursera, has a better selection of technical writing courses, all offering certificates of completion.
From courses that teach technical skills to project management professionals to programs like Grammarly Premium that will show you the ropes of business writing, the learning possibilities are endless.
Here are a few of the top-rated technical writing certification programs worth the enrollment:
- Technical Writing: Master Your Career – this is a basic course that will help you become a more successful writer. It is 5.5 hours long and costs only $49.9.
- Professional Technical Writing: Advance Your Skills – this next certification course is also meant for beginners who want to develop technical documents. It is 6 hours long and comes with a price tag of $199.9.
- Technical Writing: How to Write Software Documentation – if you’re interested in specializing in software documentation via GitHub, this course is a good place to start. As of now, the course costs $129.9.
While Udemy offers free courses as well, unfortunately, all the technical writing courses being offered right now are paid.
How Much Does Udemy’s Technical Certification Cost?
Udemy’s Technical Certification price ranges from $49.9 to $129.9, depending on the course and the certification provider.
Who Should Take Udemy’s Technical Certification?
Similar to Coursera, Udemy is a fantastic place to start for beginner technical writers. Not only do you get a professional education, but you also get a certificate to prove your quality as you venture into the technical writing business.
6. Tech-Writer Certification Programs
Tech-Writer Certification, in collaboration with different accredited university partners, offers a few well-recognized technical certification programs.
Unlike online certificate courses offered by Udemy and Coursera, Tech-Writer Certification programs have to be completed within the specified time periods (otherwise you’ll be required to pay an extension fee to continue).
The certificates being offered by this platform include:
- Basic Certificate in Technical Writing – this writing program is made up of three courses, designed specifically for beginners who want to learn technical writing. Assessments are based on quizzes, assignments, one-on-ones with the instructors, and a final project.
- Comprehensive Career Builder Certificate in Technical Writing – this program is meant for professionals who want to take the next leap in their career. It is a comprehensive course that lasts for 3 months.
- Certificate in for Current Technical Writers, Editors and Designers – as the name suggests, this program has been designed for technical communicators already in the field. It lasts for 90 hours.
In addition to the above, Tech-Writer Certification also has a 360-degree certificate course on technical communication, a program for structured technical documentation, and another one that teaches the basics of written communication skills.
How Much Does the Tech-Writer Certification Cost?
Tech-Writer doesn’t list their certification pricing. You need to get in touch with Tech-Writer for that information.
Who Should Take the Tech-Writer Certification?
Tech-Writer certificate is for tech writers who want to dedicate their entire career to technical writing, instead of it being a side-job. Similar to STC, there are several certificate tiers you can choose from depending on your current career level.
If you’re looking to step up your game, the Tech-Writer certificate can be a solid choice.
7. Certificate in Professional Technical Writing by the University of Washington
The University of Washington (Professional & Continuing Education) is a renowned institution in the US that provides working professionals with unrivaled career-advancing opportunities.
The institution’s certificate Professional Technical Writing program will show that you have a deep understanding of the principles of technical – giving you a substantial competitive edge over your peers.
It is based on 3 courses that will help build a solid foundation of technical writing.
Through this comprehensive program, you’ll learn how to create different high-level technical documents, the basic elements of document design, and how to use popular documentation tools.
The program is conducted online with real-time meetings, lasts for 8 months, and will set you back by $3,597. Only apply if you are fully committed to taking your technical writing career to the next level.
How Much Does the Certificate in Professional Technical Writing by the University of Washington Cost?
The program is conducted online with real-time meetings, lasts for 8 months, and will set you back by $3,597.
Who Should Take the Certificate in Professional Technical Writing by the University of Washington?
You should only apply if you are fully committed to taking your writing career to the next level. With professional technical communication, you're more likely to win job opportunities. But, if you’re still in the phase of testing out the field, there are other certificates and courses that you can take.
8. Dalhousie University’s Technical Writing Certificate Program
The final technical writing certification is the comprehensive program being offered by Dalhousie University’s College of Continuing Education.
Like all the aforementioned certificates, this program is conducted online. Upon completion, you’ll receive a university-accredited certificate which you can then showcase as proof of your skills.
Another great thing about this program is that there are no strict eligibility criteria. The program consists of 4 courses, including 1 core course called “Technical Writing Essentials,” and 3 elective courses, making it one of the most flexible options out there.
While the learning activities are to be completed on a self-paced basis, the evaluations have to be completed within a period of 4 years.
How Much Does the Dalhousie University’s Technical Writing Certificate Program Cost?
The total certificate fee is $1,980 or $495 per course.
Who Should Take the Dalhousie University’s Technical Writing Certificate Program?
If you belong to a STEM field and are serious about pursuing a rewarding career in technical writing, you can apply with no questions asked.
Which Technical Writing Certification is Right for Me?
Considering that there are so many options, it can be difficult to pick just one.
However, your decision should boil down to the following factors:
- Your current budget
- How well-recognized the certification course is in your industry
- Your current requirements/level of skills
- How flexible the course is
Regardless, earning a certification is a milestone that you should be proud of. Showcase this achievement on your resume (and profile) to get noticed for competitive technical writing jobs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Check the most commonly asked questions and answers about current technical writers' certificates.
Are technical writing certifications worth it?
A technical writing certification is official proof of your knowledge and skills as a technical writer.
Both for beginners and experienced technical writers, it is much easier to get new job opportunities with a certificate than without one.
How to become a certified technical writer?
You can become a certified writer either by going to a university or by taking one of the offered certification exams. The certification exam you take depends on your personal goals as a writer.
How much do technical writing certifications cost?
Depending on the platform, technical writing certifications can cost anywhere from $79 to $2,399 for comprehensive career-building certificates. Some of the aspects that impact the price are specialization, the platform itself, and technical writing skills level.