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Certificate in

Technical Writing

Develop your technical writing abilities to a professional level and meet the demands of a growing field with a flexible, online program designed for working adults.


Meet the Demands of Global Communication

As technology continues to advance and the dependence on tech-driven products grows at a rapid pace, there is a continuous demand for well-developed technical writers.

In Cal State East Bay’s Technical Writing Certificate Program, you’ll learn what it takes to enter the technical writing field, including the differences between academic and technical writing, how to consider the needs and abilities of different audiences, how to incorporate clarity and utility, and pitfalls to avoid in the revision and editing process.

Princeton ReviewBest in the West

Selected as a “Best in the West" college by The Princeton Review

CSUEBAward-Winning Faculty

Taught by veteran technical writer and award-winning teacher, Lynn Atkinson

Learn everything you need to improve your understanding and use of written communications and become an asset in any administrative or management role. In addition to acquiring the fundamental knowledge necessary for all types of professional technical writing, you’ll delve into media and formats ranging from instructions and proposals to websites and e-mails.

Set Your Own Pace

With a self-paced, fully online program, you can look forward to starting the course at any time and finishing at your own pace. The best part is you’ll receive the same quality education as you would in the classroom with one-on-one interaction with your instructor, but from the convenience of your home or office.

Max Mobley

I didn’t expect how well the program lends itself to the ADDIE model, how many different forms Technical Writing can take, and how much the program helps build a portfolio.

Max Mobley
Class of 2013

Help Others Understand Complex Concepts

Many industries rely heavily on written instructions and procedures. As a result, technical writers are in high demand. As a technical writer, you’ll help others understand complex and technical information more easily by preparing instruction manuals, journal articles, “frequently asked questions” pages, and other supporting documentation.

As a technical writer, you’ll have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings, such as the fast-paced computer and engineering industries.

As a technical writer, you’ll have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings, such as the fast-paced computer and engineering industries. Typical duties may include managing the flow of information within an organization and developing and disseminating technical information among customers, designers, and manufacturers.

Occupational Trends

Earnings Potential

The median annual pay for technical writers was $67,900 in 2013, with the top 10 percentile earning $105,760.
— Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor

15% Growth

Employment of technical writers is projected to grow 15% from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations.
— Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor

47,300 Jobs

An estimated 47,300 professionals were employed in the technical writing field in 2013.
— Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor

Become an Expert in Technical Communications

By earning your Certificate in Technical Writing from an accredited university, you’ll demonstrate your competence and professionalism, making you more attractive to both current and future employers.

In fact, successful graduates have secured positions in technical consulting firms while others choose to work on a freelance basis, being paid per assignment. Regardless of the career path you choose, technical writers are needed in every field so job possibilities are endless.

Max Mobley

The program helped me get a great job at Netflix and helped my writing projects outside of Netflix—books, magazines, and websites.

Max Mobley
Class of 2013

Program Objectives

Upon successful completion of the Technical Writing program, you will:

Understand the differences between academic and technical writing.

Develop effective research methods.

Learn to consider the needs and abilities of the audience.

Know how to incorporate clarity and utility.

Develop job-hunting and resume-writing skills.

Become aware of ethical issues in technical writing.

Employ stylistic methods for effective writing.

Learn how to work as part of a team.

Master writing a variety of technical documents.

Program Format

The Technical Writing Certificate Program is conveniently offered online and is compatible with Windows XP and later operating systems.

There are no specific computer requirements other than an Internet connection (Internet Explorer 7 and later versions are recommend as the browsers), e-mail account, Microsoft Word (for assignment submissions), and Windows Media Player (which is available as a free download). In order to successfully complete the program, you’ll need Adobe Flash Player and Adobe Acrobat Reader. This program can be taken on either a Mac or a PC and all required textbooks will be provided.

Certificate Requirements

To earn your Certificate in Technical Writing, you must complete one required course. The course is approximately 80 hours. You’ll have six months to complete the program but can have that time extended as need. The curriculum includes the following topics:

  • Introduction to Technical Writing
  • Understanding Your Role as a Technical Writer
  • The Communication Triangle: The Recipe for Establishing Common Ground With the Audience
  • Types of Technical Correspondence: Writing for an Intended Audience
  • Writing a Professional Portfolio
  • The Seven Principles of Effective Writing
  • Writing as a Process: Learning to Write in Stages
  • The Final Word on Technical Writing

Required Courses

EXSP-8178-HA: Technical Writing

Lynn Atkinson


Lynn Atkinson’s career as a technical writer began in 1977 when she became the assistant editor of a monthly magazine. After the owner sold the magazine, she continued her career by editing other periodicals and publications until she went back to college to earn another degree, this time in English.

A published writer, editor, ghost writer, and college textbook writer and editor, including acknowledged contributions to several editions of college textbooks, Atkinson considers her greatest accomplishment being an educator of 14 years to thousands of students at University of Texas at Arlington, Devry, Tarrant County College, Southeast Career Institute, and Everest College.

Among her other accomplishments, Atkinson has developed or co-developed several writing curriculums, including the ed2go Technical Writing Program; won writing contests; been nominated and awarded outstanding teacher at UTA, Southeast Career Institute, and Everest; been awarded distinguished instructor by department chairs at UTA, Southeast Career Institute, and Everest; and conducted over 10,000 hours of tutoring as a Level III Certified Tutor in the SOAR department at UTA and in private practice. MA in English BA in English University of Texas at Arlington.

Ready to enroll? Find out how you can join the program. »

Ready to Enroll?

No application is needed to enter this program. Simply register for the program and complete it at your own pace.

Admission Requirements

If you can satisfactorily complete the program coursework, you’re invited to enroll. While there are no specific prerequisites for this program, you should have a good grasp of the English language, grammar, and punctuation before enrolling, and you'll need to be comfortable using e-mail and the Internet.

Common Questions

How long does it take to complete the program?
The program is self-paced, so you can start when you want and finish at your own pace. Upon registering, you're given an initial six months to complete this program. Should you need more time beyond the six months, an extension of six months is available at no additional cost.

Do I have to buy additional materials?
All the materials you'll need are included, and their cost will be covered by your tuition. All materials will be shipped to you upon enrollment.

What happens when I complete the program?
Upon successful completion of the program, you will be awarded a certificate of completion.

Am I guaranteed a job?
CSUEB’s partner, ed2go, does not provide direct job placement services. However, ed2go’s facilitators and career counselors will help you build your resume and are available to give advice on finding your first job. Facilitators will also be available to use as a professional reference upon completion of the program.

What software or hardware do I need in order to take the program and what are the system requirements?
In order to take this program, you must have access to a computer and the Internet. You can access the program contents from any Web-enabled computer. You don't have to use the same computer to log-in to the program every time. A word-processing program, such as Microsoft Word, and the latest version of Internet Explorer are recommended. For more details on the program format, visit the program’s Curriculum section.

Can I use a Mac?
Yes, you can use a Mac for this program.

When can I start the program?
The program offers open enrollment. You can register and start the program as soon as you are ready. Please note: Once the program curriculum is accessed online or through submission of a material shipment confirmation, refunds cannot be issued.

What is the refund policy?
This program is offered in partnership with ed2go and is subject to their refund policy. According to their refund policy, students are ineligible for a refund of course registration fees once they obtain course materials and have been given access to the online class.


Is financial aid available for this program?
Cal State East Bay is proud to help veterans and their families in achieving their educational and career goals. A variety of programs have been pre-approved for tuition assistance for active and retired military, and qualified dependents. Get VA Educational Benefit details online, including which programs have been pre-approved, application and reimbursement processes, and contacts who can help you along the way.

Traditional Financial Aid (such as completing the FAFSA, Pell Grants, etc.) is not applicable for certificate programs, but there may be other suitable options to help you in financing your program. Learn more about other financial aid options.

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At Cal State East Bay, we pride ourselves on putting students first, from the moment your inquire until you graduate. We hope you've found answers to your questions in this support center, but if not, please get in touch.

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At a Glance

Area of study: Certificate in Technical Writing

Ideal for: Individuals who seek careers in technical writing and professionals in engineering, scientific, and other technical fields who seek to improve writing skills to further their career advancement and job satisfaction

Program format: Online

Number of courses: 1 course

Program length: 80 hours, self-paced

Tuition costs: $1,825 (Tuition fees are subject to change at any time.)


Please let us know if we can answer any questions about the Technical Writing program. Many answers can also be found in our online Support Center.

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