The Society for Technical Communication is the world’s oldest professional association dedicated to the advancement of the field of technical communication. The Society’s members span the field of the technical communication profession from students and academics to practitioners and managers. Our members represent every industry segment and many countries around the globe.
In a rapidly changing field, STC supports the development and dissemination of technical communication knowledge and skill. The Society’s award-winning publications, Intercom and Technical Communication, are widely read by practitioners and academics in the field, and the STC annual conference is one of the most-attended technical communication events of the year. The STC also offers the Certified Professional Technical Communicator program that validates knowledge, competency and currency in the field through professional certification.
The Society, its geographic Chapters, and its Special Interest Groups produce a wide array of educational events throughout the year designed to advance the knowledge of members and promote technical communication education, managerial techniques and tool skills. Career advancement is also supported by the STC through an annual salary survey, job board, mentoring and networking.
The origin of technical communication has been attributed to various eras: Ancient Greece, the Renaissance, and the mid-twentieth century. However, the professional field was firmly established during the First World War, growing out of the need for technology-based documentation in the military, manufacturing, electronic, and aerospace industries.
In the United States, two organizations concerned with improving the practice of technical communication were founded on the East Coast in 1953: the Society of Technical Writers and the Association of Technical Writers and Editors. These organizations merged in 1957 to form the Society of Technical Writers and Editors (STWE).
STWE merged with the Technical Publishing Society in 1960 in an effort to extend the organization’s size and reach. It was via this merger that the Society of Technical Writers and Publishers was born. Over the next eleven years, the organization flourished, continuing to grow and expand its membership. In 1971, the organization changed its name to the Society for Technical Communication.
In the early 2000s, STC grew as the growth of online content exploded and the need for content professionals expanded with it. The advent of new software tools for developing content significantly increased the impact of technical communicators. In 2009, the Society successfully lobbied the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics to recognize Technical Writer as a discrete profession to be tracked by the Department of Labor.
Today, the field continues to grow and change. Increasingly, content includes visual and graphic information, it is expected to be accessible through multiple devices, and the line between technical documentation and marketing gets blurrier every day. The Society for Technical Communication exists to help our members understand these changes in the field and to help them adapt their skills to the needs of the marketplace. We are proud of the contributions STC members make in every industry and the benefits that consumers and society gain from clear, concise communication.