13 September 2011
Certification is available to all practitioners who meet the eligibility requirements. STC membership is not required for eligibility.
To be eligible for certification, you must have a combination of either directly related or relevant education and full-time equivalent (FTE) experience in the field. The more you have of one, the less you need of the other:
- Degree in a directly related field (listed below) plus at least three years of FTE experience as a technical communicator, OR
- Degree in a relevant field (listed below) plus at least four years of FTE experience as a technical communicator, OR
- High school diploma (or the global equivalent) plus at least five years of FTE experience as a technical communicator
Note: Applicants must attest to their degree and experience. Statements made on your application are subject to verification.
What are the education requirements for the CPTC program?
At least a secondary-school diploma (or its global equivalent).
If you have fewer than 5 years of experience, however, and would like to seek certification, additional education might reduce the 5-year residency requirement. That’s because completing formal study in a degree program in technical communication or a related or relevant field can reduce the learning needed on the job—and reduce the time needed to become a competent technical communicator.
(It’s not that other degree programs are not valuable, but they do not formally prepare students for work in the field and, therefore, are not assumed to reduce the learning curve on the job.)
|Related fields*||Relevant fields*|
|Degree level||Doctorate, or
(or, in Canada, Diploma)
(or, in Canada, Diploma)
|Impact on the residency requirement:||Reduces the requirement by 2 years (so applicants can apply with as few as 3 years of experience)||Reduces the requirement by 1 year (so applicants can apply with as few as 4 years of experience)|
* This is a preliminary list. In the future, the STC Certification Commission will be developing additional qualifications for educational experience. At that time, the list of related and relevant degrees might change.
Does a master’s degree or PhD in technical communication count more than a bachelor’s degree?
No. Such programs do not provide additional preparation in the competencies assessed in the certification beyond what is covered in the bachelor’s degree programs.
I have a degree that’s not listed. Am I eligible to apply for certification?
Yes, if you have five years of full-time equivalent experience working as technical communicator.
Questions Specifically for Applicants from Canada
What colleges and universities in Canada offer directly related or relevant degrees?
The directly related degree programs in Canada (eligible with 3 years’ experience) are:
|Related Programs||Relevant Programs|
|Reduces the requirement by 2 years (so applicants can apply with as few as 3 years of experience)||Reduces the requirement by 1 years (so applicants can apply with as few as 4 years of experience)|
|Algonquin College||Graduate Certificate, Technical Writer||Concordia University||Minor in Professional Writing
Graduate Diploma in Instructional Technology
Master’s or PhD in Educational Technology
|British Columbia Institute of Technology||Associate Certificate in Technical Writing||George Brown College||Certificate in Technical Communications|
|Mt. Royal University||Bachelor’s, Information Design||Humber College||Certificate in Technical Writing|
|Royal Roads University||Bachelor’s and Master’s in Professional Communication||Laval University||Master’s or PhD in Educational Technology|
|Ryerson University||Master‘s of Professional Communication||Ryerson University||Undergraduate minor in Professional Communication|
|Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology||Graduate certificate in Technical Communication||Simon Fraser University||Master’s or PhD in Educational Technology|
|Simon Fraser University||Certificate in Technical Communication||University of Calgary||Master’s or PhD in Educational Technology|
|University of Sherbrooke (taught in French)||Baccalauréat en communication, rédaction et multimédia||University of Waterloo||Master’s in Rhetoric and Communciation Design|