Technical Writer/Editor - Documentation Services at Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Posted in Professional Services 21 days ago.

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Location: Pasadena, California

Job Description:
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Technical Writer/Editor - Documentation Services


Job ID: 2019-11298
Type: Regular Full-Time
# of Openings: 1
Category: Communication


New ideas are all around us, but only a few will change the world. That’s our focus at JPL. We ask the biggest questions, then search the universe for answers—literally. We build upon ideas that have guided generations, then share our discoveries to inspire generations to come. Your mission—your opportunity—is to seek out the answers that bring us one step closer. If you’re driven to discover, create, and inspire something that lasts a lifetime and beyond, you’re ready for JPL.

Located in Pasadena, California, JPL has a campus-like environment situated on 177 acres in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and offers a work environment unlike any other: we inspire passion, foster innovation, build collaboration, and reward excellence.


Technical Writer/Editor opportunity to work with JPL's Documentation Services team to capture and document the results of scientific, technical, and institutional activities, including review boards, committees, and teams, often through meetings, interviews, or other forums. You will apply and tailor knowledge-capture methods, processes, and tools to these activities and situations.

As Technical Writer you will plan, organize, research, write, edit, format, and produce complex scientific, technical, and administrative documents and multimedia products (e.g., proposals, reports, hardware and software documentation, journal articles, and conference papers) for internal and external audiences, using publication software and content-management tools.

  • Take end-to-end responsibility for work assignments, from initiation through delivery/distribution/archiving of work products; responsible for completing significant project or assignment milestones.
  • Analyze job requirements and participate in defining strategies for implementation; troubleshoot complex issues.
  • Negotiate, create, and track scope, cost, and schedule estimates for complex work assignments; keep customers, management, and stakeholders informed of status.
  • Advise on complex questions of language, style, and audience awareness; conduct quality review of technical materials.
  • Research and participate in analyzing industry standards, trends, and technologies; participate in developing recommendations to customers, management, and stakeholders.
  • Work independently on important assignments and projects with only limited supervision, typically receiving only general instructions; responsible for approving others' work and ensuring compliance with requirements on significant projects and assignments.


  • Typically requires a Bachelor’s degree in technical writing or related discipline with a minimum of three years of related experience; Master’s degree in similar disciplines with a minimum of one year of related experience; or PhD in similar disciplines.
  • Extensive understanding and wide application of principles, theories, concepts, and techniques in technical communication, including extensive knowledge of applicable industry and/or academic practices and standards; broad knowledge in one or more related fields of knowledge.
  • Recent experience writing, editing, producing, and overseeing technical proposals, reports, presentations, and/or similar documentation and multimedia products; experience editing technical journal articles, research papers, manuscripts, and/or books; knowledge of the end-to-end documentation process, from intake to printed and electronic output and distribution.
  • Ability to capture scientific, technical, and/or business information and create documentation products in real time.
  • Experience working on high-performance teams and managing complex technical communication projects, including preparing schedules, scopes of work, and budgets; assigning and monitoring work; and meeting quality requirements.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills; ability to communicate, market, and advocate discipline-related knowledge, services, and programs.
  • Advanced skills in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), Adobe Creative Suite, and collaborative authoring and enterprise content management tools; proficiency in HTML and XML and experience with web design or development; experience with LaTeX.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and strong customer focus; ability to coordinate and collaborate effectively in a team environment.
  • Excellent organizational skills; ability to complete detailed tasks accurately and efficiently.
  • Sound critical analysis and problem-solving skills, with the ability to collaborate with technical teams to develop creative and innovative solutions for technical communication issues.
  • Ability to use good judgment and quickly respond to changing priorities; ability to work under pressure and meet commitments, including deadlines and budgets.
  • Ability to innovate work processes and implement industry-best practices in technical communication technology and methods, including knowledge capture.
  • Willingness to work extra hours, including nights and weekends (eligible for overtime pay); willingness to travel.
  • General understanding of, or interest in, space exploration or related science or engineering fields
  • Extensive knowledge of Laboratory policies and procedures, NASA policies and procedures, and government regulations across a range of applications.

Caltech/JPL is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and affirmative action employer. It is the policy of Caltech/JPL to provide equal employment opportunities, actively recruit, and include for employment consideration all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.