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The following lists some of the professions people are in who belong to the Society for Technical Communication (STC) and describes what STC is for and what the Washington, DC – Baltimore (WDCB) Chapter offers you as a member. See our STC Information: Join STC and the Washington, DC – Baltimore (WDCB) Chapter page for information about why you should join STC and the membership benefits in STC and the Washington, DC – Baltimore (WDCB) Chapter. For information about STC annual conferences / Technical Communication Summits, STC election candidates (when available), related professional and student chapters in our region, and links to membership and educational information on the Society's site, see our STC Information: Annual Conference & STC Connections page.
STC Mission Statement
The Society for Technical Communication advances technical communication as the discipline of transforming complex information into usable content for products, processes, and services. STC serves its members by identifying and promoting best practices in the field and by demonstrating the economic value delivered by technical communicators. By providing lifelong learning opportunities, we help our members develop their skills and competencies so that they may advance in a variety of career paths.
What is STC
The Society for Technical Communication (STC) is a Section 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational, scientific, and charitable organization dedicated to furthering the art of communicating technical information and promoting the education, improvement, and advancement of its members. STC is the world's largest professional organization serving the technical communication profession. STC was established in 1953 and currently has 48 professional chapters, 14 student chapters, 11 SIGs, and around 6,000 members worldwide in about 50 countries.
STC members include:
- accessibility specialists
- graphic artists & creative designers
- human factors engineers
- information planners
- instructional designers
- interface designers
- managers of technical communication departments or projects
- marketing and public relations communicators
- photographers, film, and video production specialists
- software engineers
- technical communicators
- technical, medical, and scientific illustrators
- technical, medical, and scientific writers and editors
- web designers, web developers, content managers, & webmasters
Technical communicators translate technical information into plain language that is easily understood by the user. They can convey scientific and technical information precisely, accurately, and clearly. Technical communication is recognized as an increasingly essential occupation in business and government. Technical communicators work with scientists and engineers in offices, factories, banks, hospitals, laboratories, from home, and on military bases. They work on a team, by themselves, as staff writers, managers, contractors, and consultants.
Special Interest Groups
STC's Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are groups of STC members with common experiences and interests who share their skills and knowledge with each other and the Society. You may sign up for as many SIGs as you wish.
Current SIGs include:
- Application Programming Interface (API)
- Consulting & Independent Contracting
- Instructional Design & Learning (IDL)
- Lone Writer
- Policies & Procedures
- Technical Editing
- Usability & User Experience
- Women in TechComm
STC Membership Benefits
STC offers many benefits to members.
- Affinity Program discounts
- Body of Knowledge
- Communities and Networking
- Professional Chapters
- Special Interest Groups
- Student Chapters
- Corporate Value Program for communicators and marketers
- TechComm Summit
- Summit Playback
- Live Web Seminars
- Recorded Webinars
- Certificate Courses
- Free On-Demand Archived Seminars
- STC Certification
- Virtual Conference
- Job Bank
- STC's Notebook
- TechComm Today
- Buyers’ Guide
- Salary Database
- STC Certified Professional Technical CommunicatorTM (CPTC) credential
The Washington, DC – Baltimore (WDCB) Chapter
The Washington, DC – Baltimore (WDCB) Chapter is one of the largest in the Society. The Chapter celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2015 and has approximately 300 members in diverse fields including advertising, computer manufacturing, data processing, education, electronics, engineering, government, medicine, publishing, and research. For a brief summary about our chapter, see the Washington, DC – Baltimore (WDCB) Chapter brochure (.pdf). Honors and awards held by the chapter and chapter members as well as past chapter presidents are provided in the Chapter History pages.
Our strong and enthusiastic leaders have helped the chapter win the Society's Chapter Achievement Award of Distinction in 2011 and 2009, Excellence in 2014, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008; the Chapter Achievement Award of Merit in 2003; the Chapter Pacesetter Award in 2013, 2003, and 1995, and the Outstanding Chapter of Achievement Award in 1988. The chapter has also won numerous STC Newsletter and STC Public Relations Competition awards. For a list of all the awards given to the Chapter, see Chapter Honors.
The following are some of the benefits of becoming a member of the chapter:
• Monthly Events
• Chapter's Events & News site
• WDCB Jobs Board
• High School Technical Communication Awards
• College Student Entry Awards
• Seminars and Workshops
• Annual Conference
Monthly chapter events held from August/September through June feature guest speakers, tours of communication centers, and panel discussions on topics of interest to technical communicators. The Washington, DC – Baltimore (WDCB) Chapter provides a variety of event formats from informal networking and discussions to complete dinner events. Events are held in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and occasionally on the Potomac River to accommodate members throughout the area.
Chapter's Events & News site
The STC WDCB Events & News site provides news of chapter events, Society news, and feature articles. Submissions are welcome from members. The Events & News site replaces the paper-format Capital Letter newsletter. Copies of archived newsletters are available in PDF format from the archived Newsletter page.
WDCB Jobs Board
The Washington, DC – Baltimore (WDCB) Chapter sponsors annual competition for technical communication. The competition is open to members and nonmembers, who submit samples of their work for judging by their peers.
Entries may include books, brochures, graphic and packaging designs, hardware and software documentation, newsletters, online presentations and publications, periodicals, promotional material, technical reports, technical graphics, and video.
Awards are presented at four levels: Distinguished Technical Communication, Excellence, and Merit. Winners are honored at a gala Awards Celebration and the best of the winning entries are submitted to compete in the .
High School Technical Communication Award
The Washington, DC – Baltimore (WDCB) Chapter gives an Austin T. Brown Technical Communication Award to encourage the development and awareness of technical communication. This may be awarded to the best student entry in the Technical Communication Competition.
One of STC's major goals is to advance the theory and practice of the arts and sciences of technical communication. The Society encourages members to engage in scientific, literary, or educational research in technical communication.
The Washington, DC – Baltimore (WDCB) Chapter awards a Shirley G. Carter Memorial Award to a best student entry in the Technical Communication Competition by an undergraduate and a graduate college student.
Seminars and Workshops
In addition to monthly events, the Washington, DC – Baltimore (WDCB) Chapter sponsors a variety of professional and technical workshops to assist career development and advancement. Typical workshop topics include electronic publishing, current trends, instructional seminars, stress management, and resume preparation.
Where Do I Sign UP?
See the Join STC and the Washington, DC – Baltimore (WDCB) Chapter page for information about how to join STC and our chapter. See the Corporate Sponsorship page for how organizations and corporations may become STC corporate members or sponsors of our chapter.
Change Your Membership Community Affiliation
If you've already renewed, you may add affiliations to chapters and SIGs using your STC Profile / My Communities tab as follows:
Log in > select My Communities tab > click Add Communities
Change of Address Notice
Use our Contact Us form to let the chapter know about changes to your name, address, phone numbers, or e-mail address.
Update Your General Information on STC
Send changes to your personal and work information to update mailing lists for STC journals and notices. Log in to stc.org and go to your profile page to make updates.
To send information to the STC headquarters, send e-mail to the STC membership manager.