Technical Writing as a Professional Career
Technical writing has become one of the most competitive and high-paying fields of professional writing, since a couple of years, due to the increase in demand for documentation of technical documents and manuals. Credit for popularity goes to the new discoveries and inventions in science and technology, which are taking place at a pace faster than ever.
Technical writing has also become a necessity because companies find it extremely important to communicate to both the techy and non- techy users about the new technology products, models and processes.
Job Description of a Technical Writer
How do I Become a Technical Writer?
You can always become a technical writer provided you have a degree, diploma or a high level of interest in any technical field such as computer software, chemistry, physics, mechanics; plus a good knowledge and understanding of the objective style practiced in technical writing.
Opportunities for Technical Writers
Due to recession, companies are laying off even their most technical and significant staff. If you have graduated in a technical field and are unable to find a suitable job or a technical person who recently lost job, you can always make thousands of dollars by putting your technical knowledge to writing.
Process of Becoming a Technical Writer
The process of becoming a technical writer includes proficiency acquirement in 2 areas:
- Knowledge of the targeted technical field
- Good command over objective style of writing
Technical writing is totally unlike creative or essay writing where you have to develop or expand and idea by giving in your thoughts or analysis. This is a form of professional writing where you have to reports procedures, processes and instructions in a very off handed yet simple manner.
A technical write up is expected to be neutral, detailed, all explanatory, easy to understand and simple in approach.
To become a good technical writer, you can begin to read through manuals, prescriptions, guides and FAQs from different resources in your technical area. This would give you ideas about the communication style and language being used. Simultaneously, you can research on the latest products and inventions that are coming out in your field.
Salaries of Technical Writers
The average salaries of technical writers vary between the range $70,000 to $80,000 per year. With high paying companies like Cisco, Kodak, Nokia and Microsoft the salary range may go up to $1000,000 per annum as well.
The wages for technical writers also varies with location. Some states with high range of salaries are Virgin Islands, Mississippi, Columbia, New York and West Virginia
Popular Technical Writing Fields and Careers
Through this article, you will be able to find the currently popular best technical writing fields.
Companies are increasingly creating and upgrading software applications. The development indicates the significant need of technical writers because with every new piece of software developed, there is a dire need to write manuals, marketing materials, training guides, how-to guides and troubleshooting manuals for the users.
This technical material is also helpful for the helpdesk staff as they find it easy to provide solutions and troubleshooting tips to the customers online and on phone. Computer software is an ever evolving field and rarely stagnant; so there will always be a demand for technical writers.
Manufacturers for computer hardware and equipment are mostly in search of technical writers who could create operational manuals, instructional and troubleshooting guides for end users. These manuals are not only helpful for the customers but also those who would use these hardware parts to create finished products.
We are living in a world where every other thing is technology based. Take a look at your cell phones, laptops, television sets, DVD players, electronic appliances and gadgets; all employ technology in one way or the other. Companies making tech based products are always on the hunt for writers who have penchant for technology.
As a technical writer, you will be asked to create product reviews, advantages, disadvantages and comparisons for websites, blogs and written brochures and manuals. The job is tricky; but you can easily handle it once you have ample interest and knowledge of technologically defined gadgets. IT technology is one of the most popular technical writing fields.
Prescriptions, drug manuals, health FAQS, disease guides are the documents which a technical writer working in the medical writing field is expected to produce.
There is a high demand for technical writers who could write reports and descriptions of various scientific discoveries. These reports are usually published in scientific magazines, journals and periodicals.
Engineering companies seek the expertise of technical writers to create manuals, presentations, models, illustrations, reports, design specifications for engineers and technicians so that they could carry out their jobs smoothly.
Automobile firms are always in search of technical writers who could describe the steel cabins in a way that pulls in the target customers. Technical writers are also required to create installation manuals of cars for those into the car repairing and modifying business; and also guide book for the car owners.