Global industries require technical writers to turn complex information into understandable content for end-users. Hence, becoming a technical writer can be a lucrative and exciting career to pursue. Most industries using advanced technology need technical writing specialists to translate their instruction manuals and operating procedures for employees or end-users of a product.
As a technical writer, your job is to generate company documents, from creating paperwork for training to writing reference guides or instruction manuals. You will also develop end-user manuals, white papers, operating procedure guides and technical product descriptions. Some areas of expertise in technical writing require you to write occupational handbooks or journal articles.
When you are a technical writer, you work the typical 8-hour workdays, and you spend most of your day on your desk researching and crafting content. Your work takes 40 hours a week in a full-time position, but sometimes you have to work evenings and weekends to complete urgent work. Some companies provide part-time jobs or remote working opportunities provided you complete your tasks within the scheduled time. Technical writer positions also have minimal travelling unless you attend conferences or company meetings in an offsite location.
Some of the benefits of becoming a technical writer include:
While each hiring manager has unique general and knowledge-based interview questions, here are common questions and tips to crack your interview:
Your technical writer's resume should illustrate your writing finesse and demonstrate your skills. Some of the information in your resume include:
Your technical writer cover letter should illustrate your passion and enthusiasm for technical writing. Your cover letter is a useful job searching tool if you use relevant skills and competencies that an employer is looking for in applicants. Using relevant keywords and appropriate calls to action increases the visibility of your cover letter.
A technical writer job is a promising career with the potential of increasing your income due to the high demand. The career provides a clear career progression path from entry-level to senior positions. You can work your way up to become a senior technical writer or editor from a junior-level position before moving to content managerial positions. A career in technical writing gives you numerous opportunities for growth and diverse roles in various industries. For instance, it is possible to specialize in writing manuals for medical and scientific products, research or technology.
The job variety in technical writing allows you to specialize in your favourite field of study and build a lucrative career. Some types of technical writers include:
In Canada, the average salary of a technical writer is $60,000 annually or $30.77 per hour. Your wages start at $48,750 per year at a junior-level position, but the pay increases as your experience grows. Senior-level technical writers make up to $92,625 per year. Aside from the base salary, technical writers also earn bonuses and enjoy various benefits like health insurance and paid vacation. Your experience level and skills determine your salary. As you gain more experience and acquire specialized skills in writing specific technical content, your wage increases. The company type and size also affect your earnings. Large organizations have complex projects and pay more compared to smaller companies with limited resources.
Top paying areas for technical writers in Canada include Halton, Toronto, Calgary and Oakville.
The duties and responsibilities of a technical writer depend on the company, but some common tasks include:
As a technical writer, you have broad employment opportunities from various companies. Some include:
Aside from educational qualifications and certifications, you need soft skills including:
As a technical writer, you combine your writing ability and understanding of technical concepts. A bachelor's degree in technical writing or related subjects is a great start to develop technical writing skills. For instance, you can pursue a degree in science, technical fields and engineering. Alternatively, acquire certification in technical writing from certified institutions to kick start your career. Some companies also train technical writers, but you need basic skills and knowledge in technical writing first so you can build your skillset.