Most people think that writing for a technical audience means writing code, and while that might be the case for some industries, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, there are plenty of technical writing jobs that don’t involve writing code at all. Instead, you might be asked to write documentation, press releases, web content, or help guide a business’ social media efforts.
Is it difficult to be a technical writer? Let’s take a look.
The Demand For Technical Writers Is On The Rise
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for technical writers is expected to grow 22% year from 2018 to 2028. Even before the pandemic, the tech industry was one of the few that were seeing steady revenue growth, and this growth is likely to continue as businesses recover from the economic fallout of COVID-19.
Even before the pandemic, the tech industry was one of the few that were seeing steady revenue growth, and this growth is likely to continue as businesses recover from the economic fallout of COVID-19.
The number of people seeking careers in technical writing and communication is on the rise, and that means that there are more opportunities for you to pursue work that interests you.
5 Ways To Make Money As A Technical Writer
In the last few years, the number of ways for you to make money as a technical writer has increased. Whether you’re a freelancer or represented by a literary agency, there are plenty of opportunities for you to land on-page and off-page gig sales, commissions, and more.
Here’s a list of some of the ways you can make money as a technical writer:
- Technical Writing Jobs
- Graphic Design Jobs
- Online Market Research Jobs
- Content Strategy Jobs
- Digital Marketing Jobs
Technical writers use specialized techniques to create written materials for businesses. Common topics include market research, product descriptions, user manuals, and more. Since these jobs don’t require a specific educational background, they are some of the most accessible occupations for beginners.
Are You Ready To Start Your Career In Technical Writing?
If you’re seeking a job in technical writing, you’ll need to have the following skills:
- Professional writing skills
- Research skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Ability to learn new things
Writing for a business or technical audience doesn’t mean you have to be an expert in the field you’re writing about. However, it does mean that you’ll need to understand the logic behind the information you’re providing. If you can’t explain your reasoning clearly, then your reader won’t understand your writing either. This can make you appear less intelligent and more difficult to work with. While this might be frustrating for you, it’s definitely not the employer’s job to educate you.
The Growth Of Virtual Assistants
The rise of the virtual assistant mirrors the growth of the gig economy. Since companies don’t need to hire expensive office space, they can maintain a flexible work force without having to worry about where the physical office will be located. As a result, more and more companies are turning to digital staffing to support their operations whenever and wherever needed.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were almost 400,000 job openings for administrative assistants, secretaries, and executive secretaries in 2020. Despite the growing number of jobs, competition for them is high because so few people have them. More and more companies are turning to digital staffing to support their operations whenever and wherever needed.
With the world shifting to a digital sphere, so too is the way businesses operate. They have fewer resources and more teams working remotely, which means fewer opportunities for face-to-face interactions. This change doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s something businesses need to adapt to if they want to stay relevant.
Where Do I Start?
Now that you’re equipped with an idea of what a technical writer does, where do you start looking for job opportunities? The best place to start is your local community college or library. If you’re looking for job opportunities in a specific industry, then you can usually find them in trade journals or academic journals that are published by a professional society. Since this is an expanding field with a lot of opportunities, you can also look into getting a master’s degree. With a graduate degree, you’ll have the opportunity to specialize in areas like health care, legal, or education and apply your skills to a variety of settings. In the next section, we’ll discuss some of the many opportunities that exist in technical writing and how to land your dream job.