Technical writing skills are in high demand, and this makes them one of the top skills to have in 2019. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that jobs for technical writers will grow 11 percent through 2026, which is faster than the average for all occupations.
But first things first, a job in technical writing is not like that of a creative writer, content writer, business writer, scriptwriter, speechwriter, or almost any other type of writing career. While experience with these types of writing can give you a jump start in your skill development, you will need to obtain specific training to become a technical writer.
But, what is technical writing?
Traditionally, technical writing is the process of preparing technical documents such as instruction manuals, journal articles, how-to guides, and other communication that make it easier to understand highly complex technical information.
Today, technical writing professionals may find themselves developing any type of communication that is used to disseminate information regarding complex technical processes. This includes executive summaries, reports, briefs, press releases, emails, and other documents. As long as a piece is designed to help others understand highly complex technical information, a technical writer is needed.
Even with their complex nature, technical writing jobs are far from boring. They actually require high levels of creativity to help others visualize and understand technical information. As we become a more tech-focused society, technical writers often work with latest technology before its available.
So, why are technical writing skills important in 2019?
Demand for technical writers is growing.
We already mentioned that jobs for technical writers are expected to increase by 11 percent, which equates to an additional 5,700 jobs according to the BLS. This growth is due to rapidly expanding scientific and technical products as well as increased web-based technical support. Applicants with technical skills or experience in IT, engineering, and healthcare will be in particularly high demand.
Growing reliance on sophisticated technology will also drive growth in technical writing jobs. Further, increasing complexity of medical and scientific information needs to be communicated to conscientious consumers.
You can earn great money as a technical writer.
Technical writing can be an incredibly lucrative career. Entry-level writers start out just under $45,000 per year. The BLS reports that the median annual salary in this profession was $71,850 as of May 2018. Similarly, Payscale estimates $70,616 with the highest paying jobs located in San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle. The top earners in this profession take home up to $115,000 and upwards annually.
You’ll gain other great professional skills.
To be a great technical writer, you’ll need soft skills in addition to your writing skills. Technical writing is all about communicating complex topics in ways that non-technical people can understand. You’ll collaborate with different teams with unique communication styles, so you’ll need to have sharp communication skills. You’ll also come to understand effective research methods, audience considerations in writing, various writing styles, working in a team, and drafting and revision techniques. These transferable skills work in any industry, at the administrative and managerial levels.
What can you do with technical writing skills?
Technical writers work in both public and private businesses and government organizations. Industries such as finance, healthcare, technology, and engineering need skilled technical writers. The skills you develop for and hone in a technical writing position can also help you pursue a career as an editor, public relations manager, interpreter or translator, and can even help you along the path to becoming a computer engineer or programmer with further education in the future.
Jobs are in high demand, the salary potential is great, and you can develop skills that will help you throughout your entire career. These are all things that make technical writing skills some of the top skills to have in 2019. It will take some professional training to become a technical writer, but you’ll soon be on your way to a great career with unlimited possibilities in high growth industries.
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