Technical Writer
Careers New Zealand
New Zealand
4d ago

Pay for technical writers varies depending on their skills, experience, and the type and size of organisation they work for.

  • New technical writers can expect to earn about $45,000 to $60,000 a year.
  • Technical writers with one to four years' experience earn between $60,000 and $100,000.
  • Experienced technical writers in management positions can earn up to $130,000.
  • Self-employed technical writers usually earn between $35 and $120 an hour.

    Source : TechCommNZ, 2017.

    This information is a guide only. )

    What you will do

    Technical writers may do some or all of the following :

  • work with managers, developers, users and other interested parties to identify their information needs
  • plan, research and create clear, accurate content such as instructions, standard operating procedures, forms and policies
  • create content in various forms such as video, web, audio, hard copy and interactive eLearning
  • analyse work tasks, and manage documentation projects
  • design the layout and structure of documents
  • create language and style guides
  • design and draw business, scientific or technical diagrams / charts
  • edit work of other writers for consistency and clarity
  • test content for its usability
  • manage translations.
  • Skills and knowledge

    Technical writers need to have :

  • ability to analyse, interpret, simplify and communicate technical information
  • knowledge of the specialist area they are writing about
  • ability to edit, design and lay out technical documentation
  • skills in word processing, web publishing and graphic design.
  • Technical writers :

  • usually work regular business hours, but may be required to work long or irregular hours depending on project deadlines
  • usually work from offices but may work from home if self-employed.
  • Entry requirements

    There are no specific entry requirements to become a technical writer. However, excellent writing skills are required and most employers look for people with a tertiary qualification such as an English degree or certificate in technical communication.

    Tertiary qualifications in subjects such as science, engineering, electronics, computer science or commerce are valuable for technical writers in industries where this subject knowledge is required.

    Secondary education

    A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful subjects include English, te reo Māori and other languages, digital technologies and design and visual communications (graphics).

    Personal requirements

    Technical writers need to be :

  • excellent communicators, both in writing and orally
  • quick learners
  • approachable, and able to relate to a wide variety of people
  • good at planning, time management and project management
  • methodical, persistent and determined.
  • Useful experience

    Useful experience for technical writers includes :

  • experience in the field they are writing about
  • writing, editing or publishing work
  • experience in the information technology industry.
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