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
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.
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.
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).
Technical writers need to be :
excellent communicators, both in writing and orally
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 for technical writers includes :
experience in the field they are writing about
writing, editing or publishing work
experience in the information technology industry.