Would you like to become a technical writer and expand your writing skills?
Well, if you are really good at explaining complex things into simple texts that can be understood by anyone, then you can start right away.
Based on the information provided by the US Department of Labor, job opportunities for technical writers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2018 to 2028. Definitely, this rate is pretty much higher than other similar occupations.
So? It seems that technical writers have a bright future in the coming years. Right?
Wait! Are you worried that you don’t have prior experience in technical writing jobs? No worries. Even if you have zero experience, you can work as a technical writer.
In this post, let’s talk in detail about technical writing and how to start applying for technical writing jobs from home.
What does a Technical writer do?
First thing you need to know is what kind of stuff does a technical writer have to write. Mostly, they will create instruction manuals, whitepapers, training guides, journal articles, how-to guides and other kinds of documents to explain complex technical information to the target audience in a simpler way.
Here is an example of a whitepaper related to software:
Image source: template.net
Based on the above example, it doesn’t mean that technical writers are required only in the field of Information Technology. Every business or company need to clearly communicate about their products/services to their stakeholders, partners, employees and to its consumers as well. And, that’s the reason they hire technical writers to break down and simplify the complex or technical aspects.
Do You Need a Degree to Work as a Technical Writer?
Yes. Majority of the employers would like to hire someone who has at least a Bachelor’s degree, preferably in English, Communications or Journalism. In addition to that, knowledge or experience in the specific field is also required.
For example, if you are writing a user manual for a gadget like Amazon Echo, then you should preferably hold a degree in Engineering or Technology. Likewise, if you need to write a whitepaper about medical equipment, then you should have a relevant degree in that field.
What Skills are Needed to Become a Technical Writer?
Besides educational qualification, you need to possess at least some of the below-listed skills to become a good technical writer:
- Have the potential to grasp technology
- Ability to write clearly and precisely
- Must be able to show your ideas graphically
- Troubleshooting/problem-solving skills
- Must be able to read concepts in-depth without tracking time
- Excellent communication skills
- Should be ready to work in a team
Technical Writing Courses
Before starting to apply for tech writing jobs, it is better to complete a technical writing course to boost your confidence level. Of course, a bunch of schools/universities offer free technical writing courses online.
Learningpath is a good place to check out for the list of universities that offer such online courses. If you would like to consider technical writing as your full-time career, then you can attend courses in person.
You can also check out the free two-level technical writing course on Wikiversity.
Udemy and Coursera are other options to check out for paid writing courses.
How to Find Technical Writing Jobs from Home
A lot of companies offer entry level technical writing jobs for beginners or freshers with no experience, provided if they possess the right skills. And, it is not mandatory to go to an office to work as a technical writer. Many businesses offer the flexibility of working from home to writers as long as they stick to deadlines.
Let’s take a look at some of the places to find technical writing jobs online.
LinkedIn is an excellent place to find remote technical writing jobs. After logging to your account, just search for the keyword “tech writer” under “Jobs” and select the location as remote to find freelance technical writing jobs. You can also set alerts for the above keyword so that you won’t miss the job opportunities.
Or a simple search on Google with the keyword “technical writing jobs linkedin” will be the easiest option to get the latest technical writing job opportunities.
2. Freelancing Job Portals
Are you willing to become a full-time or part-time technical writer from home so that you can work on your own schedule? Then, the best option to create a freelancer profile in 3 or 4 freelancing portals given below and start applying for jobs:
Generally, people will browse Glassdoor to read reviews or know information about an employer like salary information, interview questions, reviews of past employees and more. However, you can use Glassdoor not only to find writing jobs but also apply right away from that platform.
To search for jobs on Glassdoor, you need to create an account. Or you can use your existing Facebook or Gmail account as well. If you create a profile and add your resume, you can directly apply to the desired jobs from Glassdoor. After logging in to Glassdoor, search for “technical writer”, “remote technical writer” to find the listings for technical writing jobs.
WeWorkRemotely is a cool portal to find remote jobs on a lot of categories like programming, customer support, design, marketing, copywriting and more. Even though you might not find technical writing jobs posted regularly, still you can check it once in a week or so.
After navigating to the site, just click Categories->Copywriting to see the list of remote writing jobs.
Basically Stackoverflow is a discussion forum or a Q&A site for programming professionals, where you can find a lot of questions and answers on a wide range of topics related to computer programming. The forum has a job portal which frequently lists openings for tech writing jobs.
Just navigate to stackoverflow.com, click Jobs from the Menu and enter the keyword technical writing, content writing or similar keywords. You can select the Remote checkbox so that it will display only remote writing jobs.
6. Job Search Engines
Well, you might have already come across the popular job search engines like Indeed, Simplyhired, Careerbuilder, ZipRecruiter and more. No doubt that you will face a tough competition while applying to technical writing jobs listed on this kind of search engines. Still, it is worth to try it out instead of doing nothing. Right?
Check out this Reddit sub /r/HireaWriter/ to find entry level technical writing jobs. Of course, you cannot expect a job posting daily on this sub. On average, you will find at least 5 to 10 writing gigs posted every week. Just look for the tag Hiring in the title of the thread.
You can also create a post on this subreddit with Hire me tag showcasing your skills so that the clients can contact you.
Technical Writer salary: How much will you get per annum?
Well, it depends not only on your experience but also on the employer as well.
Based on the report from PayScale, the average salary for a full-time technical writer is $40K to $86K per annum.
An entry level technical writer should be able to get at least $15 per hour whereas experienced writers can earn as much as $45 to $50 per hour.
With every business or company thriving to improve their online presence, there will be an increased demand for technical writers. If you can develop the skill of explaining complex concepts in a simpler manner, then definitely you can make more money by working as a technical writer from home.
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