Gone were the days when technical writers used to write user manuals of enterprise software and hardware. Today, every other software house requires an in-house technical writer that can take care of their content needs. Whether it is about writing social media posts, product descriptions, technical content, policy pages, user manuals, guest posts, long-form content, ebooks, press releases, infographics, marketing collateral, or emails, technical writers are needed.
In fact, Glassdoor suggests that the median salary of a Technical writer starts from $60,000 in the US alone.
But that’s not just it, now technical writers have a clear growth path ahead of them. Payscale.com, a salary survey agency, the salary of the technical writer increases with their level of expertise.
In fact, Technical Writers are earning as much as $80,000+ after five years. And, some of them go on in different professions related to the technical field such as Instructional Design, Communications Design, and more.
But Technical Writing is also having its fair share of problems. Let’s discuss them first.
While technical writing has always remained manual research-oriented labor. But the latest developments in technology have made it easier for bots to produce similar content as that of humans for products.
This means the need for technical writers will decrease in the coming years. In fact, news companies like Reuters, AP, and others have started using bots to write technical reports for business, sports, and even the weather.
While the copies produced by these bot writers include some mistakes, machine learning is reducing the number of mistakes these bots make.
So, what does it mean? Will, we do not have technical writers and editors anymore?
We will have them, but the numbers will eventually decrease. Where a news organization is hiring 6 writers and 3 editors, they will start hiring 2 writers and 1 editor and the rest of the work will be carried out by a writing bot.
This may look like the death of technical writing as we know it, but it isn’t. In fact, these same technical writers will transition to other job roles such as video production, instructional design, and communications.
But since bots can only be programmed to produce certain variables they can’t completely replace technical writing as a field. In fact, think of these bots as assistants that will be helping the writers improve the speed of their work. So, while they may replace some technical writers they won’t kill the job role completely.
A few years ago, we were saying the same thing for Radio, TV, and Print Media. In fact, people had already guessed that the marketing departments will close down completely since Digital Media has replaced marketing completely. While these departments in the discussion did take a blow, they weren’t closed. Some print and TV advertisers adapted digital advertising and became pioneers. Now they are earning more than ever and successfully running their businesses.
College Grad website estimates that the demand for technical writers will increase by 11 percent in the next few years.
Another projected growth of technical writing is within the content industry. While digital content is not always of technical type. But due to the emergence of SaaS software, the need for technical writers has again increased.
BusinessWire projects that the SaaS software will grow at a growth rate of 21 percent in the next five years. If we estimate that all SaaS software companies will require technical writers, then the demand for these technical writers will also remain 21 percent in the next five years.
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Remember that we are only assuming this number for SaaS software, there are other content writing services, digital agencies, and development companies that also require technical writers for their products and services. So, the demand growth for technical writers will certainly remain high in the coming years.
Technical writers have many options after starting their career. They can either move to other fields or remain in their fields while working on other prospects. The possibilities in career growth for technical writers are endless.
Here is how a typical technical writer advances.
> Jr. Technical Writer 1-3 years
> Technical Writer 3-5 years
> Sr. Technical Writers 5-7 years
> Technical Editors 7+ years
> Sr Technical Editors 10+ years
> Technical Department Head 10+ years and so on…
Sometimes, technical writers move to instructional design or public relations. In those cases, the career path will be different. But you get the point.
You now know that the technical writing field is not phasing out anytime soon. In fact, as a technical writer, you have the liberty of carving a path for yourself. So, start exploring the many options available to you and take a stand. Don’t worry about failure and just keep trying for the best.