Technical author

Alternative titles for this job include Technical copywriter, technical editor

Technical authors write documents and guides that explain how to use products and services.

Average salary (a year)

£20,000 Starter

to

£40,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends occasionally

How to become a Technical author

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • applying directly
  • completing specialised training courses

University

You'll usually need a degree or postgraduate qualification in a subject like:

  • science
  • computing
  • journalism
  • engineering
  • telecommunications
  • pharmaceuticals

You can do technical communication and writing courses at postgraduate level.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More information

Direct application

You can apply to companies directly. Employers will expect you to have in-depth industry knowledge and experience of writing and editing in their sector.

You'll need to show you can research and interpret complex information and communicate it clearly. You'll also need to know about:

  • content planning and strategy
  • writing to brand style or other guidelines
  • user behaviour - how people read and absorb information
  • project management

Other routes

You may be able to find work after doing short, specialised training courses in areas like:

  • content planning
  • writing styles
  • quality assurance
  • costing
  • project management

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You may find it useful to join an organisation like the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators, for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a technical author from the Institute of Science and Technical Communicators and Association of British Science Writers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of English language
  • excellent written communication skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • the ability to read English
  • administration skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • You will be expected to use a computer confidently as part of this job.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • collecting and editing complex information
  • producing new documents like manuals and instructions
  • updating or rewriting existing documents
  • commissioning photographs or illustrations
  • working on digital or multi-channel content like blogs, e-learning or podcasts
  • testing what you've written with content users

Working environment

You could work in an office or from home.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a technical author for a larger organisation, or move into technical editing.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a Technical author right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

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