The world today is driven by science and technology. Much of the communication that happens these days is driven by technology. From the electronic home appliances that we use to the cars that we drive, almost all of them come with an instruction manual. Moreover, the various scientific departments communicate with each other on the basis of the technical documents that are exchanged between them.
Now, a person who is an expert in a particular domain of science may not be an expert in some other domain and vice versa. However, in order to bring a particular product in front of us, the cooperation of people from various scientific fields of expertise will be required. In such a situation, it is important that the documents that are written by a particular scientific group are clearly understood by others.
The preparation of such journal articles in a clear fashion so that there is no communication gap involved is the duty of the technical writers. In some companies, they are also known as technical communicators. These people also prepare the user's product manuals.
Thus, it will not be far-fetched to say that these are the people who bridge the gap amongst the consumers, designers and manufacturers. Read on to know how you can make a successful career in this field.
• Educational Background
There are different types of jobs in technical writing and there are different educational qualifications for each of them. Most of the sectors prefer candidates with a three-year bachelor's degree in journalism. For specialised fields, like that of graphic design, architecture, law or medicine, candidates with a bachelor's degree in the chosen professional field are preferred.
These days, the digital wave has changed the world of technical documentation as well. This has created immense career opportunities for people who have decent web design experience and some certifications in the same field.
• Skill Set
Being detail-oriented is the most important quality of a technical writer. You should be able to comprehend complex scientific theories and present them to the audience in a manner so that it is easily understandable by a layman. You must have the imagination to be able to think of a product in a manner that a layman would.
Also, this job will require you to coordinate with different teams and you should be ready for the same. Needless to say, good written and verbal communication skills are an absolute must for this job.
• Software Skills
In order to make a mark as a technical writer, one needs to have a thorough knowledge of a number of job-specific software. This would include Microsoft Visio, Adobe Framemaker, Wordpress and Notepad++. These days, most of the desktop and web-based applications use Adobe RoboHelp as the technical documentation software.
Hence, expertise in this will help you land a job here. Other than that, having an understanding of the basics of Oxygen XML Author will give you an edge over your peers in the field.
• Courses Offered
If you are someone who is confident of your writing skills but are not really a tech-savvy person, there is no reason for you to be alarmed. Courses to learn each of the aforementioned software are available in a number of digital learning platforms. The most common amongst them is that of Udemy, Coursera and Khan Academy.
There are a number of institutes in all major Indian cities that offer courses in this field. This type of certification will help you land with the job of your dreams. Even for those people who are already in this profession, this type of certification will help you get the promotion that you have always wanted.
These days, a number of open universities like IGNOU, Sikkim Manipal University and others have come up with courses in communicative English that will help you kick-start a career in the world of technical documentation.
• Job Scope
The Indian manufacturing sector is one that is rapidly progressing. With government initiatives promoting the same, the growth has been exponential in nature. This is creating a new surge of job opportunities in this field. With the growing reliance on technology both at home and in the workplace, tons of new job opportunities are expected to come up in this field.
Other than that, there will be the need to replace workers who retire over the coming decade. The cumulative effect of all of this will be the fact that qualified people with good technical skills will not face any shortage of job opportunities in the world of technical documentation.
• Work Environment
Understand that the job of a technical documenter is something that will be required across companies irrespective of whether that is an MNC or a start-up. Whether you are in the manufacturing sector or that of public relations will also affect the nature of your job in this field.
The work environment and work culture will depend on the organisation that you are working for. However, in most cases, jobs in this field will require you to work only in fixed working hours. Some companies may also allow you the privilege of working from home.
This is one of the highest paying fields for a fresher. The average starting salary for a fresher in this field is about INR 30,000 per month. After that, the amount of money that you will make will depend on a number of factors like your attitude in the interview, your geographic location, your experience level and domain.
Wether you have completed any external training or certification will also have a major say in your take-home salary here. Qualified people in this field make as much as INR 1,00,000 per month.