We’ve just posted up a vacancy for a lead technical author in Switzerland with a salary of circa £64,000 ($105,744) – around two and a half times the average salary in the UK. So why would someone pay this amount for a technical author? After all, don’t they just write manuals that no-one reads?
The answer probably lies in the nature of the work. They will be responsible for creating and updating documentation relating to the building and commissioning of gas turbines. If the turbines don’t work or if they go wrong, then the consequences could be explosive.
In fact, technical writing is a lot to do with communicating change and ensuring conformance. Change is fundamental to a business – it’s often closely tied to management and leadership.
As a leader of a business, you need to have a vision or goal and you need to be able to communicate that to the rest of the organisation. In the UK we have a Prime Minister, who admitted this weekend he is a poor communicator. Overseas, he is seen as a great leader through the current economic crisis. Here, his party is suffering its lowest poll ratings in modern history.
Communication matters, so perhaps that’s why it’s worth paying to hire a good communicator.