How many Technical Authors are in the UK? Here’s the answer

woman reading bookIt’s quite difficult to know how many Technical Authors there are in the United Kingdom. The profession doesn’t have its own Standard Occupational Classification code, so there are no official statistics.

We can estimate the number of Technical Authors in the IT sector. One way to do this is by looking at the total number people working in the IT and the percentage of permanent IT job vacancies that are advertising for a Technical Author.

According to e-skills.com, there are 1.5 million people employed in the IT & Telecoms workforce. 863,000 of them work in the IT & Telecoms industry itself, and 674,000 work as IT or Telecoms professionals in other industries.

According to itjobswatch.co.uk, 0.226% of all currently advertised permanent IT jobs located in the UK are for a Technical Author. There are also 0.013% of vacancies for a Senior Technical Author and 0.002% for a Junior Technical Author. That makes 0.241% in total.

Doing the sums:

0.241% of 1,500,000 = 3,615.

Technical Authors also work in aerospace, oil and energy, defence and manufacturing, so the actual number is likely to be a little higher.

Update: I’ve also done a quick search on LinkedIn for “Technical Authors” located in the UK. This returned 4,787 people. LinkedIn provided figures by sector:

Information Technology (1047)
Computer Software (525)
Writing and Editing (292)
Oil & Energy (202)
Telecommunications (186)
Aviation & Aerospace (178)
Defence & Space (148)
Mechanical or Industrial Engineering (120)
Electrical/Electronic Manufacturing (104)
Financial Services (96)

However, this only adds up to 2,898 people! LinkedIn’s figure will include contract Technical Authors, as well as permanent Technical Authors.

So it might be fair to say there are roughly between 3,500 and 4,000 Technical Authors (working in a permanent role) in the UK.

 

2 Comments

David Herbert

The Standard Occupational Classification for a Technical Author in the UK falls under the classification ‘3412 AUTHORS, WRITERS AND TRANSLATORS’. A pdf copy of the index for the Standard Occupational Classification is available from the Office for National Statistics.

Michael Clark

You’ve answered a question I have thought about. The face is when agencies call many ask if I can recommend anyone for a TA role. sometimes I can and sometimes I cannot. The always cite that they cannot find a TA because there does not appear to be too many about, particularly in the areas for which they are recruiting. We belong to a niche profession. I’d like to keep it that way. Too many TAs on the market is going to dilute opportunities for us all.

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