In this podcast, we look at the job of a Technical Author/Technical Communicator, and how you can start your career.
Here are some more findings from our recent survey of European technical communicators. These relate to non-UK salaries.
We didn’t get enough data to draw many conclusions, so we’ve provided the responses in the table below. We converted all of the salaries to Euro, to make it easier to compare.
Here are some more findings from our recent survey of European technical communicators. These relate to UK salaries. Most of the people who responded to our survey were based in the UK, so we are able to look at these in more detail than other countries.
We asked people to describe their seniority levels: Junior, Line staff/Standard, Senior/Team Lead, and Manager. These are often a key factor in the salary someone earns.
Excluding managers, the mean was £45,338.
Are the figures accurate?
The sample size was fairly small (n=61), so we do need to look at this information with some caution.
Data on the Technical Author salaries offered on the main IT jobs boards in the six months to August 2017 show a UK median annual salary of £50,000 (with a median of £47,000 for jobs offered outside of London). They also show a 25% increase in median salary offered (17.5% increase for jobs offered outside of London) since August 2016. That’s based on 167 job adverts – again a fairly small population. We also need to bear in mind the salaries in job vacancies can be higher than those for people who have been a job for a long time, and the number of Technical Author job adverts has decreased in the last 24 months.
We’ve just amended the job description for the contract vacancy #4175 Contract Technical Author, Swindon. This project involves working on Cloud-based applications, rather than enterprise software, which means the content will be written in Markdown rather than DITA.
Ideally, you will have experience in the following areas:
- Developing web-based online Help
- Working in an Agile environment
- Cloud-based solutions
- Video-based instruction (although is less important).
Apologies for any confusion caused.
A client of ours is looking for a contract Technical Author who can start in mid-February 2017. The client estimates there will be 6 months work, with the possibility of the contract being extended for 6 months afterwards.
— Lee LeFever (@leelefever) October 30, 2016
In the olden days, every family had a record player (also known as a “turntable”), and pretty much everyone knew how to use it. However, if you look at the Customer Questions & Answers section for a turntable currently on sale on Amazon, it’s clear that many people today don’t know how a turntable works, or what it does. Common knowledge sometimes isn’t as common as people think.
A client is looking to recruit two new staff:
“You’ll be working as part of a team that mentors and coaches the developers and user experience specialists to improve their technical writing skills by providing style guidance and feedback. This role requires you to be the proactive subject matter expert for user interface writing and technical documentation, and to be able to introduce new ideas and practices to the company.”
As there are no official statistics recording the number of people employed as Technical Authors in the UK, we have to make some educated guesses to get a sense of the size. Searching LinkedIn might provides some useful information.
In LinkedIn’s advanced search page, if we search the job title field for Technical Author, LinkedIn states there are 5,297 people who match this search. This would include past job titles as well as current job titles. Searching on just current job titles, LinkedIn provides 2,109 results for Technical Author. Searching on just past job titles, LinkedIn provides 2,528 results for Technical Author. It’s not clear why those two figures don’t add up to 5,297.
One of the difficulties is that people use a variety of different job titles. In addition to the 2,109 results for Technical Author, we can add the people who have these current job titles in the UK:
- Technical Writer – 603
- Technical Communicator – 28
- Information Developer – 21
- Documentation Manager – 394
That makes a total of 3,155.There may be other job titles people are using in addition to these, which would increase the numbers further.
There were over 19 million registered LinkedIn users in the United Kingdom, as of the 3rd quarter of 2015 (source), out of a UK working population of 30 million people (source), which means it’s unlikely every Technical Author has a profile on LinkedIn.
It seems reasonable to conclude there are more than 3,200 Technical Authors in the UK, but possibly not more than 5,000.