11+ Technical Writing Jobs That Pay Well (Even for Beginners)

Think technical writing jobs are out of reach?

Think again!

Maybe you’re not sure what technical writing is or what you do as a technical writer. Or perhaps you’re wondering if technical writers need a degree, can make good money, or if this niche is even for you.

Read on and we’ll answer all those questions (and more).

And by the time you reach the end of this post, you’ll know if searching for these writing jobs is a good use of your time.

Ready?

What is Technical Writing?

Technical writing translates technical information into content that is easily understood by customers, employees, investors, and others. It includes manuals, training materials, policies, and other documentation.

And even though you’ll find plenty of technical writing on the web, some of it continues to live entirely offline.

But just how much technical writing work is out there?

Technical Documentation is in Demand

Technical documentation is needed more than ever by product managers, sales teams, and new hires, to name just a few. And the need for technical writing is always high in software development and information technology companies.

Have a degree in computer science? Know what api and xml mean?

Or maybe you’re an avid consumer of a particular type of software or brand, like Microsoft, and have a detailed understanding of it.

If so, then you could be a shoo-in.

Plenty of other industries need writers with technical skills too.

So, even if you’re not a tech wizard or rocket scientist, the good news is that there are still plenty of technical writing jobs out there. And technical writing is a great way to niche down and make more money, even if you have little or no experience.

Not only that, but the pool of qualified candidates (i.e. the competition) is smaller when compared to other writing niches. Plus, this work is typically well paid because of the expertise required to knock these assignments out of the park.

Let’s have a look at the opportunities.

The 11 Best Technical Writing Jobs

1. Healthcare

technical writing jobs healthcare

What industry has deep pockets and needs to translate complex information into layman’s terms?

Healthcare!

This industry needs a wide variety of technical writing, including white papers, case studies, brochures, and copywriting. That means a steady stream of well-paying jobs if you have the right background and skills to deliver.

Does technical writing pay well?

The opportunities in IT and healthcare alone prove that it can!

Best Background for the Job

Do you have a science or medical degree? Years of experience working in a healthcare setting or a related field?

If so, you’re a competitive candidate for technical writing jobs in healthcare.

Choosing this niche can be lucrative, as the industry is characterized by stable businesses with high profits.

A great example of a stand-out writer in this niche is Sarah Turner, a freelance copywriter who used her background in biology to build a successful freelance copywriting agency targeting the healthcare industry.

2. Technical Communication

technical writing jobs technical communications

You’re scanning LinkedIn for writing gigs, and you see a profile with the job title: “Technical Communication Consultant.”

What does that mean?

Technical communication encompasses work in user experience (UX) design, onboarding, training, instructional materials, and even technical illustrations, to give a few examples.

Best Background for the Job

Technical communication requires technical writers with strong communication skills.

Maybe you have a background in education and love the idea of designing instructional programs in your area of expertise. In that case, branding yourself as a technical communicator could set you apart.

Skilled at writing web copy or designing websites?

You may have a future as a UX writer, a key member of the design team who maps out what a user is exposed to as they navigate a website or mobile app.

The opportunities are broad but have the common goal of creating accessible information for a specific audience.

3. Instruction Manuals and User Guides

technical writing jobs man reading instructions

If nothing has grabbed you yet, don’t despair. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a great technical writing job in your future.

Think about how many new products are unleashed on the market every day.

They all need a user guide or instruction manual, and that’s a big market!

What products do you use every day? Is there a game or app you’re obsessed with? What do you spend a big chunk of your hard-earned cash on?

The writing for end-user documentation is dry, but if you hate word vomit and can write tight and concise content, this might be your technical writing superpower.

Companies pay well for an easy-to-follow instruction manual that helps customers get the most out of their purchases.

Best Background for the Job

The awesome thing about this type of technical writing is that the required skills have more to do with your writing style than anything else.

As a passionate end-user, you have what it takes to identify products or industries that you could write end-user documentation for.

Who better to explain the benefits of a product or service than an avid consumer?

Just know that this kind of writing takes a special kind of writer.

You have to be detail-oriented and willing to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. It’s an iterative process that’s heavy on editing.

If you’re fine with that, this can be a great opportunity.

4. Technical Copywriting

technical writing jobs sarah turner technical copywriter homepage

Technical copywriting is focused on attracting customers and making sales.

You’ll find this type of technical writing in landing pages, sales videos, website copy, and more.

Remember Sarah Turner? The successful medical copywriter who used her biology background to define her niche and stand out as a subject matter expert?

All businesses need good copywriting.

Focusing on technical copywriting differentiates you and creates an opportunity to develop expertise, which can make you more money.

Best Background for the Job

There are great technical copywriting opportunities for tech writers with medical, finance, IT, or other expertise and plenty of ways to learn the trade.

If you have the expertise and a desire to pursue a marketing role centered in a specific industry, this could be a profitable path for you.

5. Technical Content Writing

Demand for content marketing is increasing every year.

It’s not hard to see why once you understand that this marketing channel makes all other marketing efforts more effective.

How does it do that?

By cultivating trust and credibility through sharing information that audiences find valuable.

And how does this apply to technical writing?

Technical writers with specific expertise on technical topics like IT have countless opportunities to communicate complex topics in easy-to-understand terms, like this article about HTTP requests from Neil Patel’s blog.

Best Background for the Job

Chances are that you’ve probably brushed up against technical content without even realizing it.

Ever searched for articles comparing web hosting? Or asked Google a question like how do you make a hyperlink?

technical writing jobs technical content screenshot

Incorporating some technical content into your portfolio is not a big stretch and is an easy way to build some technical writing skills.

And if you already have content writing experience, it’s a great jumping-off point into technical writing.

6. White Papers

White papers are a perennial favorite across many industries.

Often used to demonstrate how a business solved a particular problem, they can be used to generate leads (as an opt-in offer) and sales.

White papers are a great place to take a complex problem and simplify it so the reader can quickly understand the problem and its solution. They often include a table of contents and data illustrated by charts, tables, and graphs.

ADP’s white paper, “5 Steps to Ride Your Business of Payroll Stress,” was listed as one of the best B2B white papers written in 2020.

Best Background for the Job

Given the formal tone and extensive use of graphs, charts, and data, white paper writers will benefit from having a science, business, or tech background.

This type of writing can be particularly lucrative, but you’ll have to work for it. In addition to time spent writing, this type of document requires plenty of design time to bring all the elements together.

7. Case Studies

Case studies walk readers through real-life examples of successfully solving problems.

Done well, they are incredibly effective at building trust with consumers and clients, gaining credibility for the solution provider. Because of this, they are often part of a bigger marketing plan.

Although similar to white papers, they tend to be shorter and less formal documents.

Fractl, a content marketing and growth agency, effectively uses case studies to demonstrate the effectiveness of their approach.

technical writing jobs fractl homepage

Best Background for the Job

A general business background can’t hurt, but comfort in using and interpreting data is more important.

If you’re a data-head and have a passion for a certain type of product or service, you could have a profitable niche on your hands.

8. Technical Finance Writing

technical writing jobs finance

Technical finance writers explain complex financial topics, like global stock market performance or insurance coverages.

Assignments can range from writing copy for a bank’s sales page to writing a news article that explains how to set up a retirement portfolio.

Businesses use technical finance writers to craft informative presentations, produce annual financial reports, or create consumer brochures.

Best Background for the Job

If you have a background in accounting or finance, you’ve got a leg up on the competition for technical finance writing jobs.

A solid writer with an avid passion for personal finance or investing can also build a competitive portfolio.

9. Product Reviews

Writing product reviews is a lucrative niche.

According to the Spiegel Research Center:

  • The purchase likelihood for a product with five reviews is 280% higher than a product with none
  • Nearly 95% of shoppers read online reviews before purchasing a product

Given those numbers, it’s not hard to see why companies are willing to pay good money for reviews.

Best Background for the Job

An advantage of this niche is that you don’t need a technical background.

Yes, if you are reviewing Apple’s newest and greatest iPhone you should have some technical prowess, as Apple’s consumers are going to expect that.

However, there are countless other products where reviews can be written by just about anyone. To get a paid assignment, you need to build solid writing skills and produce great samples.

Have a strong social media presence and lots of followers?

Think about leveraging those channels to review and recommend products you love as an easy way to make some extra side income.

10. Proposals and Pitches

technical writing jobs pitch

Technical writers play an important role in teams that deliver proposals or pitches to win projects.

Some writers niche down, building a solid income by helping not-for-profits get grants or helping software companies land implementation jobs.

In this niche, you’re usually writing to other businesses, rather than the general consumer. This means that the writing is less layman-focused and understanding business language is more important.

Best Background for the Job

Are you someone who has B2B experience, knows industry-specific lingo and practices, and is familiar with the workflow that supports building proposals or making pitches?

If so, it can be lucrative because the pool of qualified candidates will be small, meaning you have a great chance of standing out.

11. Other Technical Documents in High Demand

The opportunities are truly endless!

Some final examples to drive home the amazing variety of assignments that exist for technical writers:

  • Business plans and grant proposals
  • Standard operating procedures and checklists
  • Business status reports
  • Academic and scientific research papers
  • Operations guides
  • Technical books

Ready to Pursue Technical Writing Jobs?

If you’re looking for a more profitable niche, shifting focus to technical writing might be the answer you’ve been looking for.

The process is the same as becoming any other niched-down freelance writer.

Scan job postings for assignments and update your LinkedIn profile, making sure to indicate your niche.

Voraciously consume resources, cultivate your skills, build out your portfolio, and start landing clients.

Stop thinking you aren’t qualified and get out of your own way. There’s plenty of room for you in the lucrative world of technical writing.

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