Technical Writer
LAST UPDATED 25 Nov 2022
2 active jobs

The role of technical writers


Technical writers, as the job title name suggests, create documents, guides, and similar material to support use of technical products or services. As these items can be complex to digest for some users, writers have the opportunity and skill set to turn technical jargon into simple and concise language. The role of a technical writer can be quite vast, as these individuals write on numerous topics and for various mediums, including software and applications, for example.

Whilst this IT job in Malta or elsewhere can be a full-time profession at a company, many technical writers also work remote careers. Namely, they operate as freelancers and offer their writing capabilities for diverse organisations. This flexibility grants technical writers the opportunity to work across industries and apply their knowledge in many technical areas.


Summary of steps to become a technical writer


Whilst this article will go into detail on how to become a technical writer, in summary, these jobs in Malta or elsewhere practise their varied skills and keep up-to-date with the latest trends in technology. To become a technical writer, you should consider the following factors:

  • Earn a bachelor’s degree: as IT careers continue to grow competitively, many technical writers pursue a bachelor’s degree in technical communications, scientific writing, journalism, or similar disciplines. Albeit with varied backgrounds, technical writing can be an accessible career choice for this reason. 
  • Consider additional certifications: whilst not a necessary step, technical writers can expend their technical knowledge through additional certifications. This is especially important if you want to write for specific industries, such as in scientific or medical organisations.
  • Create a portfolio: as many technical writers work on a freelance basis, creating and maintaining a portfolio can be helpful when looking for on-site or remote jobs. It’s an opportunity to highlight your skills and diversify your writing samples.
  • Develop a professional network: due to the varied and dynamic nature of the role, technical writers often join communities with other writers to create a professional network. You may consider attending certain conferences, for example, or associations that help you keep on top of the latest industry trends.

With the above in mind, continue to seek learning opportunities that focuses on written communication, formatting and editing, and research skills. If you choose to specialise your skills in a certain area, it’s essential that you are up-to-date with the latest developments in the industry. Such developments will inform your writing and ensure your reputability as a technical writer over time.


Duties and responsibilities of technical writers


As mentioned throughout this article, the duties, and responsibilities of technical writers are highly variable, depending on the industry they work in. Additionally, as writers are able to work remote jobs or on a freelance basis, their role can grow increasingly diverse. Nevertheless, common responsibilities of technical writers include:

  • Brainstorming ways to produce technical documentation,
  • Format and proof-edit technical works,
  • Ensure all points and content given by an organisation are included in technical material,
  • Write technical documentation with clear language that supports numerous readers and users,
  • Research industry trends and apply new knowledge in technical works where possible,
  • Cross-check documentation with the latest research,
  • Analyse target audiences of product information and plan content accordingly, and
  • Design or include illustrations or similar supporting material that can assist in readability.

Overall, technical writers aim to simplify complex, technical information, into readable content that many users can understand. With enough research and analysis, technical writers can address the latest gaps in technical knowledge and clearly outline novel processes adopted by diverse organisations. This is a valuable IT job in Malta or elsewhere, for these individuals support many communities in understanding sophisticated business procedures.


Salary expectations 


The demand for technical writers is rapidly increasing, leading the career with fast-paced growth capabilities alongside impressive salary raises. The Castille Salary Survey is based on the average gross basic salary ranges we have seen offered in the local market over the last 12 months. This survey is updated quarterly, remaining representative of current market trends.  

For example, junior technical writers can expect a salary that ranges from €28,000 to €33,000 euros. It is worth consulting with our salary survey for further insights into jobs in Malta. 

For a global perspective, it is worth keeping in mind that sources vary and are subject to change with time. Considering these variances, salaries for technical writer jobs consistently reflect an average salary ranging from $45,000 to $90,000 a year. These numbers vary according to level of experience, specialisation, and other associated living costs. 


Education and qualifications of technical writers


In the summary of steps to become a technical writer, this article indicated a varied educational background to achieve this career path. This is an inviting opportunity for jobseekers as an increasingly accessible role for individuals interested in an IT on-site or remote career. Whatever educational path you choose, aim to seek opportunities in technical communications, computer and data science, and so forth.

Additionally, look for coursework or certifications that will enhance your writing skills. If you’re planning to specialise in a kind of technical writing role, such as in science or medicine, it’s important you evaluate qualifications that will help guide you in these industries. Nowadays, many organisations are supportive of training opportunities, meaning that aside from education, you can look forward to career growth within the industry or organisation you’re interested in. 


Trending technologies and skill sets 


As the world of work continues to revolve around novel technologies to support everyday tasks, organisations will continue to employ technical writers who can help communicate their products or services to various target audiences. It’s essential that writers aim to make such information more accessible by making technical language simpler to read and understand.

With the above in mind, technical writers should be proactive about their writing and technical skills, namely considering the following areas of skills development:

  • Written communication: of course, technical writers must be good at writing in the appropriate language. Aside from conveying technical information in a more readable manner, writers must also follow standard grammatical conventions that support their technical documentation.
  • Analytical skills: it’s significant for technical writers to know who they’re writing for, given specific technical material. Technical writers adapt their content and tailor them to be able to address various needs and portray messaging effectively.
  • Research: an integral factor for a technical writer job in Malta or elsewhere, research will support your writing on various technologies by providing you with further understanding on certain frameworks. It’s critical that you don’t write false information on a topic and that you’re a positive, reliable source.
  • Technical skills: naturally, writers will gain technical expertise depending on what they’re tasked with the topic they’re writing on. Typically, technical writers are not simple able to produce documentation on a technology, but also know how to use it. For example, if you’re writing a manual on a type of code, you ideally know how to apply the code yourself.


Career path of a technical writer


With a growing demand for technical writers, one’s career path can evolve according to technological trends and business needs. Technical writers can work across diverse business environments and industries, including a work from home job. They apply their knowledge of certain technologies and deliver documentation that is readable and accessible. 

To successfully pursue an on-site or remote career as a technical writer, it’s important to seek relevant work experience early on. These can include various jobs according to the industry you’re interested in. Look for opportunities that can grow your skill sets, specifically in technical and writing responsibilities. Then, you’re able to begin applying to jobs in Malta or elsewhere in the hops of successfully attaining the technical writing role and work your way towards higher levels of seniority.


Begin your technical writer career with Castille 


Now that you’ve critically assessed what working as a technical writer is about and whether it is right for you, you are able to kickstart your career in this ever-growing field. As technology and the workforce continues to rapidly advance, the role of a technical writer remains a career suitable for the long-haul.

Technical Writer
Technical Writing