How to Become a Technical Writer

Career Transition Coaching That Gets Straight to the Point

Are you wondering how to become a Technical Writer? Are you searching for work, struggling to find opportunities that suit your skills and experience? Or maybe you want to win contracts and clients? Either way, you’re in the right place.

Are Technical Writers in Demand?

Technical Writing is one of the most lucrative occupations and is a highly valued skill in thriving industries such as Manufacturing, AI, Automotive, Cybersecurity, Science and Medicine, Cryptocurrency, Aerospace, Defence, Regulation, and Compliance. Beginners can expect to earn £25,000+ while experienced professionals (9+ years) can command salaries of £85,000 and above. And the field includes specialisms such as UX Writers, API Technical Writers, Medical Writers, Technical Copywriters, Business Analysts, and Developer Advocates. Many roles are available remotely.

It would be easy to assume that generative AI (software tools that can collate and write from prompts) has reduced the need for Technical Writers. But, that misunderstands the role entirely. And, it ignores the fact that our working lives are becoming more digitised and automated by the day. Someone needs to explain all those systems, configurations and settings – for both other developers and for users with lesser technical skills.

What Do Technical Writers Do?

Technical Writers work closely with Developers and CTOs, as well as Support and Sales teams, to write technical documentation. They may write support topics or knowledge bases and resource pages, or UI text.

If you secure a Technical Writer job, you may need to create diagrams, screenshots, and explainer videos. And, you’ll probably work with designers, photographers and videographers to commission or guide further media to illustrate your writing.

But, Technical Writers are also occupied with the following planning activities:

  • Learning how something (a system, device, software, or process) works
  • Interviewing SMEs for highly technical information
  • Attending demos and standups
  • Delving deep into the use cases and audience personas
  • Auditing existing documentation to reuse existing materials and avoid duplication
  • Gaining insights from Support, Sales and Marketing
  • Determining the best tools and tactics
  • Compiling or understanding naming conventions, style guides, tone of voice guides
  • Organising and planning how to structure the information (Information Architecture) including SEO

Only then can you begin writing!

Is Technical Writing Hard?

Even if you are moving sideways from obvious routes such as software development, copywriting, or journalism, it can feel overwhelming. But, regardless of your writing background, if you are used to independent research and meticulous attention to detail, these skills are transferable. You can reinforce your appeal to employers or clients with a solid writing portfolio, an active online presence, further learning, small projects, and mentoring.

If you love to learn, organise, write, and challenge yourself daily to figure things out, you’ll thrive in this field!

statistics on how many jobs technical writers apply for
  • Learn how to invest time and automate your search for jobs
  • Locate well-paying roles, employers you’d actually want to work for, and those that are remote first
  • Craft your LinkedIn profile so that recruiters come to you
  • Write CVs and covering letters that match the job description
  • Relax to demonstrate confidence during interviews
  • Establish a lead gen strategy that brings you a stream of freelance gigs, contracts, and clients that value your expertise and are prepared to pay for it
  • Learn how to use brand positioning tactics to ensure your portfolio demonstrates work that is relevant to the client’s project
  • Figure out how to craft compelling mini-pitches that secure calls and proposals that secure green flag clients
  • Avoid red flag clients and get paid on time!
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Career Transition Coaching on How to Become a Technical Writer

We have several options:

  • Join our Community of Tech Writing Professionals if you are looking to learn more about Technical Writing or build your expertise and confidence
  • Book a Career Transition Coaching Package if you really want to refine your personal branding and what you can offer to an employer or client
I approached Sensei to refresh my interview and presentation skills. They listened exactly to what I needed and delivered. They pushed me outside my comfort zone and supported me afterwards with further advice. What I liked most was the fact that they got straight to the point with no needless and drawn out “extras”.

Fiona Fyffe, Career Transition Client

If you are contemplating contacting Dawn for some career and/or general business mentoring, my advice is to strike whilst the iron is hot! I guarantee that you will gain some amazing insights into how not to underestimate your existing professional abilities and transferable skills, brought to you in a personable yet professional style that will make you feel like you have just had a great catch up with an old and trusted friend.

James Carr, Innovation & Entrepreneurship Writer-Researcher

Meet the Coach

Dawn Baird is a senior Technical Writer and Copywriter with over 15 years’ experience happily working with clients all over the world. She works in the intersections between B2B, SaaS, Tech, and Cybersecurity.

Operating as one of the Partners at Sensei, Dawn is confident in helping professionals make the transition into a new career in Technical Writing or to establish and build a writing agency.

While she lives and works from a home deep in the agricultural heart of the Northern Ireland countryside, Dawn also loves to combine work with travel for foodie and architectural adventures.

dawn baird, technical writer, copywriter and coach
Dawn is a highly experienced and professional coach who provided invaluable information to suit my career progression. I would highly recommend her.

Michelle Millar, Career Transition Client

My takeaway from coaching sessions with Dawn, was the overwhelming belief she had in me as a business owner. This boosted my self belief and gave me confidence in my own capabilities when it came to starting a successful business. Dawn’s coaching approach is one with mutual respect, belief in her clients and a drive to see them succeed. The knowledge that she has accumulated is vast, meaning she can apply her experience to such a wide variety of businesses.

Joanne Dougherty, Startup

Do you offer coaching in other fields?

Yes, we will soon have another page dedicated to those who want to pursue a career or consultancy in Marketing Strategy and Copywriting. Meanwhile, Come on in! or Contact Us for details.

Do you offer Technical Writing Services too?

Yes, we work with mostly Tech clients all over the world. Read more about our Technical and Marketing services.

Technical Writing Resources

These resources will help you develop your knowledge and skills. They will also help you add clever automation into your search for jobs, gigs and clients.

Professional Organisations

Professional Resources

Blogs on Technical Writing

Where to Find Jobs & Gigs

Where to Find Clients

  • List to come soon!

Video by Ketut Subiyanto