For Technical Writers, The Future Looks Bright (MindTouch)

By MindTouch

It’s no secret that we’re partial to our friends in the knowledge base and support ecosystem. Technical writers, especially. The help content they create is, after all, central to a successful self-service support model.

So naturally, our ears perk up when the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its annual Occupational Outlook Handbook for Technical Writers. This report is helpful in understanding what it is tech writers do, the career paths they follow, and—yes—how much money a tech writer might expect to make. But the report also provides insights into the value that tech writers bring to their respective organizations.

And we must say, the future of technical writing looks pretty bright.

Here are some highlights from the latest report, released in October 2017.

Job Growth for Technical Writers Expected to Outpace National Average

Due to predicted growth in the high-tech and electronics industries, the value of technical communication skills is on the rise. Companies in a variety of industries turn to technical writers to create understandable, well-organized content for their user base. Evidently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics agrees.

Employment of technical writers is projected to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth will be driven by the continuing expansion of scientific and technical products. An increase in Web-based product support should also increase demand for technical writers.

With Rapid Growth Comes More Job Opportunities

Professional, scientific, and technical services firms will continue to grow rapidly and should be a good source of new jobs even as the occupation finds acceptance in a broader range of industries, including data processing, hosting, and related services.

Why? It’s About Delivering Value

Though the impact a knowledge base technical writer makes on the bottom line can be tricky to quantify, the profession is about more than creating product documentation. Good technical writers deliver customer value in a variety of ways, both tangible and intangible. By creating high-quality help content that’s structured and easy to find, for example, tech writers help enable better self-service customer support within their organizations. This can lead to improvements in support KPIs like Net Promoter Score® and ticket deflection.

Most importantly, tech writers help customers be more successful. As long as they do that, their skillset will continue to be in high demand.

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