I have worked in software testing and QA Management for the past 13 years and I've gotten burned out on the stress and the hours. I would like to transition into being a software technical writer. I am hoping my past experience working with software will help me break into the field. I have a few questions I'd like to get everyone's opinions on:
1. What type of education should I get to pursue this? There is a year long tech writing certificate offered at the graduate school level at my local university(this will take me about a year to get it). Is this helpful? The other option is taking some classes to the learn the software applications tech writers normally use. (I have a BA in Communications with a minor in English - writing already.)
2. What is the stress level of this job? In QA the stress is very high all the time due to the fact that testing is normally done at the end of the project and the time availalbe to complete the work diminishes as dates are missed by other departments on the project plan. Is the same true for tech writing? Not really interested in transitioning into a new career where nights and weekends are the norm.
3. What is the job outlook for tech writers? Are the jobs being shipped offshore like so many of the IT non-managerial jobs seem to be?
4. What should I expect for a starting salary?
I'd love to get input from the experience tech writers out there on your experiences and opinions. Thanks!