How to Hire a Technical Writer

Does your growing business need a technical writer? Technical writers complete user documentation, manage software design documents, create technical diagrams, test the software they’re writing about and abide by the company’s technical and departmental style guide.

Here are some tips to help you find great technical writer candidates and make the right hire for your business.

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Technical writers searching for jobs on Indeed*

90,521

Job seekers that clicked technical writer jobs

11,028

Resumes for job seekers with technical writer experience on Indeed

3,751

Technical writer jobs that received clicks

What is the cost of hiring technical writer?

  • Common salary in US: $33.36 hourly
  • Typical salaries range from $8.30$75.15 hourly
  • Find more information on Indeed Salary

*Indeed data (US) – April 2021

As of April 2021, technical writer jobs in the U.S. are less competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 24 job seekers per technical writer job.

Why hire a technical writer?

The need for new staff can affect both your existing team and your bottom line. However, a great technical writer can help your business:

• Accurately document, store and manage all technical writings
• Provide clear and precise documentation to expert and nonexpert end users
• Create visual representations such as diagrams

Deciding between a full-time vs freelance technical writer

Companies that create technology or complex products often need full-time technical writers to create and update product documents, user manuals, diagrams and educational materials. Consider how much technical writing work you need to have completed to determine if you need a full-time technical writer for ongoing work.

If you have one project that requires a technical writer, using a freelancer might be a cost-effective solution. This person can work on the project until it’s completed without ongoing employment expenses when you no longer need them. A freelancer is also a good option if you have regular technical writing needs but the workload is small. 

What are the types of technical writers?

Technical writers create written content that makes complex technical material easier for the average person to understand. These writers sometimes focus on a particular type of technical writing. Some types of technical writers include:

  • Science and medical writers: These writers make complex medical and scientific research easier to understand. They typically write papers or articles for journals.
  • End user documentation writers: This type of technical writer produces the manuals and other documentation that come with new products. This includes user manuals and assembly guides.
  • Technical marketing writers: Companies that sell technical products often hire technical marketing writers or technical copywriters to produce content that helps potential customers better understand the product. It’s designed to increase sales.
  • White paper and case study writers: White papers and case studies are marketing materials that encourage sales. White papers can vary by industry, but they present a problem and solution. Case studies show off the results of a company’s product or service based on real results from past customers.

Where to find technical writers

To find the right technical writer for your business, consider trying out a few different recruiting strategies:

  • Hire from related industries. Technical writers often have journalism degrees and writing experience, but people working in technical or scientific fields can also fill the position well. Look for people with a strong background in your field who also have good writing skills.
  • Promote from within. Look for current employees with strong writing skills. They’re familiar with your products, making it easier for them to produce technical materials about them.
  • Start with freelancers. Even if you want a full-time technical writer, starting with a freelancer can help with the search. You can test out the writer to make sure they produce quality work before offering them a full-time job.
  • Post your job online. Try posting your technical writer job on Indeed to find and attract quality technical writer candidates.

What are the types of technical writers?

Technical writers create written content that makes complex technical material easier for the average person to understand. These writers sometimes focus on a particular type of technical writing. Some types of technical writers include:

  • Science and medical writers: These writers make complex medical and scientific research easier to understand. They typically write papers or articles for journals.
  • End user documentation writers: This type of technical writer produces the manuals and other documentation that come with new products. This includes user manuals and assembly guides.
  • Technical marketing writers: Companies that sell technical products often hire technical marketing writers or technical copywriters to produce content that helps potential customers better understand the product. It’s designed to increase sales.
  • White paper and case study writers: White papers and case studies are marketing materials that encourage sales. White papers can vary by industry, but they present a problem and solution. Case studies show off the results of a company’s product or service based on real results from past customers.

Writing a technical writer job description

A thorough and accurate job description can increase your chances of finding qualified technical writer candidates. A complete technical writer job description includes a compelling summary of the role, a detailed list of duties and responsibilities and the required and preferred skills for the position.

When writing your technical job description, consider including some or all of the following keywords to improve the visibility of your job posting. These are the most popular search terms leading to clicks on technical writer jobs, according to Indeed data:

  • Technical writer
  • Writer
  • Technical writer remote
  • Communications
  • Writing
  • Remote technical writer
  • Technical writing
  • Technical editor
  • Editing
  • Freelance writer

Interviewing technical writer candidates

Strong candidates for technical writer positions will be confident answering questions regarding:

• How they prioritize their work
• Desktop publishing and word processing software
• How they handle vague guidelines for writing documents

Need help coming up with interview questions? See our list of technical writer interview questions for examples (with sample answers).

FAQs about how to hire a technical writer

How do I choose between two good technical writer candidates?

Review previous writing pieces to determine which writer is better able to translate complex data into understandable content. Consider asking your top candidates to provide a writing sample related to your products or industry, particularly if their past experience is in a different industry. Notice how well each candidate communicates verbally, especially when conveying complex answers.

Do I really need a technical writer?

Businesses working in the tech, science and medical fields often need technical writers to help make their products and services easier to understand. It’s often difficult to turn complex information into something the average person can comprehend, especially when that information is second nature to you. Handling technical writing yourself is an option, but it can be time-consuming if you have ongoing technical writing needs.

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