Last week, we started a new blog post series, where we list the industries that need technical writers and describe what working there is like. Check out part one here.
Today, we will continue our list of industries interested in employing techcomm professionals. Let’s take a closer look at insurance, government, engineering, and manufacturing.
Let’s start with the insurance industry. Insurance companies hire a lot of technical writers. In fact, they have separate departments of writers and editors.
As a rule, people majoring in English (or other languages depending on your country of employment) work there.
Some departments work exclusively on compliance issues. If you would like to get a job there, you should get some Regulatory Compliance certification. Knowing rules and regulations is extremely important as one mistake can cost a company millions of dollars. Especially if we are talking about investment banking and suchlike high-end industries.
Another thing that might be helpful is understanding financial instruments — a lot of courses exist that cover either this topic or financial writing as a specific skill.
Government also employs technical writing specialists for multiple reasons.
One of the most popular jobs for tech writers in the government is creating documents on different government products or services. They usually write inspection reports, administrative guidances, policy-procedure documents.
The peculiarity of this job is — such technical documents are created for a vast audience. So, the main focus should be placed on the language, and, again, majoring in languages or communications would be a clear advantage for working in this sphere. Responsibility is very high in case of writing for government, so serious proofreading needs to take place.
And, of course, attending courses or training that teach existing standards of preparing documentation commonly developed in government agencies is very appreciated.
Engineering and Manufacturing
These industries are quite popular among technical writers. The thing is, when engineers try creating documents by themselves, they often skip the part where all the technical stuff is simplified and adjusted for a general audience (or whatever their target audience is). That’s why such industries employ a lot of technical writers nowadays — this improves communication with their readers a lot.
It goes without saying that to be successful in technical writing in such industries one requires a deeper understanding of the described processes. So, if you don’t have any specific education, then you need to come to terms with the fact that you will need to work with subject matter experts on a regular basis.
We know that a lot of places that need some technical writing still prefer utilizing their own resources, so, technical documents are written, for example, by engineers. And, honestly, this is doing more harm than good — such content is often hard to read and process if you are not a qualified specialist yourself.
In this blog, we are promoting the idea that everything should be done by professionals. Technical writers know best how to re-work and adapt content, how to simplify and get the message across to any audience. So, hopefully, even more industry representatives will see that establishing doc teams inside their organization or outsourcing help authoring tasks to professional tech writers is a great investment that pays off.
Good luck with your technical writing!
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