Technical author

technical communicator technical copywriter

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would use your specialist knowledge to make guides for users of products and systems.

You could work on projects such as instruction manuals, business guidelines, online help pages and more.

You would:

  • Write new documents
  • Update old documents
  • Collect information
  • Present complex information in the simplest way
  • Commission photographs or illustrations
  • Produce digital media, such as blogs and podcasts
  • Carry out user testing
  • Work closely with technical, marketing, printing and design staff

Working conditions


You would usually work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, although you may have to do extra hours to meet deadlines. This could sometimes include working evenings and weekends. As a freelancer, you would usually manage your own time, and may work from home.


You would work in an office. As a freelancer, you may work from home.

UK employment status



Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Working as part of a team
  • Communicating ideas through writing
  • Accuracy
  • Being logical
  • Researching and investigating
  • Planning and organising
  • Time management
  • Paying attention to detail

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

Keep track of your skills in your account and find the jobs, opportunities and courses that suit you.

Click here to view / add your skills

Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.


There are no set qualifications for this role, but you would need to show you can interpret and communicate complex information clearly.  

Many technical authors have a degree (SCQF 9/10) in a subject relevant to the products and systems they write about. These could include: 

  • Science 
  • Computer science
  • Engineering

Other technical authors come from a communications or journalism background. 

To enter a degree (SCQF level 9/10) usually requires National 5 qualifications and a minimum of three Highers or a relevant HNC/HND.

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Science
  • IT-related subjects

Helpful to have

You may want to join the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators (ISTC).

Explore more information about this job