Technical author

technical communicator technical copywriter technical writer
Print and publishing, marketing and advertising

Career outlook for technical author

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

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


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Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Cooperating
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Creative
  • Observation
  • Researching
  • Attention to detail
  • Developing a plan
  • Time management

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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).

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