- By Gareth Cooper
- Published 02/12/2011
Freelance writing is a booming career opportunity. Freelance technical writing, though perhaps not widely known, is no different. For those interested in work at home opportunities, but without traditional writing skills, freelance technical writing may be the answer. Freelance technical writing is very different from other types of writing. While correct spelling and grammar are important, freelance technical writing requires an understanding of fairly complex materials and the ability to sort of translate them into “layman” terms. Like other forms of writing, though, there are many career paths available to the technical writer. Some writers make their living writing use and care manuals for electronic equipment in a way that everyone can read and understand. Others have the task of writing technical papers explaining the functions of new tools or software, sometimes even those which have yet to be created. It is not uncommon to have technical writers on the team of software and product development. Still other freelance technical writing jobs require translating technical materials from one language to another.
Anyone interested in freelance technical writing jobs who does not have prior experience to learn all they can before diving in. Read information, watch videos and even talk with technical writers and those who hire them to get a better feel fo
r the industry and what is needed. Beyond the skills of time management and self discipline, freelance technical writing jobs require a firm grasp of what is expected for each type of task at hand. There are also common industry terms and abbreviations you should become familiar with to help you earn a higher return more quickly. While some freelance technical writing jobs request writers with extensive experience and even a degree, there are plenty available for the up and coming writers, too. Finding freelance technical writing jobs on freelance boards and other online sources is a great way to start getting the experience necessary to land higher-paying jobs. You may also find unexpected work with local companies and startup businesses in need of technical writing services.
Freelance technical writing jobs tend to pay more on a per-word basis because of the level of education and technical skills required. This does not always equate to a higher per-hour pay, though. Technical writing jobs may take considerably longer than other types of writing job, especially for the new writer, so the per-hour rate may be the same or even lower until you gain experience and confidence in the craft. Finally, those who can write technical and typically boring pieces with a bit of flair (where permitted) to keep reader interest will have a higher standing. This is where prior experience or skills in other types of writing may come in handy for those looking into freelance technical writing jobs.