Are you a creative person and want a career in the tech industry? Then you should pursue a career in technical writing.
Contrary to popular belief, technical writing is a highly creative field as it requires you to simplify technical and jargon-filled language into an easily understandable one.
Technical writers work in multiple industries, and it’s among the best careers for people who love to write. However, if a job doesn’t pay well, it loses all of its lustre. That’s why we’ll discuss the average technical writer salary in India and explore why it’s a fantastic career to pursue.
You’ll also find out what factors affect your salary in this field and how you can get higher pay. Let’s get started:
What is the Average Technical Writer salary in India?
The average technical writer salary in India is INR 4.97 lakh per year. This role’s pay scale ranges from INR 2.29 lakh per annum to INR 10 lakh per annum, including shared profits and bonuses.
The demand for technical writers has increased exponentially in the last few years as the number of tech companies and startups has blown up. You can understand how lucrative this field is when The Economic Times included it in their list of the highest paying jobs in 2017.
As the number of tech companies grows, the demand for technical writers will increase accordingly. Also, keep in mind that you can pursue a freelance career in this profession if you don’t want a 9-5 job.
The average pay of freelance writers in India is INR 475 per hour. Their total pay ranges from INR 1.93 lakh per annum to INR 20 lakh per annum. However, they don’t work in traditional job settings, and their income is highly variable depending on the number of clients they work with.
What Does a Technical Writer Do?
Technical writers are responsible for writing instruction manuals and related documents to give detailed technical information in a simple and non-technical language. They have to gather the required information from the production teams and manufacturers and convey the same to the customers.
Technical writers write guides, instruction manuals, journal articles and other related documents. Usually, they work with companies that organise, produce, or distribute technical products.
They must have strong research skills as they are responsible for understanding the readers of their written documents. A technical writer must know who their target audience is to convey information clearly and use the correct language. It allows the reader to find, understand, and follow the required guidelines easily.
Technical writers must analyse the target audience of their project and define their requirements. What the document would sound like and how it will feel depend solely on the target audience, which is why it’s one of the most pivotal duties of a technical writer to find the right audience.
They conduct audience analysis to determine the document’s design, presentation, and content.
For example, hardware documents are usually very clear, simple, and concise, so inexperienced users can use them efficiently.
On the other hand, documentation for advanced machinery and tools uses different technical languages because they assume the reader has considerable knowledge of their field.
Technical writers work in numerous industries such as medicine, engineering, software, etc. The development life cycle of technical writing is quite similar to the product development lifecycle of an organisation.
They work in teams with other specialists, editors, graphic designers, and content managers. Thus, it’s essential to have good communication skills. The role might require them to train or coach junior writers as well.
Factors Affecting Technical Writer Salary in India
The average technical writer salary in India depends on many factors. You should know how these factors affect technical writer salary to determine how much you can expect to earn in this profession.
When you know what factors contribute to higher pay, you can plan your career accordingly and climb the ranks faster. The most prominent factors that affect the average technical writer salary in India are:
Let’s discuss each of them in detail to understand how they affect your pay:
The biggest factor that determines your technical writer salary in India is the amount of experience you have. Beginners and those with less experience earn substantially less than those with more experience.
Entry-level technical writers earn around 44% less than the industry average. Similarly, early career professionals in this field make 17% less than the median salary. On the other hand, mid-career professionals earn 54% higher than the average, while late-career technical writers earn 179% higher than the average. Indeed, having more experience will help you get a better salary.
A technical writer with less than a year’s experience earns an average salary of INR 2.77 lakh per annum. Those with one to four years of experience make around INR 4.14 lakh per annum on average.
With a few years of experience, your pay in this field would increase substantially as a technical writer with five to nine years of experience earns INR 7.66 lakh per annum on average. Those with 10 to 19 years of experience in this field earn around an average salary of INR 13.8 lakh per annum.
Your skill-level and expertise in relevant skills affect your technical writer salary heavily. As the industry evolves, the in-demand skills change accordingly. This is why having industry-specific and updated skills helps you in getting a better salary.
The most popular skills among technical writers in India are:
- Writing Procedures and Documentation
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Excel
By knowing which skills have the most demand, you can develop the same and stand out from the competition. On the other hand, certain skills tend to increase your salary as well.
Technical writers with the Confluence skill report to earn 103% higher than the industry average. Similarly, those who know how to use Madcap Flare earn 37% more than the average, whereas those familiar with XML (eXtensible Markup Language) make 20% higher than the average.
Adobe FrameMaker (17% higher than average) and Adobe RoboHelp (11% higher than average) are also skills that can get you better pay. Some additional skills that can help you get better pay as a technical writer are:
- Adobe Acrobat (5% higher than average)
- Adobe Photoshop (4% higher than average)
- Microsoft Visio (3% higher than average)
Clearly, by developing certain skills, you can get a considerably higher salary as a technical writer. Also, keep in mind that you can get promoted to a higher role as you get more experience and develop advanced skills, such as a senior technical writer. The average pay of a senior technical writer in India is INR 10.1 lakh per annum, and it can go up to INR 20 lakh per annum.
Your location has a significant impact on your pay as a technical writer. Some cities offer above-average salaries, whereas some cities offer lower pay. You should know which cities offer the best pay so you can plan your career accordingly.
The best city for technical writers in terms of average pay is Bangalore. The average it offers to technical writers is 11.5% higher than the national average. Professionals in this field earn higher salaries in Noida (2.3% higher than average) and Hyderabad (2.4% higher than average).
Conversely, some cities offer below-average salaries. The city that offers the lowest pay to technical writers in India is Kolkata which offers 32.8 less than the average income. Other cities in this category include Pune (7% less than the average) and Chennai (16% less than the average).
Lastly, a prominent factor that determines your salary as a technical writer is your employer. Some companies offer substantially higher salaries while some others offer lower pay. However, you shouldn’t simply choose an employer solely based on their offered income. You should also consider additional benefits (for example, health insurance) and the company culture while choosing your employer company.
In terms of India’s highest technical writer salary, Cisco Systems Inc comes at the top as its average pay is INR 13.7 lakh per annum for these professionals. Other companies that offer significantly high salaries to technical writers are Nutanix (INR 12.3 lakh per annum) and Juniper Networks (INR 10.8 lakh per annum).
On the other hand, ZOHO Corporation and HCL Technologies offer lower salaries to their technical writers – the average pay is INR 5.7 lakh per annum and INR 5.89 lakh per annum, respectively.
How to Earn the Top Technical Writer Salary in India
In the tech sector, recruiters look for qualified candidates with the most in-demand skills in their arsenal. By developing the right skills and having the proper qualification, you can easily bag a lucrative role in established corporations.
The best way to develop the necessary technical writing skills is by taking a journalism course. A journalism course will equip you with the writing and communication expertise you need to convey highly technical information into a simplified language.
Completing a journalism course will give you the required qualifications to apply for technical writing roles in multiple companies. Moreover, you can complete a PG course in one of the industries you want to enter to enhance your chances of bagging a high-paying role there.
At upGrad, we offer two courses in journalism and mass communication. Both of them are offered online, so you can upskill from your home without leaving your job:
- Master of Arts – Journalism and Mass Communication (with Chandigarh University)
- Master of Arts in Communication & Journalism (with University of Mumbai)
On the other hand, you can take an industry-specific course such as data science, artificial intelligence, or software development and pursue a technical writing role in these fields. Check out our homepage to find programs in those domains.
A career in technical writing is certainly a lucrative one. With sufficient experience and expertise, you can easily bag a handsome salary. Moreover, the job promises a high degree of satisfaction. You get to experiment with your writing technique, tonality, and approach while continually learning about the latest advancements in tech domains.