Freelance Technical Writing as a Part-Time or Full-Time Job

Technical writing merges together your writing skills with your field of knowledge, such as technology, health, education, business, engineering, and so forth. Companies outsource work to tech writers to work on complex writing projects in their industry, or to work on writing projects aimed at educating an outside audience such as consumers.

Common Pay Rates for Technical Writing

Technical writing is one of the few disciplines where freelance writers can expect high pay rates. Rates vary from industry to industry, and client to client, but tech writers with less than five years of experience can expect to earn from $35 to $50 per hour. Tech writers with above five years of experience can earn from $50 to $100 per hour. These rates are considerably higher than most other types of freelance writing jobs because of the level of knowledge and expertise that you must have.

Where to Locate Technical Writing Jobs

The Internet is the best resource because all of the popular job sites list current jobs in this field. Simply go to,, and and type in “technical writer” and it will display current jobs. Because you want a contract or freelance job, you will need to tweak the search settings to show such jobs. Creative staffing agencies are another great source for finding technical writing jobs. These staffing agencies recruit contract and freelance writers to work on their clients’ projects, either remotely, on-site, or from home. You can Google “creative staffing agencies” to bring up a list of agencies.

I also suggest you upload a resume on a job site like or or create a profile at Because your skills are specialized, you should make companies and recruiters aware of your availability. Actively promoting yourself and your writing skills will significantly boost your possibilities of finding a well-paid writing gig.

To maximize your efficiency in finding a job, determine if you have a unique skill-set or expertise that is highly in-demand. If so, research local companies and/or staffing agencies that hire writers with your type of skills. Contact those companies directly and inquire about available jobs. Usually you can visit the company’s website and search its employment page. This will tell you what jobs are available; and if so, you can probably apply online.

[ Search for Freelance Technical Writing Jobs | ]

Common Jobs in Technical Writing

In the Information Technology sector, technical writers create manuals to help others understand how to use new hardware or software or to understand new technologies and their processes. In the academic field, technical writers author textbooks, write research reports, or create PowerPoint presentations for online learning courses. Other common jobs include writing workflow manuals for machines, putting together statistical data sheets for drug companies, or developing D.Y.I. instructional handbooks to handle computer upgrades or home repairs, and so on.

A technical writing job demands excellent writing and communication abilities, in addition to having solid expertise. Most projects are collaborative, meaning you will be working with other specialists to finish the project. Even if you’re working from home and collaborating via the Internet, the client will continually monitor your progress via a remote Internet connection to his computer. Anticipate lots of interaction, via phone, the Internet, email, or Skype.

How to Reply to a Job Ad

To optimize your opportunities for success, write a persuasive response that includes:

1) Why the company and its products or services excite you and why you’d like to work for them.

2) A rundown of your expertise and accomplishments.

3) A summary of your exceptional writing skills.

4) Any relevant experience that you can offer.

Depending on the job ad and what the employer wants you to do, you may need to reply with a cover letter and current resume or write a competitive bid proposal.

Read the following job ad and determine how you’d respond to it:

We are a web-based education company helping career-focused individuals improve their business communication skills. We teach managers, supervisors, HR professionals, and administrators on how to successfully mentor employees and reduce costs of daily operations. We create and deliver Internet-based teaching courses and presentations. We require a technical writer to finish our future courses for next semester.

In your response, make sure you address the employer’s needs. You might respond like this:

Hello (Name),

I had the pleasure to review your current lesson plans at your website. It’s evident that you offer plenty of value to businesses and organizations that use your services and products. As a former high school teacher and curriculum writer for my local school district, I have a passion for teaching and would love to work on your project.

I have a Bachelor of Education degree with a business focus. Throughout my teaching career, I have composed lesson plans and skill-building curricula at the high school level. Recently, I’ve been copy editing and re-writing several employee handbooks for a large business in the healthcare industry. I believe my skills and background are a perfect match for your company.

As a proficient freelance writer, I have authored many articles, manuals, and online content for businesses and organizations. I have included my website address where you can view my online portfolio.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.
(Your name)

Keep your reply brief and direct. Only include information about how your skills relate to the job and how you will meet all of the employer’s goals.

About the author

Brian Scott

Brian Scott

Brian Scott uses his creative skills to freelance full-time as a copywriter, SEO marketing specialist, and graphic designer. Self-employed since 1996, he's had the opportunity to work in traditional media (pre-Internet Age) and now online media. Prior to freelancing, he worked in public relations, newspaper copy editing, and mail-order marketing.

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