How To Get Hired As A System Documentation Specialist
System programs and apps in general are complex mechanisms that need to be simplified for human comprehension. There’s a profitable online job for this and this is where you’ll learn about it.
What you’ll learn here:
- The job of a system documentation writer
- How much could you earn for this job
- Kinds of documents you’ll work on
- Skills needed for the job
- Preferred qualifications
- Where can you apply
What is the job of a system documentation writer?
As the soul that makes computer hardware function, software applications exist because without them, the computer would be totally useless. To make the very act of computer usage very smooth and simple, readable guides must be present that anyone can understand and put into practice.
As a system documentation specialist, your job would be making tech manuals, troubleshooting guides, and any related content that can help any user get through any session using a certain application.
Countless system programs are built and released every day and writers that can work on reading materials for the ease and convenience of the users are highly needed by software industries. You could be one of these workers, so read on to understand the job well.
How much could you earn for this job?
According to Salary.com, the average payment of a documentation specialist ranges from $50,514 to $63,302, as of the first quarter of 2022. The salary range may vary depending on the size of the project, and how complex is the system program to be scrutinized and explained by the documentation writer.
Kinds of documents you’ll work on
This could range from simple installation guides to complex troubleshooting drills. Though most system programs today have online versions of their manuals, some companies would demand that printed manuals be available as well.
For this reason, your job might include lay-outing your writings in paper page form so they would fit into leaflets or handbooks that people can carry everywhere, even if an internet connection is not available.
Actually defined as End User License Agreement, these pieces of digital documents are important components of all licensed software because they are meant to appear as on-screen contracts that the user must agree with before installing or using a system program.
Though EULAs are often ignored often not taken seriously by users, they are required by law. Software companies could face serious legal troubles if they fail to include a EULA in their software package.
Often presented in simple Word documents or text files, release notes are also vital to every software package because they are meant to indicate what changes or improvements are included in the current release.
These notes are often looked into by experts and meticulous users to see if what the newest version promises to offer can be truly observed upon using the program.
Online instructional content
Making this could mean that you would write any of the aforementioned ones. To simply put it, online instructional content is the web page version of the printed manuals, release notes, EULAs, and installation guides.
Skills needed for the job
Adeptness with word processors
Since you’ll be technically a writer in this job, you need to have extensive knowledge of word processors such as MS Word, Libre Office, and Google Docs. You must also have knowledge of working with PDF files and PDF converters since most documents will be delivered to you in this format.
Basic graphics design
Though the job is mainly about writing, there will be various instances where you’ll be making illustrations and graphical supplements so that the readers or users will understand your instructions quickly.
You might be tasked to work with photos and images as well so a basic knowledge of computer graphics manipulation would give you an edge over the other applicants.
Whenever system programs are designed, the creation of flowcharts is one of the very vital phases that the project must undergo. For this reason, a documentation specialist like you must also have the knowledge and skill for flowcharting.
Flowcharts are basically computer programs in graphical form and without them, programmers would have a hard time understanding how portions of the large, complex system could work together, especially if they are made by individual programmers that are away from each other.
Apart from flowcharts, data flow diagrams might also be present. You have to also be skillful with making diagrams with shapes, arrows, and directional lines. This is all for the sake of providing the user with the quickest understanding you can give as they read your instructional materials.
Though anyone with decent-enough English can already work as a documentation specialist, a technical writer is highly preferred for this job. If you’ve been attentive enough with your technical writing subject in English during college, you might find this job a lot easier.
These days however, as online jobs become truly commonplace, plenty of companies mostly hire anyone with good-enough writing skills to work for them as a documentation specialist, though additional training might be given to freshly hired ones.
IT-related college degree – Since writing documents for system programs revolves around the tenets of computer science, an IT-related degree holder is highly preferred by most companies.
Knowledge of computer programming – Some programmers are very good at coding but are very poor at explaining their craft through words. But if you can do both, then you could get instantly hired as a documentation specialist.
Writing experience – Since the job is hugely about writing, freelance writers, though inexperienced with technical writing could have a high chance of getting hired.
Can you have this job without a college degree?
To answer it directly, yes. It is undeniable that college degree holders possess all the advantages in almost any job fair. But the cool thing about system software development is that plenty of the very best programmers didn’t even finish college – this is a fact, one that’s very hard to dispute.
And since most online companies are aware that many gifted computer programmers didn’t spend 4 years in college, many of such companies are very open to hiring documentation specialists that are not degree holders but are very skillful and capable nonetheless.
Where can you apply as a System Documentation Specialist?
The following are online links where you can browse for available jobs. They are from some of the most respected portals all over cyberspace. Once any of the links opens, you won’t need to search for documentation jobs anymore because a long list already awaits you.
Aside from those links, you could also search for documentation specialist jobs on Facebook groups or LinkedIn groups. Just key in the keywords “online jobs system documentation writer” in the search bar and you’d be given lots of listings where you can apply.
Plenty of programmers are having high salaries making system programs. Get hired for the job of explaining how their programs work and get a salary that’s nearly at that high paying level by executing what you learned here.
Before you leave, can you please share this with your friends?