Job Market and Labor Demand
Estimates put the number of people currently employed in the area of technical communication in Germany at around 85,000. The demand for qualified technical communicators and skilled personnel for technical communication is great. Based on projections, there are 4,000 open positions recorded in this area annually (in Germany).
Graduates in degree programs "Technical Communication" or related fields of study are much sought after. Also in demand as technical communicators are people who have changed careers with a different specialist educational background, who have pursued or are currently pursuing further training and a formal qualification in technical communication. Most of them are engineers; however, qualified personnel with a different specialist background also stand a good chance in the job market. The latest job opportunities are listed in the tekom appointments section. Recommended for the job search are also meta search engines (e.g. Indeed) that return a good number of hits for search terms such as "technical documentation" and "technical communicator".
The salary for technical communicators is dependent on the location of the company, size of the company, professional experience and position but is usually aligned with the salary of engineers. For the latest data please refer to the tekom salary tracker.
Depending on experience/background, technical communicators are employed in companies as new career entrants, employees, project managers, team leaders or department heads in the area of technical communication. With the relevant qualification, further promotion prospects are good.
Management tasks, in particular, are increasing in the area of technical communication in companies. This is the result of complex changes that this field of activity is subject to.
- Information volume on the whole is continuously increasing.
- Company-wide standards in information management, such as integrated corporate design or uniform terminology, are catching on.
- Information from different sources generated in complex processes, within companies or externally, must be integrated.
Management tasks in technical communication also include assumption of management accountability, e.g.:
- Personnel management, development and procurement
- Goal definition, planning
- Resource provision
- Calculation, budget creation, controlling
- Purchasing/procurement, e.g. of translation services
- Editing guidelines and standards
- Implementation of company-wide requirements, e.g. in the area of quality
- Representation of technical communication within the company as well as strategic planning, etc.
- Innovation and strategic projects
- Cross-departmental process optimization
Awareness of the added value of technical communication and its contribution to a company's success is growing. Technical communication as an operational function is emancipating itself. This means increasingly more cross-sectional and managerial tasks for technical communication departments and for technical communicators. They assume responsibility for the translation and terminology management, operate intranets and act as information and content managers. They are evolving into in-house information service providers, collaborating with external partners and service providers. The functional and structural development involves organizational and personnel adjustments: specialized personnel are in urgent demand, new management levels are created and managerial positions must be staffed. The perspectives go far beyond purely operative levels. In professional practice, 50% of employees do not have a leadership position, as compared to 20% of executives and managing directors with leadership positions.