When I first asked to interview my friend Brian about his job as a procedure writer, I thought I knew what to expect. Boy was I wrong! I expected to learn about the dull world of monotonous manuals, but instead I found that procedure writing is a lot like writing a choose-your-own-adventure book. Procedure writing has a lot of perks, and, fortunately, the jobs are plentiful – an important consideration in today’s job market.
The first thing you need to know about procedure writing is that it yields incredible networking opportunities. As a writer, you will meet regularly with the heads of every department as they discuss a new procedure, and they will know you by name. You will get to sit in on meetings with all the top dogs, offer your opinions, and make connections. This type of direct association can be your ticket to the top of the ladder. In addition, you will meet experts in many fields as they give you the knowledge you need to complete your work. As the saying goes, “it’s not what you know. It’s who you know.”
The second perk of the job is its salary potential. English majors will be glad to hear that not all writing jobs will doom them to a life of Ramen noodles for dinner. A good writing sample and great cover letter can land you a job paying $30,000 – $50,000 per year. That’s not a bad salary, especially for a recent college graduate. The pay can depend on several factors, including how much experience you have, who your employer is, and whether you work on a contracted or salaried basis.
The requirements of a job like this are fairly reasonable. Even though the tasks can be complex and involved, it is common to find entry-level positions. Many state a requirement of three to five years of experience, but don’t let that discourage you; apply anyway. Bring a writing sample and a winning smile with you, and you might get lucky. A bachelor’s degree is likely necessary, and you get bonus points if you have some technical experience, too.
Overall, procedure writing isn’t a bad place to begin a writing career, and it might just get you the right connections for your next, bigger job. It’s a perfect start for recent graduates or career-changers. In addition, it can set you up with great connections and a wealth of writing samples. If you like the nitty-gritty details, then procedure writing might just be the job for you.