Example: An average Tech Writer earns $64k, an average Financial Tech Writer earns $82K*
Highly targeted experience can pay off big time for technical communications professionals, and financial writing is a prime example. Given the highly regulated environment most finance professionals live in and the importance of reporting, up to date policies and procedures, increasingly complex and sophisticated software, and the emerging Fintech sector, adding ‘finance’ to your skill set can be a game-changer.
Finance Is More Than Banking, It’s Increasingly High Tech
That being said, you can’t simply add a word to your title and get a big jump in salary. You’ll need a portfolio of similar writing, familiarity with regulations like Sarbanes Oxley (aka SOX), a background with some financial experience, and, of course, superlative writing skills. An MBA or legal background also make a resume stand out. The benefits of building this kind of resume go beyond just the salary. First, finance is much more than banks. Virtually any large company has a finance department that is tasked with creating and enforcing policies and procedures and doing the required reporting of the company’s financial activities. Other targets include:
- Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)
- Mortgage companies
- Investment banks
- Trading Firms
Fintech May Be The Future
Let’s look at that last category, Fintech. Short for Financial Technology, this is a rapidly growing set of companies developing software systems for all kinds of financial applications. The data research firm CB Insights runs the Future of Fintech Conference that showcases over 250 companies in this space, most of which have intensive documentation requirements. These are often startups and most are well-funded. As such, a growing sector like this offers great opportunities for career advancement, well beyond a simple raise in salary. When a complex business sector like Fintech emerges there is inevitably a major battle for talent, a scenario that raises the value of specialized skills and experience.
Bringing Structure to the Table Can Move You Into Management
Given the complexity of financial documentation, the addition of DITA or structured content skills are also a game-changer for your resume. Content development in a secure centralized database, with an architecture that enforces version control and maintains an audit trail, is practically a requirement in these financial business sectors. So, adding in or bringing DITA skills to the table is another major attention-getter for a job seeker. In our experience as a software provider to financial institutions, there is inevitably a need for someone on the customer side to have structured content experience, whether they are an employee or a consultant. Having these skills can lead you to a management role in a company’s entire content eco-system, an ecosystem that is increasingly vital to highly regulated financial businesses and organizations.
Targeting and Specializing Pay Off…If the Market is Big Enough
To sum up, targeting more specific business sectors and building a resume of relevant knowledge is a great way to accelerate a technical communications career. Choosing a target sector like finance makes great sense, given their highly regulated environment, large needs for documentation, and the controls that structure brings to their content. And, they have the money!