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Technical Writing in London

This article describes technical writing in London, UK: industries where technical writers are employed in London and opportunities for technical writers in London.

London - a dynamic and thriving city

London is the capital of the United Kingdom, with a metropolitan area of over 13 million inhabitants. It is a leading global city, with a vibrant mix of businesses, specialising in the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism and transport.

London is one of the world's leading financial centres. It is the world's most-visited city and has the world's largest city airport system. London's 43 universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe.

The economy of the London metropolitan area generates approximately 30 per cent of the UK's GDP. London's largest industry is finance. Along with professional services, media companies are concentrated in London and the media distribution industry is London's second most competitive sector.

London has five major business districts: the City, Westminster, Canary Wharf, Camden & Islington and Lambeth & Southwark. A growing number of technology companies are based in London notably in East London Tech City, also known as Silicon Roundabout.

Despite its urban nature, London is one of the World's greenest cities, with more than 40% green space or open water.

London Canary Wharf
London Canary Wharf, the financial business district where many technical writers are employed

London provides a great opportunity for technical writers, both permanent and contract.

Technical writing jobs in London

The precise number of technical writers in London is unknown, although there may be as many as 1000-2000 writers, employed in tasks such as editing, technical writing, marketing writing, copywriting, illustrations, translation, user interface design and other related services. The Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators (ISTC) runs a local member branch in London, although numbers are small, as many writers do not currently have affiliation or membership.

Salaries tend to be competitive, and higher than other parts of the UK. For example, the salary range for a permanent technical writer is between 35,000- 55,000 per annum; a senior technical writer in London can expect to receive up to 55k. Contract technical writer rates vary around 350-500 per day. Although wages are higher, the cost of living in London is significantly higher than other parts of the UK.

Working in London

While many technical writers live within the larger metropolitan area, a significant number also commute daily into London, from places as far away as Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Essex, Sussex, Surrey, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. However, London is accessible for those living even further afield, across the UK and Europe, who are prepared to travel in on a Monday morning, stay over for the week and return home at the end of the week. London offers excellent air and rail transport links to cities such as Newcastle, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Paris and Berlin.

For those living in the city, cycling or taking the tube (London underground) into work is common. Some areas are also accessible via the London Overground or District Light Rail (DLR). London has invested significantly in cycling infrastructure, with cycling lanes throughout the city, and cheap bicycles available for hire using the Barclays bike scheme (often called Boris bikes, after the mayor of London who promoted the scheme). There are plenty of parks, river canals and green spaces to walk or cycle through.

A journey into London on the national rail network can be expensive. As an example, a return ticket from Cambridge to London Kings Cross station (around 60 miles), with car parking at Cambridge will cost over 40. The trip takes about 50 minutes on the fast train.

In general, commuting into work by car is only practical if working away from the centre of London. Congestion charges apply for anyone entering the centre of London by car; traffic and hefty parking charges make commuting by car into central London impractical. The other option is to travel by car to one of the surrounding areas and take the London underground or overground into work. For example, a commute by car from Cambridge to London Stratford Westfield shopping centre is about an hour and 15 minutes, where you can park the car cheaply for the day. Stratford or Stratford international offers excellent rail transport links into Canary Wharf, Liverpool street and the heart of London.

Entertainment in and around London

There is always a great buzz in London. It is a truly multi-cultural city, featuring a mixture of cuisine from across the globe. With thousands of museums, parks, markets, theatres and galleries you are spoilt for choice. Take a trip by boat on the Thames and visit the London eye. Walk through central London, where historical buildings stand side by side with modern, glass sky-scrapers such as the Shard. Or wander through the vast corridors of the National History museum, Tate Modern or National Portrait Gallery.

London river
London skyline with the River Thames in the foreground

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Technical writing roles in London

If you are looking for a job as a technical writer in London, the best place to find advertisements for technical writing permanent and contract positions is on jobserve.com.

You should use the search term 'technical author', or 'technical authors' (as writers in the UK are known) and you can limit this to jobs that are based in London.

In general, over a 7-day period you are likely to find between 5-15 positions for technical authors in London, although this tends to fluctuate seasonally, with January and February being the best months to look.

We also occasionally advertise positions for technical authors on our website. See http://www.technical-communicators.com/jobs.

We are happy to review your CV and help you find you a suitable position.

If you want exclusive opportunities, we recommend that you join the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators (ISTC), which regularly posts job opportunities on their mail forum, often only available to members. The membership fee is around 90 per year.

Working in and around London

To find out more about the major business districts and view vacancies for technical writers, use the following links:

Business and Technical Writing Services in London

If you are seeking a technical writer for your projects or a technical writing company close to London that can offer copywriting, technical writing and related business services, why not contact us to discuss your requirements?

To find out more about us, you can visit our website at http://www.technical-communicators.com