GUIDE 2022

What Does an Apple Technical Writer Do?

An Apple technical writer writes internal facing and external documentation to help simplify complex subjects for end users. In doing so, they make the products easier to understand and use for everyday consumers while also enabling engineers to better understand how to build such products.

Apple Technical Writer Role

An Apple technical writer has two general audience types. The first one is coworkers, and the second one is end-users. From a technical writer, Apple expects to create content that explains complex technical details.

Apple’s primary line of business is designing, manufacturing, and marketing tech gadgets such as smartphones (iPhone), personal computers (Mac), tablets (iPad), and various tech accessories. Additionally, Apple also offers advertising, cloud services, digital and payment services.

Technical writing is critical because although it’s clear to an Apple developer why a specific update is helpful, the same doesn’t go for the end customer.

Similarly, although it’s the marketing team’s job to create engaging marketing campaigns for the latest iPhone or Mac, that doesn’t mean they automatically know why the current iPhone is better than the previous.

That’s why Apple needs a capable technical writer who can act as a “translator” between the product team and the target audience.

As such, technical writers create different content types. The most general types are:

  • Guidelines
  • Manuals
  • Reviews
  • Technical report
  • Technical documents

According to Comparably, the average annual salary at Apple is $143,362 or $68 per hour.

Apple Technical Writer Qualifications & Responsibilities

Since Apple has several customer types, a technical writer will likely join an innovation department that writes about new products for private and/or business users or the internal team whose tasks range from writing a product report to online publication. But keep in mind that you might have to write for both audiences.

Qualifications

Although not necessary, employers usually prefer technical writers with a bachelor’s degree either in journalism or English. Furthermore, specialized education in engineering, computer science, and web design experience helps.

Having a college degree or credible certification like the one from Technical Writer HQ, helps employers to filter out potential candidates. Additionally, knowing a writer’s experience makes it easy for a team manager to assign a department and projects, especially in big companies such as Apple.

It’s not rare for individuals to jump to the tech writer position from different jobs. For example, an engineer who has a knack for writing technical documentation might decide to jump careers.

There are several requirements for a job as a technical writer at Apple. The company has several general and specialized qualifications.

The main requirements are:

  • Attention to detail.
  • Native use of the English language.
  • Experience in researching, outlining, and writing technical content such as guides, studies, and papers.
  • Experience interviewing experts on a specific topic.
  • Ability to review and transform complex tech data into helpful and quality reports.
  • Experience in creating visual guides that explain complex tech ideas.
  • Knowing how to communicate effectively with employees from different departments at Apple.

Although Apple doesn’t list any conventional education as an essential requirement, they prefer individuals who disclose proof of writing and technical knowledge.

Responsibilities

At Apple, a technical writer’s job is to collaborate with software developers and write technical documents for the company and end-users. Besides creating new documentation, you’ll also update previous ones.

You’ll also create copies that explain the latest technical updates and services to a non-technical audience. This requires a stellar understanding of the user persona and vocabulary necessary to explain.

It also helps to know GitHub since Apple usually stores its source data there.

Finally, as a technical writer, you’ll create papers that help the internal team’s productivity. Each document you write should help different groups understand and discuss the latest changes with team members and external partners.

Promotion Possibilities at Apple

There are several promotion possibilities inside Apple as a technical writer. One of them is the senior technical writer promotion.

Except for better compensation, you can expect new responsibilities with the role. Senior writers write and review app specifications, technical materials, and how-to documents. But the key difference is that senior writers have more independence. Meaning, other employees ( including those from another department) will usually come to them for advice.

Senior technical writer requirements are:

  • Three or more years of technical writing experience for applications or a master’s degree in Technical Communication.
  • Experience with app interaction workflow.
  • Stellar writing and grammar skills.
  • Software development understanding.

Another option is the role of a technical writer/strategist.  With better pay, the difference is deeper involvement in the innovation process. Besides merely creating content, your job is to edit, plan, analyze, and provide solutions to potential problems that arise along the way.

Technical writer/strategist requirements are:

  • Bachelor’s degree in technical communication.
  • Stellar communication and organization skills.
  • Write simple and informative content.
  • Make decisions based on data.
  • Experience writing for software and applications.
  • Credible certification.

Technical Writing Certifications

Average Apple Technical Writer Salaries

According to Comparably, the average salary for a technical writer at Apple is $111,783.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for a general technical writer is $74,650. This makes the compensation at Apple about $27,000 higher than averages technical writer salaries in the U.S. A technical writer’s compensation is more than a junior product manager’s but less than other managing positions.

For more salaries, according to Indeed, senior technical writers have better salaries with an average annual salary of $131,674.

Apple Employee Benefits

Besides enjoying better-than-average salaries, several benefits come with the compensation. Glassdoor ranking for technical writer Apple benefits is 4.5 out of 5.

Some of the key benefits that come along with the salary are:

  • Health Insurance – Insurance covers general health insurance perks, including dental, vision, and pet insurance.
  • Life Insurance – General life insurance in case of death or after a time period passes.
  • Wellness – Apple offers gym-on-site, gym discounts,  on-site clinics, and free food and drinks.
  • Family – Guaranteed maternity (16 weeks) and paternity (6 weeks) paid leave.
  • Home – Adoption and fertility assistance. Additionally, Apple offers relocation bonuses and immigration assistance.
  • Finance & Retirement – Possibility of a flexible spending account and an employer-sponsored retirement savings account.
  • Product Discounts – Annual 25% of on Apple products.

Final Note

An Apple technical writer is an attractive choice if you search for new job opportunities due to its above-average salaries and other perks.

As such, it’s a solid choice for beginner technical writers and senior writers looking for a step up in their careers.

Although the compensation is attractive, it might be difficult for beginner writers with zero experience in similar jobs. If you’re aiming for the job, but you don’t feel ready, the good idea is to take technical writing courses.

Besides the proper education, you also get helpful certifications that help you stand out when the employer reviews your application. Like other jobs, it’s all about how much your skills match what the employer is looking for. So make sure you’re 100% ready when you decide to send your resume.

FAQ

Here you can find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about technical writers.

What does a technical writer do?

A technical writer writes and edits technical documents that explain complex tech information in an easy-to-understand fashion. Tech writers’ primary audience is individuals and businesses that lack technical knowledge but require the information. The target audience can be end-users or business partners who make important financial decisions.

Is a technical writer a good career?

Since every company needs stellar communication with their customers and business partners, most companies require writers who can present abstract tech data in a simple form. As such, it can be a fruitful career, depending on the industry you decide to specialize in. The SaaS sector needs tech writers because their customers must understand how the product or service helps make their lives easier.

What makes a good technical writer?

A good technical writer can explain complex technical information in a couple of sentences without sacrificing the essence. In other words, professional tech writers effectively teach users how to use a product in a minimum time. Learning a new product or service can be time-consuming, but if a technical writer has excellent skills, they can lead the user from the beginning to the end without any bumps in the middle.

What is Apple?

Apple is a multinational company with headquarters in Cupertino, California. Besides the HQ, Apple has offices around the nation, such as New York City, and international offices across 26 countries.

 


If you are new to technical writing and are looking to break-in, we recommend taking our Technical Writing Certification Course, where you will learn the fundamentals of being a technical writer, how to dominate technical writer interviews, and how to stand out as a technical writing candidate.

Josh Fechter
Josh is the founder of Technical Writer HQ and Squibler, a writing software. He had his first job in technical writing for a video editing software company in 2014. Since then, he has written several books on software documentation, personal branding, and computer hacking. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.