How ANZSCO and the ATO sees technical writers

August 24, 2009

The 2006 edition (the first and most recent edition) of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO), bundles technical writers in with journalists. Update: As does the Australian Tax Office’s Salary and wage occupation codes 2012 (http://ato.gov.au/Print-publications/Salary-and-wage-occupation-codes-2012/).

While that may be true for some, journalism is a LONG way removed from the sort of work I do every day. I guess this blog would be the closest I would ever come to journalistic-style writing.

Technical writers do get their own classification number though, so I guess that’s something. The number for ‘technical writer’ in ANZSCO is 212415, and they’ve put us in Major Group 2 — ‘Professionals’. Technical editors (or business or corporate editors), however, don’t get mentioned at all — only those associated with books, newspapers, and film/video and sound.

Web Designers get lumped in with Graphic Designers and Illustrators (2324) under the broad category of ‘Architects, Designers, Planners, and Surveyors’! And forget about editors… they are either under ‘newspaper and journal editors’, or (movie) ‘script editors’, but no other type of editor cracks a mention.

The full 9 MB PDF of the ANZSCO document is available from the Australian Bureau of Statistics: http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/1220.0First%20Edition,%20Revision%201?OpenDocument

Note: When you search this PDF, be aware that ‘technical writer’ will find ‘Technical Writer’ but not ‘TECHNICAL WRITER’. There’s some sort of case-sensitivity issue going on here.

Here’s the full listing where technical writers appear, followed by the entry for the work we do (click the images to see them full size). I’m not sure who they consulted about this entry, but it seems to reflect only a fraction of what I’ve done within my technical communication career for the past 10+ years.

ANZSCO listing for journalists and other writers

ANZSCO listing for journalists and other writers

ANZSCO listing for technical writers

ANZSCO listing for technical writers

[Links last checked July 2013]

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