Re: Salary Survey Reality

Subject: Re: Salary Survey Reality
From: "Elna Tymes" <etymes -at- lts -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 15:48:24 -0800

Anthony Markatos wrote:

> Are salary surveys for real? According to Contract Professional Magazine's
> 1999 rate survey, most contractor TWs have an hourly rate of $50 per hour or
> more. Yet, I did a fairly comprehensive survey, (over about a months time),
> of TW positions and find this to be highly exaggerated.

Salary surveys are only as good as the data they're based on. The only one I
know of that's based on what HR departments say is a private, subscription-only
service named Radford. STC gets its data from self-reported survey forms, and
given that by far less than a majority of tech writers in the country belong to
STC (not to mention other forms of bias that can occur in a self-reporting
study) I'd question STC's survey. I have no idea how Contract Professional
Magazine got their data. Finally tech writing is, as are other parts of the
computer industry, subject to regional phenomena. For instance, in Silicon
Valley very senior writers are getting not only six-figure salaries but signing
bonuses and assorted other goodies, depending on their experience and the
demand. However in New England I gather the market for senior writers is
nowhere near as hot.

Asking on the board about salaries isn't particularly reliable either, since
you'll only get the responses of those willing to talk about how much money
they're making.

Elna Tymes
Los Trancos Systems

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