RE: Where is the ceiling in TW?

Subject: RE: Where is the ceiling in TW?
From: "Le Vie, DonaldX S" <donaldx -dot- s -dot- le -dot- vie -at- intel -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2001 10:51:33 -0800

>>1. If you don't want to relocate, but you also don't want to throw away
of your hard-earned experience, what would you (personally) do to ensure
your income increases? How would you continue to "be a writer" and make more
money than you're making now? What type of work would you look for? In what

Try your hand at some part-time contract work, but set a limit on the number
of hours per week you can be involved in such a side venture. Quote flat
project fees rather than hourly rates wherever you can because that's where
the money selling your expertise, not your time. Try your hand at
freelance writing. I sold my first article when I was 12 years old and I'm
still doing it on a part-time basis. Write books...lots of folks on this
list are book authors.

>>2. What is your personal perception of the financial "ceiling" in
Writing as a profession? Does one exist? If so, where is it? If not, where
is the unlimited potential for millions in this business?<<

That depends on your experience (type and no. of years), industry, part of
the country, demand for your skills/experience, etc. $75K a year is what a
good Sr. tech writer in the Central Texas area can make with standard skill
sets and about 10 years experience. I know doc managers that make $95K that
oversee a company's entire tech doc collateral development; I know other doc
managers who make $130K as cross-functional/cross-business unit information
problem solvers. Then there are contractors and consultants who can pull in
$80-$120K plus a year.

The ceiling is set by many factors, not the least of which is what you
choose to do wiht your own skills and knowledge.

>>3. If you are a "non-techie" writer who wants to keep writing instead
becoming a programmer, where do you focus your job search? What fields and
what job titles?<<

There's less and less need of people with just writing skills today. You
need to have more technical knowledge to make more money. You don't have to
be a programmer, but you can become more knowledgeable on your company's
products and services, or learn XML or lead a single-source documentation
initiative. Your salary is largely a reflection of your employer's
perception of your value-add.

Donn Le Vie


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