RE: wannabe tech writer

Subject: RE: wannabe tech writer
From: "Cekis, Margaret" <Margaret -at- mediaocean -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 27 Dec 2001 11:22:23 -0500

Bruce Byfield [mailto:bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com] commented on becoming a Tech
Writer for the money:

"Well, granted the money looks good if you're just out of school, or if
you're comparing tech-writing to flipping burgers. But, if money is the only
reason for entering the field, then most of us have fairly low standards. If
you compare tech-writing to other positions, the money is
adequate, but not much more."

I think one of the things it does offer is some life-style flexibility.

1. Most of the "technical professions", including most engineering
disciplines and architecture, require a professional license in addition to
a degree. In many states, this means the degreed graduate must work in an
apprentice-like positon for 3 to 5 years for a licensed practitioner in the
specialty field before becoming eligible to take the state licensing exam
for his/her own professional license. When a women marries and starts a
family, conflicts with the spouse's employment and/or child care needs may
disrupt a planned career path.

2. In computer hardware & software, where product generations have been
compressed into 18-month (or shorter) cycles, dropping out to care for a
sick child or parent could make a person occupationally "out-of-date".

3. Good writing and organizational skills do not get out-of-date or
out-of-style. A state license is not required. Tools change, formats change,
but basic tech writing skills do not. The ability to adjust your workload
to your life situation, or the freedom to move across the country and still
find well-paid work in your field can also be big plusses.

Margaret Cekis
Margaret -at- mediaocean -dot- com
Atlanta GA

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