Results: Companies that pay writers and engineers equally?

Subject: Results: Companies that pay writers and engineers equally?
From: STEVEN JONG <SteveFJong -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2003 18:14:13 -0400

I asked about a week ago about companies where writers and engineers
are paid equally. I got four responses, well distributed from around
the world, which I summarize below. Thanks to those who replied!

In my own (US) experience, Honeywell Information Systems and Digital
Equipment Coirporation paid writers and engineers equally; there were
equal, parallel technical tracks for both. Those were the days 8^(

-- Steve

I'll speak about France. Big groups like where I'm working now have a
matrix, and according to the number of years of studies, and which
training you had, they just look up your pay.

I'm a postgrad in technical writing, and I have studied 5 years after
taking my A-levels. That makes me in the same column as engineers,
since French engineering schools take 5 years. But I'm not from the
schools that the company prefers best, but from university which means
I'm in the line with the less-paid engineers.

Still, my pay is equal to that of engineers who have studied other
subjects than the main core of the company : electronics, so I guess
this qualifies ThalesGroup as a company who pays the engineers the same
rate as the technical writers.

Normally, companies [in India] treat technical writers who [have]
technical degrees as engineers and pay equally. Otherwise, the pay
scales are less than that of engineers. The difference varies from
company to company. If your education is in English, Journalism or
Technical Communication, chances are that you get a much lesser salary
than that of engineers. But you may compensate this difference if you
have a decent amount of experience and other skill sets. Ultimately,
what matters is your negotiation skills.

Honeywell in India pays well compared to the pay standards here. Intel,
Digital and HP are also good pay masters in India. I don't know how
these companies do in your part of the world.

I worked for one, Lockheed (before it was Lockheed Martin) in the
1980s. In a way, though, it was "the exception that proves the rule."
The job classification for tech writers was actually an engineering
position, the job title was "Aircraft Service Manuals Engineer" and the
writers were in the engineering department. Lockheed used that as a
selling point in the recruiting, pointing out that this put the writers
and the engineers on the same pay scale. I do not know if it is still
the case regarding the pay scale, but I know the writers were moved out
of engineering about a dozen years ago.

My company [unspecified] does, although there are only two writers. If
anything we surpass what is paid to the engineers and developers, as
the company views our skills as less common than the others. I believe
our wages equate to around the same as project/product managers and
product area development managers.


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