RE: STC Salary survey?

Subject: RE: STC Salary survey?
From: "G. Abenhaim" <g -dot- abenhaim -at- nhc -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 11:39:20 -0500

Hi Geoff,

gosh, that is so depressing that it's a buyers' market as you say. I though
that was for Real Estate only. :-)

You do have a valid point about the survey portraying the optimistic
portrait of STC members and not that of the population as a whole. It is a
good indication nonetheless for us out there who are doing ineterviews.

I will do a search on the Canadian salaries and companies as to get
knowledge that tech writers are valuable these days as 10,000 days ago. It
is sad that companies want a multi-tasker with complete technical knowledge
as well as a great personality and who is independent and a team player but
yet we are still not considered "engineers" (Im using the word loosely) or I
may say we are not recognized for our endeavours. Why do others get the
title and the pay when they do almost or as much as we do? When will "we"
get recognized with a salary or a title. We could stay "technical writers"
or "technical communicators" for the rest of our lives. It's been almost 10
years I'm in this field and somehow I cannot get out of it because my resume
seems to only say "tech writer" as a title. Now, if I change that title to
"business analyst/illustrator/project manager" or anything else, do you
think they will give me the same credit as others? They probably wont.

I am not here to complain but it seems the industry is producing more tech
writers and companies want the junior people more because they are cheap.
Now in my days, I always thought "quality of work" was more important than
just some do-gooder who does the same job but has no clue what he's doing..
Sorry if I seem upset about this.. but it goes back to the posting of
outsourcing overseas and we should somehow convince our employers to let
them know what we are worth. keep the faith :-)
I will keep you posted with what I find in my search but in the meantime I
will be patient and wait for the best opportunity that knocks at my door.

-----Original Message-----
From: Hart, Geoff [mailto:Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA]
Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 11:21 AM
To: Techwr-L (E-mail); 'G. Abenhaim'
Subject: STC Salary survey?

G. Abenhaim wonders: <<Some of you had mentioned in the past that the STC
Salary Survey is not accurate.>>

In my experience, it's neither more nor less accurate than any other
uncontrolled survey in which the respondents are self-selected, belong to a
specific group that is a subset of the population, and may have a political
agenda (i.e., promoting higher salaries). That is to say, I think it
portrays a slightly optimistic portrait of STC members, rather than of the
industry as a whole.

<<Is there another survey to let us know what tech writers make?>>

Most countries and some states or provinces have a government Commerce or
Statistics department that collects these or similar statistics. (Sometimes
you can find them via a Web search under "standard industrial
classification" plus other keywords such as "salaries", the name of your
region, etc.) These numbers are certainly broader-based and arguably more
objective, but finding them may be difficult and extracting them from the
mass of additional data these people collect may be difficult.

<<I am actually in interviews and have found that most companies offer
really low salaries for the jobs posted. It seems they all want technical
senior responsibilities for junior salaries. How is that possible?>>

It seems to be a buyer's market for companies that survived the dotcom
meltdown: there are lots of writers out there, many of whom are willing to
work for far less than the old pros. If you can't convince an employer of
your worth, there's not much you can do about this other than to wait for
the economy to pick up and for writers to become hot properties again. Given
the recent discussion about outsourcing overseas, I'm not horribly
optimistic that this will happen anytime soon.

--Geoff Hart, ghart -at- [delete]videotron -dot- ca
Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada
580 boul. St-Jean
Pointe-Claire, Que., H9R 3J9 Canada

"Wisdom is one of the few things that look bigger the further away it
is."--Terry Pratchett



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STC Salary survey?: From: Hart, Geoff

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