RE: Asking The Billing Rate?

Subject: RE: Asking The Billing Rate?
From: "Wilcox, Rose" <rwilcox -at- ssqi -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2005 11:16:39 -0700

> Depends on who and where you are. For an experienced tech writer with
> varied skills and good recommendations in the metro DC area, $45 per
> hour on contract is "small bucks." But for a newbie in Syracuse, that
> might be an excellent offer. YMMV

Ya, my mileage varies --

In Phoenix Arizona, many experience tech writer jobs are being
advertised with rates of $30-35 -- or lower -- even those jobs with
varied skills, etc. -- which is why I'm mostly going for Business
Analyst jobs.

A few representative examples (from the STC job log over the last few

Writer Editor - $32.00 -- Selected candidate will coordinate the
creation and revision of procedures in support of on-going business
process improvement and simplification efforts. Bachelor's degree or
certificate and 8 years' experience, master's degree and 5 years'
experience, or 10 years' experience. Will have expert level proficiency
with Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Visio or other approved authoring

2. $28.00--
We're looking for someone to document work procedures, write job
qualifications, and document an apprenticeship program. We have
templates and examples to work from and we have a technical engineer
available as a subject matter expert resource.
Knowledge & Experience Required:
* Demonstrated experience in technical writing with an emphasis on
processes/procedures. Experience in documenting business
analysis/requirements, and strong oral as well as written communication
skills are needed.
* Microsoft Word, Adobe Illustrator, Excel, Visio Draw, Acrobat

And so forth. Work has increased for technical writers in Phoenix but
bill rates have remained unnaturally frozen at lower levels. I'm not
sure why, but I'm sure that I will continue the B.A. path when this
contract ends. BA jobs here pay around $40-50 through consulting

I will say that many of my contracts include health insurance and other

Cost of living varies within the U.S., but not that much. I believe
tech writers in Phoenix need to start asking for more money. Maybe I'll
apply for some of the lower billing rate jobs, and then ask for my true

Rosie Wilcox


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