Re: Status of the Technical Writer

Subject: Re: Status of the Technical Writer
From: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: "Melissa Nelson" <melmis36 -at- hotmail -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2007 18:41:32 -0700

In my previous life as an engineer in the aerospace industry, our company's
"technical writers" were more what we today would consider editors. As
an engineer I researched and wrote 100% of the content, including content
that had to be gathered from other engineers, lab techs, field testers, etc.,
and the technical publications group took my drafts (originally handwritten
with a #2 pencil, later text files created on early desktops), and corrected
spelling, grammar and occaisionally suggested different organizations for
some of the material (I was one of perhaps a dozen engineers creating
documentation in this manner, and the writers told me that my drafts were
the ones that consistently needed the least amount of work of all of them).
Not once in 10+ years did I ever see a technical writer emerge from the
tech pubs office to collect information from any other dept. That was in
the 80's, and I'm told by people I know who are still in the industry that
things haven't changed much at all.

Gene Kim-Eng

----- Original Message -----
From: "Melissa Nelson" <melmis36 -at- hotmail -dot- com>

>I work for a government contractor. On some of our contracts I do the
> technical writing and then it gets sent to someone in the military who
> basically takes my writing and cuts and pastes it into official documents.
> Also as far as the technical writer being on par with secretaries
> of the biggest government contractors in the business classifies technical
> writers as "administration" for some of their contracts and not for
> others...the contracts where they are classified as admin pay about $25-30K
> less. I was very excited to get called into their local branch office for an
> interview a couple of years ago, until I found out that this was a contract
> where I would be classified "admin" and what the salary about a
> huge let-down.


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Re: Status of the Technical Writer: From: Melissa Nelson

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