Re: Status of the Technical Writer

Subject: Re: Status of the Technical Writer
From: John Garison <john -at- garisons -dot- com>
To: Lauren <lt34 -at- csus -dot- edu>
Date: Fri, 08 Jun 2007 09:52:46 -0400

The STC has a new initiative to update the "official" definition of what
a technical writer is and does.

The current definition the U. S. Government, Bureau of Labor Statistics
(BLS), uses for a technical writer is:

27-3042 Technical Writers
Write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or
operating and maintenance instructions. May assist in layout work.

The proposed new definition is:

27-1028 Technical Communicators
Develop and design instructional and informational tools needed to
assure safe, easy, proper and complete use of technical goods and
services. Combine multi-media knowledge and strong communication skills
with technical expertise to educate across the entire spectrum of users'
abilities, technical experience, and visual and auditory capabilities.

If they are basing their rates and work statements on the current
definition, I can understand why they may not pay so much. If it gets
changed, we might see an upswing in rates and responsibilities that's
more in line with current practice. The definition in force no has not
been changed in about 30 years.

My 2¢,

John Garison

Lauren wrote:
> I'm reviewing government (GSA) contracts to find a contract or two...
> I have found plenty of IT contracts that include job descriptions that apply
> to me, but these contracts usually do not include the job, Technical Writer.
> One IT contract that I have found does, but the other job categories that
> I'm trying to offer do not match up.

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Status of the Technical Writer: From: Lauren

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