Re: [TCP] Is there a "Rule of Thumb"

Subject: Re: [TCP] Is there a "Rule of Thumb"
From: John Hedtke <john -at- hedtke -dot- com>
To: Laura Lemay <lemay -at- lauralemay -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 01 Apr 2011 10:15:45 -0700

Yup, Dan just pointed that out. I'm blushing at having made such an elementary error.

At 10:12 AM 4/1/2011, Laura Lemay wrote:

On Apr 1, 2011, at 9:51 AM, John Hedtke wrote:
> Yes, same skill levels, definitely. Here's my reasoning: If a contract senior tech writer is billing at $45/hour and (as is usually the case) being farmed through an agency to avoid the "permatemp" designation by the IRS, the agency will be adding a minimum of 30% override to the hourly figure, for a minimum hourly figure of $58.50. This amortizes to an annual salary of $117K. Even in SoCal, senior tech writers aren't making but $70K or so, and most places it's much less.
> Does this work for you or have I missed something I should be considering?

You're not including the cost of benefits for the FTE, which can be as much or more than the salary itself. Even with agency markup contractors are usually cheaper than FTE when total compensation is included.

As to the original question I would hire a full time writer when the work was consistent, period, and a tech writer can always do other jobs doing marcomm, support, social media, evangelism, etc, etc, etc.


Yours truly,

John Hedtke
Author/Consultant/Contract Writer
Publisher, Double Tall Press (
STC Fellow
541-685-5000 (landline)
541-554-2189 (cell)
john -at- hedtke -dot- com
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Re: [TCP] Is there a "Rule of Thumb": From: Laura Lemay

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