RE: What's a good freelance rate for technical writers?

Subject: RE: What's a good freelance rate for technical writers?
From: "Dan Goldstein" <DGoldstein -at- riverainmedical -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2011 14:15:02 -0400

According to, quoting
the STC 2009 survey, the average TW in the
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria area made $72,920 (pretax, without

I have anecdotally heard a 1/1000 ratio as a good basis for contractors,
i.e. someone who expects to make $75K as a FTE would charge $75/hour as
a contractor.

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Filiatreau
Sent: Monday, September 12, 2011 1:58 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: What's a good freelance rate for technical writers? a place like the hyper-expensive Washington, DC, area?

I am quitting my full-time tech writing job, but my company has already
asked me to be available as a contractor on an as-needed basis. I was
asked, "What's your rate?"

I won't be needing benefits any more. My "gross rate" on my paycheck is
about $40/hour, but of course, since we are a Federal govt. contractor,
the govt. has been paying my company much more than that. How much, I
don't know. I don't do just tech writing but also some Quality Assurance
work and training in topics like QA and business communications.

I imagine this has been covered in the Archives, but I haven't found it
yet, so if this is an old topic, I apologize and ask: Please show me
where to look.

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What's a good freelance rate for technical writers?: From: Mark Filiatreau

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