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For a grad school project, I looked at the jobs on misc.jobs.offered (USENET).
Between February 1994 and April 1994, 40 of the 3000+ jobs were for tech writers
Only seven posts contained salary ranges; only seven mentioned a benefit
The job posters wanted technologically sophisticated, experienced people who
know many software tools, some C or C++ programming, and the telephony,
networking, and switching areas. 25% of the posters wanted knowledge of more
than one software tool; 15% wanted people with engineering/programming
backgrounds or knowledge of servers, bridges, UNIX tools.
Two posters wanted tech writing experience; four posts looked for programming
or documenting from C and C++ code. Three posters looked for a BA degree in
Tech Comm, English, or Journalism; nine posts called for the BS degree.
Personal qualifications, mentioned in only four ads, include: interpersonal
skills, able to work on a team, general management and leadership skills,
There were 156 other qualifications in 86 categories that 28%
of the posters mentioned (multimedia, online help, publications, user interface,
Manuals: 19% of the posts. Installation, operation, and user manuals were
mentioned most; reference and programmer reference manuals followed.
For Tech: 15% of the posts. The range of activities to support engineers and
programmers included: read code, maintain programmer documentation, work from
specifications, document system administration.
Customer Support: 7% (help desk, training materials, train end-users).