Re: TECHWR-L Digest - 10 Jan 1995 to 11 Jan 1995

Subject: Re: TECHWR-L Digest - 10 Jan 1995 to 11 Jan 1995
From: PJ Rose <PJRose -at- EWORLD -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 1995 13:50:47 PST

As the one who originally gave the going tech writer rates in the Northeast
as "$30-$75/hour," I really need to add that the high end isn't really for
"straight" tech writing, per se. I'm working in the instrumentation and
control system industry, and the people that I've heard about getting
$75/hour are PhD engineering types, retired or semi-retired, and considered
to be experts in their field. You'll find these guys working as consultants
for engineering firms (and certain vendors). Looking back, I guess that my
information was misleading, but I was trying to represent the whole gamut.

The numbers that people have been throwing around in this thread (i.e., in
the $30s) is pretty representative. I've seen higher, but as I said (er, I
*think* I said: I didn't save it) in my previous post, this would be for
short-term (under 100 hours) work.

I haven't done any work for big contracting houses, but I have done a little
subcontract work (on a hand shake) for another consultant. The rate that we
agreed on was very close to what I am currently getting from the same client
on a direct contract. There was a difference of 8% between the rate for 1099
vs. W-2 compensation, though. (I prefer the 1099 route: I find that handling
estimated tax payments isn't really all that bad.)

I've now seen info on the software and aerospace industries: does anyone else
out there have some experience in other fields?

PJ Rose
Technical Writer
Winterport, Maine
pjrose -at- eworld -dot- com
pjrose -at- aol -dot- com
73511 -dot- 2163 -at- compuserve -dot- com


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