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Subject:WHAT is an entry/mid/senior level tech writer? From:"Steven J. Owens" <puff -at- NETCOM -dot- COM> Date:Tue, 4 Apr 1995 17:28:25 -0700
I was just skimming through the summary of the STC salary survey.
They give different values for entry-level, mid-level, and
senior-level salaries, plus another adjustment for supervisory duties.
This set me to wondering. I know there aren't any standards for
these terms, but are there any defacto standards for what makes you a
mid-level or senior-level writer? Or perhaps we can devote some of
that boundless energy to hammering out some passable definitions?
Don't think of this as a rank thing, think of it more as a merit badge
sort of thing. i.e., what do you have to do to earn your senior
writer merit badge?
I found the summary a bit hard to digest, so I tried to boil it
down. For anybody who cares, here's my summary of the summary.
Computer Industry 35,000 40,524 48,000
Other Industry 33,213 38,446 44,930
U.S. Medians by Zip Code
0**** N. England $45,000
1**** Northeast 39,200
2**** East Coast 39,375
3**** Southeast 38,000
4**** N. Central 36,700
5**** N. Plains 36,750
6**** C. Plains 36,200
7**** S. Plains 38,400
8**** Southwest 40,150
9**** West Coast 43,900
25% Median 75%
All writers $29,250 $32,760 $37,500
Mid-level, 27,000 31,200 35,175
Mid-, supervisory 32,250 34,500 40,950
Senior-level, 33,000 36,000 39,750
Computer Industry 27,750 33,000 37,500
Other Industry 30,000 32,400 36,000
Canadian Medians by CPC
(for both Canadian and U.S. Writers)
Percentage expecting a bonus: 40.0%
Median bonus: $1,200
Mean bonus: $2,424
Percentage expecting a raise: 87.7%
Median raise: 5.0%
Number of members questioned: 1,600
Number of respondents: 871
Number of responses discarded: 163 (non-full-time or employed in gov/educ.)
Number of responses tabulated: 708
Typical Writer Composite
39 years old
4-year college degree or higher
8 years of tech comm experience
general computer skills
writes in the computer industry
paid $40,000 per year
entered the profession from a non-technical communication position
has belonged to the STC for at least 2 years
I will note, for those who haven't read the summary, that female
writers are doing pretty well, at 98 cents on the dollar compared to
male writers. According to the survey this is above average for the
national standard, and it's apparently been a 16% or so improvement
over the last nine years. I haven't included more info on the gender
gap because I think the principle use of this information (knowing
what you're worth) should go by the overall median; scrutinizing the
gender gap provides an interesting perspective (and I recommend you
get the full summary and do so) but in general use I feel women should
*demand* to be paid by the overall median.