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Subject:Re: Anyone seen a Salary Survey? From:Charles Good <good -at- AUR -dot- ALCATEL -dot- COM> Date:Tue, 25 Jul 1995 23:13:50 GMT
Here is an abbreviated 1994 salary survey that STC mailed me earlier this year.
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The Society for Technical Communication recently questioned a
representative sampling of its members about their job requirements,
pay and other compensation. Only answers from full- time technical
writers/editors not employed in government or education are presented
here, with United States and Canadian results displayed separately.
(Canadian answers were converted to U.S. dollars using a 0.75
A composite created from our tabulated results would show the typical
survey respondent to be a 39 year old female, full-time writer/editor
with at least a four year college degree, eight years of technical
communication experience, general computer skills, working in the
computer industry, making $40,000 per year, who entered the profession
from a non-technical communication position and has been an STC member
for at least two years.
Median salaries for all technical writers/editors is $40,000 in the U.S.
and $32,760 in Canada. For comparison purposes, U.S. median salaries
from past STC surveys and the "Gender Gap" trend are displayed below.
The "Gender Gap" is determined by expressing women's median salaries
as a percent of men's median salaries. It is significant to note that
over the last nine years, the U.S. "Gender Gap" has decreased from 19%
to 2.4% - an improvement of 16.6%! (For this survey, U.S. median
salaries were $41,000 for men and $40,000 for women; and, Canadian
median salaries were $34,500 for men and $31,500 for
MEDIAN SALARY QUARTILES
Further analysis shows that in the U.S., 25% of the writers/editors earn
less than $34,000 and 75% earn less than $46,950.
25% Point: Twenty-five percent of the responses are below this value.
Median: The middle value of reported salaries ranked in order of size.
Fifty percent of responses fall below this value and fifty
percent are above this value.
Mean: The value computed by averaging the tabulated responses.
75% Point: Seventy-five percent of the responses fall below this value.
For example, from the table, 75 percent of U.S. writers/editors
earn $46,950 or less, and 25 percent of the Canadian
writers/editors earn $29,250 or less.
MORE ON THE "GENDER GAP"
Based on median reported salaries, women have gained near parity with
men in the writer/editor profession. If the men's median salary is
equated to $1.00, then the women's median salary would be 98 cents.
This is well above the zz cents national average for women working
full-time in all types of employment.
MEDIAN SALARY BY EXPERIENCE
Although reported starting salaries are the same for men and women, men
seem to make slightky more after three years but the gap is narrowing.
The median years of experience for both our male and female U.S.
respondents was seven years, but it was seven years for Canadian men
and five-and-one-half years for Canadian women.
MEDIAN SALARY BY AGE
Once again we should note the trend toward parity between the sexes,
especially in the groups under age 50. In fact, women now show a
slight lead over men in the 40-49 age group.
MEDIAN SALARY BY ZIP CODE
To reflect regional variations, we sorted median salaries by
respondent's first two ZIP Code digits or the first letter of the
Canadian Postal Code (CPC). As you might expect, median salaries for
writers/editors vary throughout the country in both the U.S. and
Canada. Continuing a long established U.S. trend, writers/editors in
New England (ZIP 0****) earn the highest median salaries ($45,000),
while those in the Northern Plains (ZIP 5****) have the lowest median
In Canada, CPC "N" reports the highest median salary ($36,560), and
CPC "H" reports the lowest ($31,500).
ZIP LOCATION MEDIAN
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
MEDIAN SALARY AND QUARTILES BY EMPLOYMENT LEVEL, STAFF SIZE,
EDUCATION LEVEL AND INDUSTRY
Employment Level 25% Point Median Salary 75% Point
Computer $27,750 $33,000 $37,500
Other $30,000 $32,400 $36,000
ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION WRITERS/EDITORS, U.S. and CANADA
Writers/editors report that benefits are an integral part of their
total compensation package. Survey results for the six most popular
benefits are displayed below. Although only 40% of our U.S.
respondents received or expected to receive cash bonuses, the median
bonus value was $1,200 with the mean value being $2,424. In addition,
the median U.S. salary increase in 1993 was 5.0%, and 87.7% of our
respondents expected pay raises in 1994. the median expected salary
increase for 1994 was also 5.0%.
In late November 1993, survey questionaires were mailed to 1,600
randomly chosen STC members. By the end of January 1994, 871 completed
questionaires were received but only the 708 responses from full-time
technical writers/editors not employed in government or education were
tabulated. Excluding the 163 non- tabulated responses, the survey
response rate was 49%.
ABOUT THE SOCIETY FOR TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION
STC is the world's largest professional organization devoted to
technical communication and is primarily concerned with education,
improvement and advancement of technical communicators. Currently, the
Society has over 19,000 members and 123 chapters. Through the Society
journal (Technical Communication) and newsletter (Intercom), seminars,
workshops, international symposia, and the annual conference, STC keeps
technical communicators informed of the latest techniques and methods
in communication so they may more effectively prepare technical
information that is clear, accurate and concise. For more information,
please contact: Society for Technical Communication, 901 N. Stuart
St., Suite 304, Arlington, VA 22203; (703) 522-4114 ...