TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: A Preponderance of Females From:"Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher -at- EXPERSOFT -dot- COM> Date:Thu, 11 Apr 1996 11:48:11 -0700
At 11:04 AM 4/11/96 -0700, Sarah Lee Bihlmayer wrote:
>Matt Danda writes:
>>I heard someone say (not me, someone else) that wages for technical writers
>>have been declining as a result of more women in the profession.
>I've not found that to be true in my own experience...however, it does seem
>that wages are declining. I can't help but notice that the high demand for
>writers has affected personnel requirements for so-called "senior" and
>"managerial" positions--the qualifications sought seem to be decreasing
>employers are realizing that by hiring less qualified people at these
>levels, they can save salary dollars.
>Needless to say, I find this a disturbing trend--[SNIP]
>true that attaining quality takes not only knowledge and training, but
>experience also. Comments?
I have not noticed a decline in salary within tech writing in general.
Yes, there are companies that hire writers with little or no experience
to save a buck. These companies (as a class) have been around forever
and won't disappear any time soon.
What I have noticed, however, is...
* Increasingly, in hard economic times, there are those who will
sell themselves and the profession short because they are either
desperate for work or unsure of their capabilities (and, therefore,
their worth). People like this bring the salary levels down in an
area. Doesn't matter what their gender is.
* Writers who lag behind the changes in technology cannot demand
high salaries. Writers who have not had the opportunity, or
taken the initiative, to learn to write for online, for example,
find their job selection limited and their salaries low.
However, writers who keep abreast of current technology and current
trends and techniques for information presentation, who are good at
what they do, and who maintain a sense of self-worth have few
problems finding companies who appreciate their competence and pay
top-dollar for their skills, no matter what their gender is.
Just my two cents...
sgallagher -at- expersoft -dot- com