Re: hot tech writing mkt -- salaries skyrocketing?

Subject: Re: hot tech writing mkt -- salaries skyrocketing?
From: Stephen Arrants <stephena -at- SONIC -dot- NET>
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 1996 13:42:42 -0700

On Tuesday, October 01, 1996 5:18 PM, Susan Gallagher[SMTP:susan -at- LIVINGSTON -dot- COM] wrote:
>We're trying to recruit tech writers right now. Not only are we having
>hard time getting people in the door (we're in CA -- East Bay), but those
>coming in with 3+ experience are demanding at least 70K. Many want at least
>75K. Perhaps it's networking writers in particular -- not sure.

I don't think it is just networking writers. For those with skills in Windows Help, HTML and HTML-Help, you can pretty much get top dollar. I've been bidding on some contracts that involve the above skills. I was actually shocked when a hiring manager apologized for offering what he thought was a low hourly rate--that was about a third or more over what I've been getting!

I think that this points out that the market and the tasks are changing. Paper docs aren't obsolete, but if you have solid experience designing and creating online documents you are in much higher demand.

Is anyone else experiencing this sudden inflation? I'm in the Bay area (North Bay, Santa Rosa area), and I haven't seen this kind of activity since I moved here in 1992.

Of course, some companies have no idea about what a technical communicator does, what's involved in creating good documentation, and what skills are involved. I lost a bid last week because the company didn't want to pay more than $10/hour. As the project lead said to me, "Writing directions isn't that hard." (Yes, I can hear your screams as you read this...)

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