Re: hot tech writing mkt -- salaries skyrocketing?

Subject: Re: hot tech writing mkt -- salaries skyrocketing?
From: Steve Fouts <stefou -at- ESKIMO -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 1996 17:22:32 GMT

Susan Gallagher <susan -at- livingston -dot- com> wrote in article
<v02130529ae77645bfe6a -at- [149 -dot- 198 -dot- 1 -dot- 20]>...
| We're trying to recruit tech writers right now. Not only are we having a
| hard time getting people in the door (we're in CA -- East Bay), but
| coming in with 3+ experience are demanding at least 70K. Many want at
| 75K. Perhaps it's networking writers in particular -- not sure.

| I'm not unwilling to pay this, however it seems like tech writers are
| pulling the Mazda Miatta gig -- sell at whatever the buyer will pay.

I just got the latest STC salary survey and $70 to $75K looks like a
fair price for a professional technical writer in adjusted Southern
California dollars. There really should be an exchange rate. That is
probably a $40K to $45K range in most of the rest of the US.

While I was looking to relocate a couple of years ago, I concluded
that the $75K salary offered by a Bay Area semiconductor firm would
mean a significant drop in my living standard when I figured the cost
of living in the Bay area. I was making more than a 1/3 less money
at the time.

That Mazda Miata gig as you call it is called supply and demand. In
the case of the Mazda Miata it might be argued that the supplier may
be intentionally holding supply low to create artificially high
prices. There is no law against this as long as they don't collude
with other producers of similar products toward that goal. Depending
on the circumstances of the business, it may, in fact be the most
sound business strategy.

I know of no organization that would be capable of limiting
the supply of technical writers so the I am forced to conclude that
the current market price is a natural market price. Knowing your
current market value and demanding it are consistent with being
a professional. I would be wary of anyone who was willing to work
far below fair market value.

Steve Fouts
stefou -at- eskimo -dot- com

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