Re: QUESTION: Hourly Rates

Subject: Re: QUESTION: Hourly Rates
From: Fabien Vais <phantoms -at- POP -dot- TOTAL -dot- NET>
Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998 14:10:14 -0400

Can anyone out there explain to "us Canadians" (and anybody else who needs)
what different types of contracts you have in the U.S.? Please keep it
simple. Here, in Canada, basically, either you're a full-time (or part-time)
"employee", meaning tax deductions and company benefits (life insurance,
medical, etc.) are made on your gross income, or else you work on a
contractual basis, in which case no deductions whatsoever are made. You are
just given a gross amount of money, and you are responsible to pay your own
taxes on it, and you do not have any "company benefits" (you have to get
your own benefits privately). That's it!

We don't have a "W-2" or "1099" contract, and I'm not really sure what they
correspond to.

That being said, to reply to Kathy Fisher's request, someone just starting
out as a tech writer around Montreal or Toronto could probably ask for
$30/hour CANADIAN. HOWEVER, if indeed your skills are that great, then as
soon as you get a "feel" for your market, you could probably up that price
by 25-30%, even for repeat business to your first clients. I would say that
within a couple of years, you should be able to ask for $45-$50/hour
CANADIAN, or as much as your market can bear, and of course depending on the
technical complexity, as much as $75-80 CANADIAN.

Hope this helps. To my knowledge, in my area, there are very few (if any)
unemployed technical writers with more than two years experience. I know of
many cases where companies are simply not able to find anybody to fill their
openings, probably because most tech. writers are busy with something else.
Plus, at least around here, I've heard that gender-wise, it's about 50-50
male and female tech. writers. It's one of the few fields where that's the
case. It's good to know, isn't it?

Fabien Vais


At 12:40 PM 7/18/98 EDT, you wrote:
>I am curious about something. What hourly rate (W-2 contract or 1099, without
>benefits) can one expect to command if he or she is starting out as a tech
>writer, but whose coursework and hardware/software/web design skills
>demonstrate significant talent? Any input would be greatly appreciated.
>
>Please respond directly to:
>
>KDFisher -at- aol -dot- com
>
>Thanks.
>
>Kathy Fisher
><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><
Fabien Vais - Documentation Analyst
phantoms -at- total -dot- net
38 Elderidge, Montreal, Quebec
H9A 2P4
(514) 685-4752




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