Low hourly rates

Subject: Low hourly rates
From: "Brown, Geoffrey" <GBROWN -at- FILETEK -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 10:08:38 -0400

I don't have a quarrel with job postings (I've gotten a job myself through this
list), but I take issue with several recent postings for contract technical
writing jobs in the $14 to $25 per hour range that ask for experience, good
writing skills, and facility with specific tools.

In the area where I work, an administrative assistant is paid $14 an hour on a
part-time basis (not a contract). Nothing at all wrong with being an a.a. -- and
it may be a great place to start for someone who wants to find work as a
technical writer. And, granted, the Washington area is one of the higher-wage
areas in the country. Still, I think it's a little unrealistic to expect someone
with any experience at all as a technical writer to work on a short-term
contract for $14, $18, or even $25 an hour. Try $30 to start ($40 in my area).
Or don't call the position "technical writer."

I wish the posters all the luck in the world finding qualified people. There are
good, hard-working editorial assistants out there who would do a great job for
$25 an hour (and would be a steal at $14). People who call themselves technical
writers oughtta be aiming a little higher, IMO.

-- Geoff Brown
geoffbrown -at- erols -dot- com

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