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STC (Society for Technical Communication) has released its 109-page comprehensive 2008 Annual U.S. Salary Survey, available free of charge to STC members.
In the email that introduced the survey, STC acknowledged the hits our profession received in 2008. But then, which profession did not suffer during the last year? So we have to place such negative developments in proper perspective since I’m still very upbeat about the long-term prospects of our great profession.
However, I agree with STC on this: “Technical communicators in industries that were severely hit by the recession should not wait for laid-off positions to return and should seek employment in other industries.”
Another thing they can do is move to those region and cities where tech writing jobs are still plenty. The Northern Virginia (NoVA) metropolitan area, for example, is one such still-strong region.
U.S. states that boasted the highest 2008 increase in the number of technical writing jobs: Michigan, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Florida, and Kansas.
U.S. states where the number of technical writing jobs suffered the most in 2008: Texas, Utah, Colorado, Virginia (except the NoVA corridor), North Carolina, and Missouri.
Here are the highlights of STC 2008 Annual Salary Survey:
California still ranks as the state with the highest median salary — $75,680, with 90th percentile enjoying $109,740.
So you still can make a six-figure income in technical writing without even going freelance.
The highest annual median salary enjoyed by technical writers in 20-08 was in Peabody, MA: $110,900.