not really positive which forum this belongs in… anyways from reading posts on this board I get the feeling a few of the posters are technical writers… I was wondering when interviewing for these jobs, which type of salary range should I be asking for? I have about 5 years of IT experince, (none specifically as a technical writer, but ive wrote my fair share of user manuals for corporate apps etc)… and how available are these jobs… should I grab the first one that comes along or wait for one I feel real good about?
Small companies tend to pay more than larger, well-know companies. My first tech writing job in Taiwan seven years ago (my first job of its kind) paid 60K a month. It was with a 35-person operation in a converted apartment. Later I interviewed with Acer that wanted to pay 45K a month, NO MATTER WHAT YOUR EXPERIENCE WAS. They are still like that today. I have has a few friends that have made as much as 80K a month at some other prominent IT companies, BUT that is rare. You should ask no lower than 50K per month and try to get 60K, which is on the higher end. A fair bargain for most is 55K.
But remember that Taiwanese don’t pay for stuff they don’t use. And what they don’t use is your premium in “experience”. And it is most apparaent in the English technical writing profession in Taiwan. They just need you to write marginally OK stuff, stuff that they can pay a newbie to IT/technical writing to do. So, don’t think that with greater experience that you also have some sort of intrinsic productivity advantage. Companies generally decide first what they want to pay, and then find someone to fill it. If that forces them to hire a novice, so be it. They prefer experience, but are not willing to pay for it.
In general, they’re looking for people that have a pulse. Additional qualifications will not factor into the calculation of your salary.
Thereupon, shop around.
ATS is (nearly) always hiring and if you dig back through the Jobs forum, you’ll find job postings from them. Global Sources is also perpetually hiring, though I suggest you polish your grammar a bit before hazarding an interview there.
thank you for the guidance… assistance… mentoring or whatever… Ill check out those companies… I’d be happy making 50,000 a month right now, that’s for sure… I know they will want a writing sample also… I don’t have any of my previous work available… so I guess its best just to write a ficticious manual on some product… any suggestions on what details/style/content that most employers are looking for?