What kind of salary can I expect to negotiate?

I’m looking to return to Taiwan later this year to work in technical writing or (if I can’t find anything else) copywriting. I worked as a technical writer in Taiwan before but, because it was my first technical writing job and as I was fresh out of university, my salaray was lower than what I’d expect to get now. At least, that’s what I’m guessing. In reality, I don’t actually have a clue what kind of salary I should be negotiating for, so I was hoping some of the fine people here might be able to help.


  • When I start applying, I will have three years’ technical writing experience, including two years from Taiwan.
  • I have a BA degree in Creative Writing and an MA in Linguistics, and I’m about to start a distance-learning BSc in IT.

What’s the the salary that was offer when you started?

FYI there is a recent discussion similar that might be helpful information.

Skip past the first 3 shaded jobs and there’s a whole bunch of technical writer openings.
Directly apply and ask them what the salary is?

Politically correct reply: Are you a native English speaker holding passport from the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada or the USA?

Not-so-politically correct reply: Are you Caucasian? (or look Caucasian?)

Technical writer (in English presumably) jobs, like English teaching would be likely to get if you could answer “YES” on either of the above questions. You may get the job as a English speaking Singaporean, Malaysian, Indian, Jamaican, Nigerian or Filipino, but you won’t get much bargain points.

Thanks for the replies! I’ll check out those links and do some digging.

To answer the questions, I was on around 55K per month for my last technical writing job in Taiwan, being fresh from uni with no relevant experience.

And I’m a British Caucasian-looking citizen. Does that really give you extra leverage at an interview for this kind of work?

Yes, usually you’ll get a easier time getting hired being a white, female from and English speaking country in jobs related to English in Taiwan.

I would say 10% increase is what I would ask for after 2 years on a job it not the first. So at least 60k.

Thanks, Andrew! And I knew it was like that in the TEFL industry, which is highly superficial and often seems more concerned with appearances than quality, but I assumed that IT companies would be more concerned with hiring the best person. Perhaps I was naive to think that!

Have you looked around for job postings or people you know in the position you’re looking for to see what to expect. What’s the market wage that’s expected for such a position with your experience? And what do you think you are worth and more importantly need?

And not all places are superficial. But interviews are always biased anyways, even if it’s subconsciously.