WritersUA - Training and Information for User Assistance Professionals

The 2010 WritersUA User Assistance Salary Survey
School's Never Out

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The nature of software user assistance and the broader field of technical communication requires us to invest our time in a colorful assortment of educational mechanisms. We develop our skills through formal education, on the job training, personal enrichment efforts on our own time, seminars and conferences, and various other ways. But does the form of learning affect salary level? Our survey asked the respondents a number of questions about their formal education and on-going training. We were not able to develop reliable salary figures that correlate with the various responses.

What is the highest level of education you have completed?
Education LevelResponse Percent
High School3.4%
Community College/2- or 3-year degree8.1%
College/University/4-year degree54.5%
Graduate School34.0%

Rank the importance the following have had in the development of your user assistance skills:
Development Level Least important Less important Important Most important Rating Average
Formal institutional education 209 139 131 69 2.11
Formal training at your organization 143 198 128 81 2.27
Independent seminars/conferences 134 195 228 45 2.31
Learning on your own 17 55 131 440 3.55

How much experience do you have developing some form of software user assistance?
Experience LevelResponse Percent
No experience2.8%
6 months0.7%
1 year1.9%
2 years2.5%
3 years4.2%
4 years3.6%
5 -9 years21.6%
10 or more years62.5%

In a separate question we asked the respondents if their formal education was in the field of Technical Communication — 41% indicated "Yes", it was. The average annual salary for those responding Yes was just $50 more than for those responding No. A degree specifically in tech comm does not seem to make a difference.


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WritersUA offers cutting-edge training and information to Technical Writers, Information Analysts and Architects, Documentation Designers, Help Authors, Publication Managers, Documentation Leads, Senior Writers and Documentation Contractors, and User Education Specialists. The focus is on software user assistance, which encompasses writing, editing, planning, coding, indexing, testing, programming, localization, and standards development.

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