The 2010 WritersUA User Assistance Salary Survey
Location Training Management Organization Size Satisfaction Contractors/Part-Timers Canada and Others Job Titles and Comments Survey Home
We asked respondents to include their job titles. The list is quite extensive. Although variants on technical writing and documentation dominate the overall list, there is quite a variety of titles. Numbers following a title indicate the number of responses for the title.
Business Consultant, Lead
Business Process Manager
Business Support Trainer
Content Developer, Senior
Content Development Manager
Content Program Manager
Content Publishing Manager
Content Writer, Senior
Contract Technical Writer
Corporate Documentation Manager
Customer Documentation Team Lead
Data Analyst & Documentation Specialist
Director of Product Support
Director of Technical Publications
Director Product Documentation
Director, Knowledge Management
Director, User Experience and Documentation
Documentation Analyst, Lead
Documentation Analyst, Senior
Documentation and Tools Specialist
Documentation Developer, Senior (2)
Documentation Development Officer
Documentation Lead (11)
Documentation Manager (23)
Documentation Product Manager
Documentation Specialist (14)
Documentation Team Leader
Documentation Technology Engineer
Editor, Technical (5)
Graphics Specialist for Information Development
Information Architect (8)
Information Designer (8)
Information Designer, Senior (4)
Information Developer (19)
Information Developer, Principal
Information Developer, Senior (2)
Information Development Lead
Information Development Manager (2)
Information Engineer (2)
Instructional Designer (6)
Integration Technical Writer
Intranet Communications Specialist
Learning Materials Coordinator
Learning Products Developer
Learning Products Engineer (2)
Manager of Technical Communications (4)
Manager of Technical Documentation (4)
Manager of Technical Information
Manager of User Assistance and Technical Documentation
Manager Technical Writers
Manager Technical Writing, Clinical Education
Manager, Communications Services
Manager, Documentation and Training
Manager, Information Development
Manager, Performance Support
Manager, Tech Comm Division
Manager, Technical Publications
Manager, User Assistance
Manager, User Education
Multimedia, Research & Technology Analyst
Online Help Developer/Documentation Team Lead
Product Documentation Advisor
Product Documentation Manager
Product Manager: Usability and User Assistance
Product Marketing Specialist
Programmer Writer (5)
Programming Writer, Senior
Project Manager (2)
Project Manager, Senior
Software Engineer, Principal
Software Information Developer, Senior (2)
Staff Sofware Engineer - Usability
Supervisor of Software Technical Writing
Supervisor, Policies and Procedures and Technical Writer
Supervisor, Technical Communication
Team Lead (4)
Tech Comm Manager
Tech Pubs Manager
Technical Author (7)
Technical Author, Chief
Technical Author, Senior (3)
Technical Communication Consultant (2)
Technical Communication Specialist (4)
Technical Communications Manager (3)
Technical Communications Supervisor
Technical Communicator (7)
Technical Communicator, Principal
Technical Communicator, Senior (2)
Technical Documentation Specialist
Technical Documents Manager
Technical Editor, Senior (3)
Technical Marketing Engineer in Customer Education
Technical Publications Lead
Technical Publications Manager (3)
Technical Specialist (2)
Technical Writer (192)
Technical Writer and Editor
Technical Writer and Editor, Senior (5)
Technical Writer Lead (2)
Technical Writer Manager (3)
Technical Writer Supervisor
Technical Writer, Lead (9)
Technical Writer, Principal (16)
Technical Writer, Senior (104)
Technical Writer, Staff (5)
Training & Development Consultant
Usability Specialist (2)
User Assistance Manager
User Education Manager
User Education Specialist
User Experience Architect
User Experience consultant
User Experience Designer
User Experience Designer (2)
User Experience Specialist
User Interface Designer
Web Content Developer
Writer, Senior (4)
We received a number of comments regarding the survey.
A good question would be whether or not this is your main job. In my position, user assistance development and maintenance is only about 1/4 of my responsibilities, which also include managing the Learning Management System, and creating and maintaining all eLearning. How many other people out there work with User Assistance as only a portion of their job responsibilities?
Although my title is Tech Writer, I spend 50% of my time creating User Assistance.
As a working mother, the most significant non-monetary benefit of my position (and source of job satisfaction) is my flexible schedule.
Don't tell my boss the results. He'll think I'm overpaid.
Healthcare options stink at a small company.
I am satisfied with my salary because I am employed. However, I haven't really experienced a salary increase for many years.
I disagree with the introductory statement that user assistance is accepted as "an essential component". It feels more like it's accepted as a necessary evil.
i feel unappreciated and mediocre. i am mustering the courage to ask to be fired.
I feel underpaid, overworked, and marginalized.
I was a bit surprised that there was not a question asking about the industry we're in. I would be interested in seeing a breakdown component to see how I compare to user assistance peers in varying industries.
I work for a huge organization, which acquired my original company. My company still works pretty independently, so salary and compensation is not necessarily the same. Also, there are high numbers of UA folks through the organization, but in my immediate organization only 5--so your result will not take this into account.
In a good (non-recession) year, we also get generous bonuses, but I didn't include that.
In the current economy, just having a job tends to be extremely satisfying, even if many aspects of the job--benefits, training, managerial funding, salary improvement--are not what they once were.
Just as additional info - in my world (as a staff person at a company that has a software development team, but whose primary business is not software development) it is becoming harder all the time to justify anything beyond the bare minimum user assistance work. As a result I have worked in several other roles during the past year. Just wondering if others in the UA community are experiencing the same thing.
Just happy to be employed!
Knowing whether a company provides telecommuting is very important and could have been another question.
Like most people, medical benifets are on the decline. Working more OT to pick up slack from company layoffs with no additional compensation.
My answers re: compensation applied even before the current financial climate. This is an in-house development team to support home-grown enterprise software, and technology is therefore seen as a necessary evil rather than a priority. In addition to low compensation, my employers show no respect for UA, design, or usability or for analysists or project managers, and very little for developers or QA professionals.
My career in technical writing has taken a lot of twists and turns in the past 20 years - and having worked in 4 states - with a wide range of salaries. It's hard to narrow all that down in my current position.
No raises or bonuses for employees in 2+ years in the face of an increasing workload makes it very difficult to keep people motivated.
Salary varies greatly due to annual management bonus based on company profitability. There was no bonus this year.
Survey is not conducive to full-time professors who consult part-time during the school year or full-time during the summer.
Thank you for doing this every year. We TC folks out here in the world really do appreciate it.
The company has restricted travel. This means no money to attend conferences.
The company is looking into more community-created content, and fewer in-house writers. An interesting trend to watch.
The money and benefits are great. The job is appalling, however, and I'm so burned out that I can't even be bothered to quit. Professional tech comm and trainig are dead here. Although we pay the price in higher project costs every day ... the costs are on someone else's budget line so it's ok.
The questions in the survey imply that UA is the sole job for people. In smaller companies, people can wear multiple hats. I do UA, graphics design, web design, and some database design. The amount of time I spend a week on UA varies, but it's not my sole job. Might be interesting to see how many people do solely UA and how many have multiple roles.
This is perhaps the 1st survey I've ever taken where I understand exactly what is being asked. Good work!
This is the first year that I haven't loved my job. As the number of assignments have gone up, quality has gone down because there is simply not enough time to do a good job. I hate, hate, hate being told that I'm lucky to have a job.
UA is only a portion of my overall job. About 25%.
User assistance is valued in the technology group in which I work. For 2009, employees at our company making over 50K were told that there would be no raises. However, at year end, company was able to give nominal (2%) raise. We were lucky...
While my salary is not in the top range for a technical writer with my level of experience and education, I do have an EXCELLENT benefits package that includes: top-notch health, dental, life, and vision insurance; flexible spending accounts; five weeks of paid time off (used as we wish); 401k and profit sharing; work-from-home options; and flexible work hours.