Salary Database

Note: All STC members receive a free copy of the 2012-2013 Salary Database. The Salary Database is now available! All members can download the publication from the link below.

Members: Download the 2012-2013 Salary Database

Nonmembers: Purchase the 2012-2013 Salary Database

The STC Salary Database is a tool that can be used to conduct more powerful job searches, make a strong case for a raise, or prepare department payroll budgets. The data in the Salary Database are drawn from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) Occupational Employment Statistics (OES). Read a preview of the 2012-2013 Salary Database, with highlights and an overview of the publication. Or click on the Salary Guide for Technical Communication Jobs inforgraphic below, with information from this year's Salary Database, for a full-size PNG file.

"Using the 2011-2012 Salary Database I was able to negotiate myself a 14.9% increase in my contracting rates and I accepted the new engagement! I was able to back up my request with specific NAICS codes and geographical related information, which I think kind of blew them away. They didn't know what hit 'em. Thanks, STC!"

—Cindy Reid

What Does this Year's Salary Database Tell Us?

Salary Database Infographic - click to enlargeThis year’s data offers new insights how the emerging recovery has and will continue to influence the demand for technical writers. The most dramatic story is the growing importance of export markets to the U.S. economy. Many industries with the strongest foreign demand were also among those reporting the largest net increases in technical writer employment in 2012. These include industrial equipment manufacturers, engineering and managerial service providers, and electronic market wholesalers and brokers. Demonstrating the role technical writers are playing in helping to address the “skills gap,” private sector educational support services and employment services, which includes temporary help, also made the top ten industries with the largest job gains for technical writers.

 On the downside, after five consecutive gains in technical writer employment, the public sector reported declines with both federal and state governments reducing technical writer positions. A third consecutive annual decline in the number of technical writers employed by computer and peripheral equipment manufacturers reflects continued weak retail sales for those products and still-tight credit on smaller businesses.

The other main theme emerging from the 2012-2013 Salary Database is the shift from traditionally large markets for technical writers both regionally and by industry. Only five of the industry sectors with the largest job gains in 2012 were not even among the top 20 in terms of total employment. Similar trends appeared in the geographic distribution of technical writer jobs. Four of the states with the largest number of technical writers reported declines in employment in 2012. Of the ten states reporting the largest job increases only one, New Jersey, was also in the top ten largest employers. Four states with the largest gains technical writer in employment were not even in the top 20.

How Can I Use the Salary Database?

Using 2012 data, the 2012-2013 Salary Database is available free to all STC members and is avaialble for purchase by nonmembers. Excel files with the original data are also available for purchase for all those who wish to be able to format the data in other ways.

Use the STC Salary Database if you are:

  • An employee looking for solid facts to back up a raise request
  • A manager seeking salary figures to assist with setting budgets or bidding for projects
  • A freelancer investigating average hourly fees for a different industry or city
  • A job-seeker needing insight on what industries and what geographic areas hold the most new jobs
  • Any technical communicator in need of either annual or hourly wage information

Because the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics, from which the Salary Database was drawn, is one of the most referenced wage guides by human resource professionals, STC members who use this tool will benefit from the same market intelligence that is relied upon when employers evaluate raises and make salary offers to new hires. The STC Salary Database not only provides firm numbers to back up fair requests and fair offers, giving technical communicators the insight they need in a tough job market, it also provides users with a competitive edge. Get the edge you need with the STC Salary Database.

Listen to a podcast interview with the economist who wrote the Salary Database and a recruiter discussing what's included and how it can work for you. Available in both WMV format and MP3 format.