Salary Database

If you are a technical communicator or an employer looking to hire a technical communicator, then you need to tap into STC’s Salary Database. Each year STC produces its Salary Database based upon data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, with exhaustive additional research ensuring that the salary data is accurate, reflects regional realities, and is useful to technical communicators.

Note: This year, only 2016 STC members will have access to a free copy of the 2014-2015 Salary Database. Please check your membership confirmation, which will be emailed to you once you join or renew, for details on accessing and downloading the publication. In addition, 2016 STC members may purchase the Excel Workbooks for $30.

The 2014-2015 STC Salary Database is sponsored by:


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 2013-2014 Salary Database, with highlights and an overview of the publication. Or click on the Salary Guide for Technical Communication Jobs infographic below, with information from the 2013-2014 Salary Database, for a full-size PNG file.

“Using the 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

The Salary Database was the winner of an APEX 2016 Award of Excellence. APEX Awards are based on excellence in graphic  design, editorial content, and the ability to achieve overall  communication excellence. APEX Awards of Excellence recognize exceptional entries in each of the individual categories. Apex winner

What Does The Salary Database Tell Us?

The Salary Database data offers new insights on how the stronger economy has and will continue to influence the demand for technical writers. With a stronger economy comes stronger job markets. In 2014, the technical communication profession continued to post some of the strongest employment gains since the 2007–2009 Recession—more than any other communications field.  Jonah Scwartz infographic

There is a continued importance on globalization and export markets to the U.S. economy in 2014, showing an increase in translators and interpreters. Other areas of the economy—consumer spending, business spending and investment, and government spending—are also examined in an economic overview which provides some explanation for the effects on the growth or decline of technical writer staffs in various industries.

Many industries with the strongest foreign demand were also among those reporting the largest net increases in technical writer employment in 2014. 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 employment services, which includes temporary help, also made the top ten industries with the largest job gains for technical writers.

A significant technical writer employment trend that continued into 2014 was the geographic dispersion within the profession. Possibly reflecting the growing role of remote and telework in the industry, the top five fastest growing metropolitan markets for technical writers in 2014 were Charlotte, NC; Raleigh, NC; Madison, WI; and Nashville, TN.

While technical writer employment continued to post gains in 2014, employment prospects were being profoundly shaped by the nature of the recovery. The industries driving the economy in 2014 differ greatly from those that drove the economy before the 2007–2009 Recession and are gaining greater importance for technical communication professionals. Most importantly, the influence of the country’s growing reliance on foreign markets has become more obvious while the profession’s traditional dependence on public sector spending appears to be diminishing. Unfortunately, the political games in Washington this year wreaked havoc on the sizable share of the technical communication profession that works directly or indirectly for the federal government. Assessing the pace of the decline in government spending to technical communication remains difficult at this time. Hopefully, 2015 will provide further employment gains without political gamesmanship muddying the water and, in turn, better insight into the real long-term trends important to both technical communication jobseekers and employers.Tina Kister infographic

Want to learn about the key trends and how to use the salary database? Watch the video below:

How Can I Use the Salary Database?

Using 2014 data, the 2014-2015 Salary Database is available free to all 2016 STC members and is available 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 2013-2014 Salary Database and a recruiter discussing what’s included and how it can work for you. Available in both WMV format and MP3 format.