TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: Interns@ $10 an hour From:NATHAN EMERSON <NATHANE -at- NETSERVER -dot- DATACOLLECT -dot- COM> Date:Fri, 12 Dec 1997 08:10:00 -0600
I am paying a new college intern $12/hour. This is a business decision.
The business is trying to hire an employee for as little as possible.
Technical Communicators need to be great negotiators. If each one of us
asks for more money this benefits all of us.
Technical Communications Manager
Data Collection Systems, Inc.
From: Lynn Gold [SMTP:figmo -at- RAHUL -dot- NET]
Sent: Friday, December 12, 1997 7:49 AM
Subject: Re: Interns@ $10 an hour
Eric J. Ray wrote:
>At 02:44 PM 12/11/97 -0700, John Eldard wrote:
>>I think $10 an hour is not bad for an Intern. This is a learning
>>and I know that when I was an intern (a thousand years ago) we made
>>But the things I learned contributed to the good salary I make today!
>True enough--and an internship isn't the same as a regular
>staff position. Although the company "spends" only
>$10/hour in salary, you have to assume that they
>incur other costs. For example, if Joan's Tech Writing
>Company hires an intern at $10/hour, I'd assume that
>they're planning on:
>* 8 hours/day (equivalent) @ $80
>* 1-2 hours/day of senior staff teaching, support,
> and mentoring @ $100-200
>* needed clerical support _for_ intern.
>* standard equipment etc. overhead
>* extra time in budget for intern to work
> more slowly (due to learning curve)
> than regular staff
>* extra costs of heavy editing, reworking,
> and revising due to inexperience of
>These costs do add up.
>Of course, the other explanation is that the
>company budgets $10/hour for an "intern"
>to do advanced clerical duties, reformat
>documents that others wrote, and take
>care of running errands and fetching
>coffee. That's what gives internships a
>bad name and wastes everyone's time.
IMHO, it depends where you're paying $10/hour. Out here in Silicon
you'd be laughed out of existence for paying $10/hour. Street sweepers
here make more than that!