Boston Broadside
September/October 2002
Vol. 60,  No. 1
    Newsletter of the Boston Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication


Copyright © STC Boston 2002

[email protected]

From the STC Archives:
Salary Data, March 1961

By John R. Marple

STC@50 logoEditors's Note: This article originally appeared in Boston Blue Pencil, Volume 1, Number 6, in March 1961. To see how things have changed in the last 40 years, see the current salary survey at

This compilation of salary data is based on a survey of 32 companies, mostly in Greater Boston, some in New York, as well as on a private communication and a letter from an employment agency.

The survey shows the following salaries for mid-1960. Note that the averages in these tables reflect the mean of the actual salaries reported, not necessarily the mean of the range for that category.

Job Title Range/Month Range/Year Average/Month Average/Year
Technical Writers
Senior Technical Writers
Publications Managers

Technical Illustrators were paid on a weekly basis:

Job Title Range/Week Range/Year Average/Week Average/Year
Technical Illustrator
Senior Technical Illustrator

A letter from an ad agency to the editor of the Blue Pencil said that a senior technical writer with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and 5 to 7 years of experience was worth $10,000 and up. A lack of a degree meant a drop to $8,000-$10,000. Junior technical writers with 2 to 3 years of experience were worth $7,000-$8,000. Technical illustrators who were graduates of art schools and had three years of experience were worth $100-$130 per week.

A private letter to the editor stated that Lockheed Missiles and Space Division (West Coast) would pay an experienced technical writer, with no degree, between $145 and $170 per week ($7,500-$8,000 per year).

John R. Marple was the managing editor of the Boston Blue Pencil, a predecessor to the Boston Broadside, in 1961.

Broadside in PDF | Print-friendly Article