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Technical writing - wages

Ace Contributor
Filip K Member Since: May 22, 2017
1 of 4

Hello guys,


Is it just me, or wages for technical writing are ridiculously low? I can earn descend money on the side by doing Network Engineering jobs. In the process, I was approached by a client who offered me 200 dollars for an 1000-1500 word article. That was a good wage and i happily accepted. Now, I'm thinking to do a job like that sometimes but it seems there are no jobs like that on Upwork.

Technical writing should be decently paid, but it seems everybody wants 5000 for 50 dollars. That's ridiculous. Maybe it doesn't have to be 1200 words for 200 dollars, OK, but not 7000 words for 35 dollars. And then you have guys like Denny Margulies who charge 250 dollars for an hour, lol.

The worst thing is most clients are from USA, Australia etc, but they want to pay rates like they live in India. I mean, I get it they want cheaper work, but peanuts? 

Are there any decent jobs in technical writing field any more on Upwork? Or only peanuts clients?


Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
2 of 4

Filip K wrote: And then you have guys like Denny Margulies who charge 250 dollars for an hour, lol.




"used to" (allegedly...)


He last did anything nearly 2 years ago and that was "3 hours in 4 months." for one job. All the other hourly contracts he did were for dramatically less.


Think about it... Someone who needs to be "seen" to be charging lots to be able to sell his snakeoil "courses" needs to "seem" to be making that kind of money. Of course that can be "easily arranged"


 Anyway, back to your question: There are very lucrative technical writing jobs on Upwork, not many, but the ones there are worth it. I don't do technical writing but a couple of friends of mine do and make plenty of money. They are, however, native English speakers & professional writers & live in the US.



Ace Contributor
Filip K Member Since: May 22, 2017
3 of 4

Thanks for your reply Petra.

Well, I agree. Denny maybe wasn't a perfect example Smiley Happy.

While I do understand I can't compete with educated native Americans in tearms of writing, but I can still provide descent material. Blogs I've submitted (in the field of Network Engineering) were proofread by a native American and she didn't have much objections to style (usually some minor grammar and style mistakes that I think are pretty much unavoidable for non-native spekers).

Actually I don't regularly bid in the Techical Writing section, but I do receive offers, and those offers are usually someting like: "do reaearh and write a 'short' 5000 words essey for 50 dollars". That's pretty steep in my opinion. Obviously, hours of hard work are needed for one to provide 5000 words of quality material.

Community Guru
Eve L Member Since: Feb 17, 2017
4 of 4

To earn a lot as a technical writer you actually need to market yourself as one. I didn't see anything in your profile overview about being a writer.


And random invitations are just going to be crap, unless you have a long and solid work history. The clients that are now inviting you for those kind of jobs are probably the ones who invite "everyone", in the hopes that someone will do it for the price they are willing to pay. 


If you are offering English content, the clients that will hire you as a non-native English speaker are also most likely going to offer less than what they would to a native English speaker. If you are going to pay top dollar you can just as well hire a native writer if you can find one with the same skills. (Which shouldn't be hard considering how many English writers there are on Upwork.) At least that's what I would do as a client. 

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