What’s the Highest Daily Rate You Can Get as a Technical Writer?

Knowledge is power. Knowing the daily rates of others in your industry helps you negotiate fees and get a better deal.

I’ve worked in the US, UK and now here in Asia and have seen a vast difference in the rates that writers work for.

Some of my friends in India work for $15 per hour, which works for them, while I know others in the Bay Area that are down to $25 per hour. Quite a drop as they were on $60 only 12 months back.

So, what’s the Daily Rates for Technical Writers in your area?

I don’t want to know what you’re on – none of my business — but for those looking for freelance work or breaking into contracting, how much should they ask for?

A few considerations when pitching your daily rates:

  • Location – London is more expensive than Dallas, so you can charge more. Maybe not.
  • Years of experience — you can use this as a bargaining chip to justify your work
  • Subject matter expertise — as above, if they need your expertise, then you can squeeze a little
  • Benefits (unlikely)
  • Length of contract — in general, the shorter the higher.

If it’s a 1 month contract, I usually ask for 20% more than I would usually charge.


It disallows me taking up longer contracts and I’ll have to start looking for a new contract (my problem, admittedly) before this one even begins. I try to avoid anything less than 10 weeks.

What else should technical writers consider when looking at their daily rates?

How much would you work for, if really pushed? And, if you can’t get this, what’s the alternative?