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Senior Technical Writer Salary (United States)

The majority of Senior Technical Writers in the United States — over three-quarters — boast more than 10 years of experience in their profession. Salaries stretch from $53K to $109K per year, and the median is $74K annually. Total cash earnings of Senior Technical Writers range from $53K on the low end to $109K on the high end; the final amount can include bonuses and profit sharing proceeds that occasionally exceed $10K and $12K, respectively. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience. Women make up a slight majority of Senior Technical Writers (56 percent) survey respondents. Most enjoy medical while a strong majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to the larger part. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
Senior Technical Writer Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$53,264 - $101,961
(Median)
53K
63K
74K
88K
100K
MEDIAN: $74,255
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Senior Technical Writer Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$24.81 - $60.84
(Median)
25
30
40
48
61
MEDIAN: $39.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$53,264 - $101,961  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,822  
Profit Sharing
$985 - $11,693  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$53,222 - $108,798  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 1,422
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$24.81 - $60.84  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $0.00  
Overtime
$29.96 - $72.86  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,822  
   
Profit Sharing
$985 - $11,693  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$53,222 - $108,798  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 340
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Location:
Years in Field/Career:
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Job Description for Senior Technical Writer

  • Track revisions and edits, and maintain files.
  • Review and improve formatting and visual components, and select drawings and specifications.
  • Work with project teams to create documentation for diverse groups.
  • Organize, review, and write materials for clarity and message.
  • Standardize documentation for layout, style, and language, and create templates and scripts to automate as possible.

Common Career Paths for Senior Technical Writer

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For Senior Technical Writers, a move to the Proposal Writer role often correlates with a sharp decline in salary. Proposal Writers typically make $55K.

Senior Technical Writer Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Senior Technical Writer

Senior Technical Writers seem to exploit a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in XML, Writing Procedures & Documentation, Project Management, and Microsoft Visio are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 4 percent and 6 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Exchange, and Technical Writing. Those familiar with FrameMaker also tend to know Writing Procedures & Documentation.

Pay by Experience Level for Senior Technical Writer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Senior Technical Writers, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $62K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $71K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Senior Technical Writers make a median salary of $80K. Senior Technical Writers who have stuck around for more than two decades see earnings that are only slightly higher than those of folks who have worked for 10 to 20 years; the more senior group makes around $83K on average.

Pay Difference By Location

up arrow 28%
New York
up arrow 26%
up arrow 16%
up arrow 15%
Los Angeles
up arrow 13%
Denver
up arrow 2%
National Average
$77,000
up arrow 3%
Chicago
up arrow 3%
Portland
up arrow 4%
Dallas
up arrow 5%
Austin
up arrow 8%
Atlanta
up arrow 10%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
Senior Technical Writers will find that San Francisco offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 36 percent. Senior Technical Writers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Jose (+28 percent), New York (+26 percent), Seattle (+16 percent), and Boston (+15 percent). Atlanta is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 10 percent. Employers in Austin and Dallas also lean toward paying below-median salaries (8 percent lower and 5 percent lower, respectively).

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Experience Affects Senior Technical Writer Salaries

National Average
$77,000

Skills That Affect Senior Technical Writer Salaries

XML
up arrow 6%
Writing Procedures & Documentation
up arrow 4%
Project Management
up arrow 4%
Microsoft Visio
up arrow 3%
FrameMaker
up arrow 2%
Microsoft Word
up arrow 1%
RoboHelp
up arrow 1%
Editing
0%
HTML
0%
National Average
$77,000
Microsoft Office
up arrow 3%
Adobe Acrobat
up arrow 4%
Adobe Photoshop
up arrow 4%
Technical Writing
up arrow 5%
Microsoft Exchange
up arrow 6%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 445 votes.

Gender

Female
56%
female alumni
 
Male
44%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
5%
5-9 years
17%
10-19 years
46%
20 years or more
31%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 84% dental benefits Dental: 78%
vision benefits Vision: 68% employee benefits None: 14%