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Senior Technical Writer Salary (United States)

Senior Technical Writers in the United States are often veterans in their line of work, with more than three-quarters bringing more than 10 years of experience to the table. Salaries slide in at $74K annually on average but can range from $53K to $109K per year. In the world of Senior Technical Writers, total cash compensation can vary between $53K and $109K. Each package generally includes bonuses and profit sharing proceeds, and in exceptional cases, those amounts can reach heights of $10K and $12K, respectively. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length. The greater part enjoy medical while most get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a majority. Women make up a slight majority of Senior Technical Writers (56 percent). The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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.
)
$52,844 - $101,973
(Median)
53K
62K
74K
88K
100K
MEDIAN: $73,902
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.
)
$24.82 - $61.26
(Median)
25
30
40
49
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
$52,844 - $101,973  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,833  
Profit Sharing
$1,002 - $11,920  
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).
)
$52,943 - $109,302  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 1,329
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
$24.82 - $61.26  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $0.00  
Overtime
$29.95 - $73.65  
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 - $9,833  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,002 - $11,920  
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).
)
$52,943 - $109,302  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 331
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Location:
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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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Senior Technical Writers' salaries may sharply decline when they move into higher-end positions like Proposal Writer. The typical income for a Proposal Writer is $54K.

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 of 7 percent, 5 percent, 5 percent, and 5 percent, respectively. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Microsoft Excel, Adobe Photoshop, and Microsoft Exchange. Those educated in FrameMaker tend to be well versed in Writing Procedures & Documentation.

Pay by Experience Level for Senior Technical Writer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Senior Technical Writers — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $61K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $71K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $80K in this role. Respondents who claim more than 20 years of experience may encounter pay that doesn't quite reflect their extensive experience; these veterans report a median income of around $82K. Senior Technical Writers with 10 to 20 years of experience are most common in the field, followed by those with more than 20 years and one to 10 years.

Pay Difference By Location

up arrow 29%
New York
up arrow 21%
up arrow 17%
up arrow 16%
Los Angeles
up arrow 9%
Denver
up arrow 3%
Portland
up arrow 1%
National Average
$77,000
Chicago
up arrow 2%
up arrow 4%
Dallas
up arrow 5%
Atlanta
up arrow 8%
Austin
up arrow 10%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
San Francisco is home to an above-average pay rate for Senior Technical Writers, 35 percent higher than the national average. Other urban areas shelling out big bucks include San Jose, New York, Boston, and Seattle, where Senior Technical Writers typically earn around 29 percent, 21 percent, 17 percent, and 16 percent more than usual. Trailing the national average by 10 percent, Austin is the market with the smallest paychecks. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Atlanta (8 percent less) and Dallas (5 percent less).

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Experience Affects Senior Technical Writer Salaries

National Average
$77,000

Skills That Affect Senior Technical Writer Salaries

XML
up arrow 7%
Microsoft Visio
up arrow 4%
FrameMaker
up arrow 2%
Microsoft Word
up arrow 2%
RoboHelp
up arrow 2%
HTML
up arrow 2%
Editing
up arrow 1%
National Average
$77,000
Microsoft Office
up arrow 2%
Adobe Acrobat
up arrow 3%
Technical Writing
up arrow 3%
Adobe Photoshop
up arrow 4%
Microsoft Exchange
up arrow 4%
Microsoft Excel
up arrow 4%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 447 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
32%

Common Health Benefits

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