Senior Technical Writer Salary

Senior Technical Writers in the United States with more than 10 years of experience in their profession represent nearly three in four of Senior Technical Writers. Salaries average out to around $80K annually and spread from $59K to $121K per year. Including potential for bonuses and profit sharing — peaking near $13K and $9K, respectively — total cash payment to Senior Technical Writers can bottom out near $59K or peak near $121K depending on individual performance. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is the specific employer, followed by geography and experience level. Women make up a slight majority of Senior Technical Writers (56 percent) survey respondents. In this profession, most enjoy medical and dental coverage, and a strong majority have vision insurance, as well. Most Senior Technical Writers like their work and job satisfaction is high. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$59,114 - $113,569
$59K
$80K
$110K
MEDIAN: $79,951
10%
50%
90%

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$25.12 - $72.47
$25
$41
$72
MEDIAN: $41.12
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$59,114 - $113,569  
   
Bonus
$1,100 - $12,747  
Profit Sharing
$515 - $8,726  
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).
)
$59,044 - $120,859  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 690
© PayScale, Inc. @ www.payscale.com
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$29$58$87
Hourly Rate
$25.12 - $72.47  
   
Overtime
$32.59 - $85.32  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$60K$120K$180K
Bonus
$1,100 - $12,747  
   
Profit Sharing
$515 - $8,726  
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).
)
$59,044 - $120,859  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 145
© PayScale, Inc. @ www.payscale.com

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United States (change)

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Job Description for Senior Technical Writer

Senior technical writers create detailed articles for magazines or online journals and publications in specialized fields, and may also write and edit technical operators' manuals and even certification tests. The senior-level designation normally implies that they handle the most important technical writing within a company, and they may also assign and edit the work of junior-level technical writers and review their submissions for accuracy.

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Senior Technical Writer Tasks

  • 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.
  • Work with project teams to create documentation for diverse groups.
  • Track revisions and edits, and maintain files.
  • Review and improve formatting and visual components, and select drawings and specifications.

Common Career Paths for Senior Technical Writer


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For Senior Technical Writers, career advancements do not tend to correlate with a rise in salary. On average, lower-level Senior Technical Writers earn similar salaries to those in higher-end positions like Technical Publications Manager. Many Senior Technical Writers advance into roles as Documentation Managers or Technical Editors, but the median salaries are $11K lower and $28K lower, respectively.

Senior Technical Writer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Senior Technical Writer


Known for taking on a considerable number of Senior Technical Writers, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Microsoft Corp, International Business Machines (IBM) Corp., Salesforce.com, Inc., and CA Technologies are leading firms in the industry. Salesforce.com, Inc. offers the highest compensation with a median salary of $137K.

Popular Skills for Senior Technical Writer


Survey takers working as Senior Technical Writers report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, skills in XML, HTML, Adobe FrameMaker, and Project Management are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 4 percent and 7 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Microsoft Excel, Editing, and Microsoft Word. Aptitude in Editing tends to also indicate an understanding of Writing Procedures & Documentation.

Pay by Experience Level for Senior Technical Writer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Senior Technical Writers do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $64K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $75K. Senior Technical Writers claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $85K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $89K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $82,213

Larger city markers 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 50 percent. Senior Technical Writers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Jose (+46 percent), Seattle (+27 percent), New York (+25 percent), and Boston (+21 percent). Location significantly influences compensation, with Dayton Senior Technical Writers earning much less — 21 percent less — than the national average. Employers in Austin and Houston also lean toward paying below-median salaries (10 percent lower and 9 percent lower, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Senior Technical Writer

Gender

Female
56 %
Male
44 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 85 votes.
1-4 years
8%
5-9 years
16%
10-19 years
39%
20 years or more
37%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Senior Technical Writer Salaries

▲8%

▲3%

National Average
$82,000

▼9%

▼22%

Skills That Affect Senior Technical Writer Salaries

XML
▲7%

▲5%



Microsoft Visio
▼0%

National Average
$82,000

▼1%



▼2%



▼3%


▼6%


Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 85 votes.

Gender

Female
56 %
Male
44 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
8%
5-9 years
16%
10-19 years
39%
20 years or more
37%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 85%
dental benefits
Dental: 81%
vision benefits
Vision: 72%
dental benefits
None: 13%
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