The majority of Senior Technical Writers in the United States — about three in four — boast more than 10 years of experience in their profession. Salaries stretch from $60K to $121K per year, and the median is $80K annually. Total cash compensation to Senior Technical Writers bottoms out near $60K and approaches $121K on the high end; the biggest paychecks include approximately $13K from bonuses and almost $8K from profit sharing. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is the specific employer, followed by geography and tenure. In this profession, most enjoy medical and dental coverage, and a strong majority have vision insurance, as well. Men are slightly outnumbered by their female counterparts who answered the questionnaire, who make up a slight majority at 56 percent. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Senior Technical Writers. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.

$59,684 - $113,786
$60K
$80K
$110K
MEDIAN: $80,085
10%
50%
90%

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$25.52 - $70.30
$26
$41
$70
MEDIAN: $41.07
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
$59,684 - $113,786  
   
Bonus
$1,021 - $12,682  
Profit Sharing
$734 - $7,757  
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).
)
$59,751 - $121,355  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 765
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$30$60$90
Hourly Rate
$25.52 - $70.30  
   
Overtime
$32.81 - $87.41  
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
$1,021 - $12,682  
   
Profit Sharing
$734 - $7,757  
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).
)
$59,751 - $121,355  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 161

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

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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Many Senior Technical Writers move into a Technical Publications Manager role, which does not lead to a big boost in pay. Technical Publications Managers on average bring in a similar salary to Senior Technical Writers. Senior Technical Writers most often move into Documentation Manager or Technical Editor roles. However, the former pays $11K less on average, and the latter pays $28K less.

Senior Technical Writer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Senior Technical Writer


Microsoft Corp, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), International Business Machines (IBM) Corp., Salesforce.com, Inc., and CA Technologies are leaders in the field that employ a large number of Senior Technical Writers. Salesforce.com, Inc. offers the largest salaries in town — $137K on average.

Popular Skills for Senior Technical Writer


Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set on the job. Most notably, skills in XML, HTML, Adobe FrameMaker, and Microsoft Visio are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Microsoft Excel, Editing, and Microsoft Word. Those with knowledge of Editing tend to be skilled in Writing Procedures & Documentation as well.

Pay by Experience Level for Senior Technical Writer

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


More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $65K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $76K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $84K. Senior Technical Writers who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't as high as one would expect; the median compensation for this crowd sits around $88K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $82,333

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Senior Technical Writers will find that San Jose offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 51 percent. Senior Technical Writers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Francisco (+46 percent), Seattle (+27 percent), Boston (+21 percent), and Redwood City (+19 percent). With compensation 14 percent below the national average, Houston is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Austin and Minneapolis are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 10 percent lower and 2 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 98 votes.
038
1-4 years
8%
5-9 years
16%
10-19 years
38%
20 years or more
38%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Senior Technical Writer Salaries



National Average
$82,000



Skills That Affect Senior Technical Writer Salaries

XML
up arrow 6%

up arrow 6%




Writing Procedures & Documentation
0%

Adobe RoboHelp
0%

National Average
$82,000






up arrow 4%



Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 98 votes.

Gender

Female
56 %
Male
44 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
8%
5-9 years
16%
10-19 years
38%
20 years or more
38%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 84%
dental benefits
Dental: 80%
vision benefits
Vision: 71%
dental benefits
None: 13%
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