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 $76,630 per year, on average, but can range from $52,943 to $109,302 per year. Overall cash allowance—including $9,833 bonuses and $11,920 profit sharing proceeds—ranges between $52,844 and $101,973. Geographic location and career length each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Generous benefits are a perk in this profession; most claim both medical and dental insurance and a majority get vision coverage. Women make up a slight majority of Senior Technical Writers (56 percent). Work is enjoyable for the better half of Senior Technical Writers who claim high levels of job satisfaction. The information for this snapshot was generated by 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.
)
$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  
PayScale
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  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 331
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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 may experience a deep cut in pay as they move up the career ladder. Typically, an upper-level role like Proposal Writer will bring in a lot less money than some lower-level positions.

Senior Technical Writer Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Senior Technical Writer

Senior Technical Writers report exploiting 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. Most people familiar with FrameMaker also 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.
Senior Technical Writers with a lot of experience do not necessarily enjoy higher salaries, as pay increases are mainly incremental. Salaries start at $61K, which grows to $71K after five to 10 years. Between 10 and 20 years, pay reaches $80K. A 20-year tenure heralds decreased salary growth, and Senior Technical Writers who have made it this far report earning around $82K per year. The majority of Senior Technical Writers have only 10 to 20 years of practice in the field. Workers with more than 20 years make up the second biggest group followed by those with one to 10 years under their belt.

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.
For those looking to make money, Senior Technical Writers in San Francisco enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 35 percent above 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. Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Austin, 10 percent below the national average. Employers in Atlanta and Dallas also lean toward paying below-median salaries (-8 percent and -5 percent, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

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%
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