Senior Technical Writer Salary

With over three-quarters of Senior Technical Writers in the United States reporting more than 10 years of experience, the field is heavily weighted toward experienced professionals. Average pay for Senior Technical Writers is $76K per year and can range from $55K on the lower end to $111K per year near the higher end. Total cash compensation to Senior Technical Writers approaches anywhere from $55K on the lower end to $111K on the higher end; in exceptional cases, this can include more than $10K from bonuses and upwards of $12K from profit sharing. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is the particular firm, though the particular city and years of experience have a (lesser) impact as well. A large number claim medical and dental insurance and a majority get vision coverage. Women make up a slight majority of Senior Technical Writers (57 percent) survey respondents. Most Senior Technical Writers like their work and job satisfaction is high. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$54,995 - $103,943
(Median)
$55K
$76K
$100K
MEDIAN: $75,976
10%
50%
90%

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$25.47 - $61.34
(Median)
$25
$40
$61
MEDIAN: $40
10%
50%
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
$54,995 - $103,943  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,827  
Profit Sharing
$979 - $11,745  
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).
)
$55,079 - $110,603  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,493
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
$25.47 - $61.34  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $0.00  
Overtime
$29.99 - $73.44  
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 - $9,827  
   
Profit Sharing
$979 - $11,745  
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).
)
$55,079 - $110,603  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 343
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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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Many Senior Technical Writers move into a Documentation Manager role, which does not lead to a big boost in pay. Documentation Managers on average bring in a similar salary to Senior Technical Writers.

Senior Technical Writer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Senior Technical Writer


Popular Skills for Senior Technical Writer


Senior Technical Writers report using a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in XML, HTML, Microsoft Visio, and Project Management are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts in pay of 5 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft Excel, and Adobe Acrobat. Most people who know 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.


For Senior Technical Writers, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. Relatively untried employees who have fewer than five years of experience earn around $64K on average. People who have worked for five to 10 years can expect a higher median salary of $71K. Senior Technical Writers with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $81K. 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 $83K.

Pay Difference by Location


San Francisco offers some of the highest pay in the country for Senior Technical Writers, 31 percent above the national average. Senior Technical Writers will also find cushy salaries in San Jose (+27 percent), New York (+22 percent), Seattle (+16 percent), and Washington (+10 percent). Falling short of the national average by 7 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Austin. On the whole, employers pay 5 percent below the median salary for those in this field in Minneapolis and Dallas.

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Senior Technical Writer Salaries



National Average
$78,000



Skills That Affect Senior Technical Writer Salaries

XML
up arrow 5%

Writing Procedures & Documentation
up arrow 4%

HTML
up arrow 4%

Project Management
up arrow 4%

Microsoft Visio
up arrow 4%

FrameMaker
up arrow 2%

RoboHelp
up arrow 2%

Procedures
up arrow 1%

Editing
0%

National Average
$78,000

Microsoft Word
up arrow 1%

Adobe Photoshop
up arrow 2%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 3%

Adobe Acrobat
up arrow 4%



Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 369 votes.

Gender

Female
57 %
Male
43 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
4%
5-9 years
17%
10-19 years
45%
20 years or more
33%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 84% dental benefits Dental: 79%
vision benefits Vision: 68% employee benefits None: 14%
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