What is the Average Senior Technical Writer Salary?

Updated on May 9th, 2022

The work environment and the pay scale are the biggest factors for any job position. However, as documentation, manual guides, and technical writing become an integral part of the sales funnel, senior technical writers gradually dominate the industry. And their senior technical writer salary directly reflects this increase in responsibility.

The job nature is progressive and comes with great incentives. So people, especially software and data engineers or anyone with a technical or teaching background, are getting more inclined to become a senior technical writers.

Certain factors such as experience, location, education, and others affect senior technical writer salaries. On average, the median senior technical writer's salary is $95,000 per year or $45.67 per hour. At the same time, the top 10% can earn up to $137,000 per year or $65.87 per hour.

A senior technical writer's average additional cash compensation is approximately $15,078 in the US. US is $15,078. On the other hand, the US's average total compensation is approximately $112,857.

Keep reading for a useful senior technical writer's salary insight and the factors that affect it.

Factors That Influence the Senior Technical Writer's Salary

Senior technical writers are responsible for curating articles for inline journals, magazines, and publications, writing and editing manuals, offering development services, creating user-friendly documentation, and other innovative projects. This senior-level designation also implies that they assign, supervise, review and edit the work of junior technical writers for accuracy.

A senior technical writer has expertise in the fields such as computer software, hardware, engineering, and other professional or industrial fields. To earn more and get to the higher side of the writer's salary, they must be well-versed in the subject matter and leverage creative technology. In addition, technical writers must attain fluency and expertise in the terminology and jargon of the particular field.

A senior technical writer can work for software companies, publications, journals, and even medical equipment specialists, from startup jobs to high-end positions.

Here are the major factors that affect the pay scale of senior technical writer employees.

Senior Technical Writer Salary by Education

The level of education of the candidates greatly affects their average salaries as senior technical writers and the additional cash compensation.

  • Salary.com reported a yearly salary for a senior technical writer with a bachelor's degree to be approximately $86,275 - $91,043 yearly.
  • The median salary for a senior technical writer with a master's degree or equivalent, such as MBA, is $86,909-$91.175 yearly as per salary.com.
  • The average salary for a senior technical writer holding an MD, JD, Ph.D., or equivalent is about $87,163-$91,984 yearly.

Senior Technical Writer Salary by Experience

The average salary for a senior technical writer increases exponentially with experience. By working for years with multi-national teams in a dynamic and inclusive culture, creating innovative content, leveraging legal technology, and providing easy-to-understand documentation for commercial customers, a talented technical writer create uniquely impactful experiences in the industry.

An experienced senior technical writer who has achieved unicorn status makes a higher average base salary than a recent senior technical writer who just got into the documentation team.

  • A senior technical writer for a candidate with 0-3 years of experience with an average total compensation, including the bonus, overtime pay, and tips, is approximately $73,925 annually.
  • In their mid-career, a senior technical writer with an experience of 3-5 years can make around $92,125 yearly salary.
  • With experience of 5-7 years, a senior technical writer makes a $109,395 yearly salary.
  • An expert senior technical writer with 7 or more years of experience in providing technical writing with a uniquely engaging style and cutting-edge solutions earns a yearly salary of $109,412.

Senior Technical Writer Salary by Location in the U.S.

The location of the employees also affects the average salary and compensation for a senior technical writer. If you are a part of the freelance or online community, you would not have to worry about it.

The bigger cities or the leading global provider of the US pay well to their employees, but the high living and transportation costs can be a downside.

The top ten senior technical writer salaries by location in the US are:

  1. Sunnyvale, CA - $111,827$9 yearly salary
  2. Santa Cruz, CA -$110,794$9 yearly salary
  3. Santa Rosa, CA -$108,296$9 yearly salary
  4. Williston, ND -$106,113 yearly salary
  5. Manhattan, NY -$105,836$8 yearly salary
  6. Barnstable Town, MA -$105,015$8,751 yearly salary
  7. Cambridge, MA -$104,821$8 yearly salary
  8. San Mateo, CA -$104,019$8 yearly salary
  9. Arlington, VA -$103,936$8 yearly salary
  10. Dickinson, ND -$103,300 yearly salary

As per the responses gathered, 71% of senior technical writers believe that their average base salary is enough to cover their expenses and cost of living in the US.

Senior Technical Writer Salary by Company Size

The average base salary and compensation for a senior technical writer also depend on the company's size.

As per many reports, senior technical writers make the most at small-sized companies, typically with 11-50 employees. However, as the company grows and adds more members to various teams, such as the documentation team, marketing team, and others, they tend to decrease the pay scale to compensate for the additional salaries.

To understand the salary by company size, here is a breakdown:

  1. 1-10 employees: $116,269 annually
  2. 11-50 employees: $128,000 annually
  3. 51-200 employees: $94,683 annually
  4. 201-500 employees: $93,493 annually
  5. 501- 1,000 employees: $105,917 annually
  6. Above 1,000 employees: $93,067 annually

Senior Technical Writer Salary by Location, Globally

If you are not in the US, planning to immigrate, or working remotely, you must know how much a senior technical writer makes globally.

  • Australia- A$88,784 to A$121,963 per year
  • United Kingdom- £40,376 to £53,738 per year
  • Ireland- €44,950 to €70,718 per year
  • Germany - €51,377 to €79,524 per year
  • Netherlands - €55,988 to €77,460 per year
  • Japan- ¥6,520,973 to ¥9,802,393 per year
  • France - €46,051 to €60,977 per year
  • Brazil - R$72,070 to R$233,052 per year
  • Poland - zł61,543 to zł123,916 per year

Senior Technical Writer Salary by Gender

The gender role also affects the pay scale for senior technical writer jobs. As per many reports and publications, men earn more than women, even with the same job title.

According to Builtin.com, the average yearly salary by gender for a female is approximately $102,852, while for a male senior technical writer, the yearly salary is $108,984.

Although many companies pay the same amount regardless of gender, the average senior technical writer salary approximates $136,667 annually.

Senior Technical Writer Salary by Skills

The expertise of a passionate technical writer influence industry in a positive way. As they continuously learn, they can better enable commercial customers with lucrative outcomes.

Certain mainstream skills affect senior technical writer salaries with a positive impact. The better skills any technical writer has, the more they can earn.

Some skills that you must acquire to land better jobs include:

  • Content strategy
  • Analytical research
  • Editing and proofreading
  • Basic prototyping
  • Technical writing (for diverse and in-demand niches like molecular science and human health)
  • Content marketing
  • Agile product development
  • SQL- Structure query language

With these skills up their sleeve, the senior technical writer reported to earn13.5% more than other technical writers.

Salaries for Senior Technical Writer Career Path

The senior technical writer's salaries can move up or down the ladder, depending on the factors discussed. Therefore, it is important to understand the career path to prevent moving down a level.

Here is the senior technical writer career path, alongside their average salaries:

Junior Technical Writer

  • The junior technical writer has a bachelor's degree with no experience. Yet, they earn up to $45,000 per year.
  • The intermediate technical writer is a candidate with a bachelor's degree and 2-4 years of experience in the relevant field. The average salary is$79,200 per year.

Senior Technical Writer

  • Senior technical writer with a bachelor's degree and 4-7 years of experience reported a yearly salary of $95,000 per year.

Technical Product Documentation Writer

Technical product documentation writer IV with a bachelor's degree and experience of 7+ years. For this job title, the technical writer's salary ranges from $97,982 to $117,671.

Some other high-end job titles along the same career path and their average product salaries are:

  • The principal technical writer reported a yearly salary of $97,722
  • The lead technical writer reported a yearly salary of $92,862
  • AI technical writer reported a yearly salary of $96,304
  • Digital platform engineering reported a yearly salary of $100,000
  • The technical product management director reported a yearly salary of $118,154
  • CPO or the chief product officer reported a yearly salary of $226,760

Senior Technical Writer Jobs in the US

If you are struggling to find startup jobs, here are some companies that offer jobs online (you can work as an anonymous senior technical writer as well) and on-site.

With over 1,000 employees working remotely, these jobs offer a good average technical writer salary. You can also use the open search join log to hunt for a suitable job in the relevant industry.

Conclusion

It is important to understand the job title and pay scale before joining any industry as a senior technical writer.

To earn a good annual income, save yourself from getting underpaid, build a rewarding career in the industry, learn the total compensation for a Senior Technical Writer, average base salary, and the other pay elements. Next, understand how your salary is adjusted based on skills and experience. Lastly, acknowledge the salary you must get for a certain job title.