What Does a Senior Technical Writer Do?

Updated on October 8th, 2021
What Does a Senior Technical Writer Do?

The senior technical writer's job title requires a good ability to understand the business and scope. Indeed, technical writing is not easy and requires a lot of experience and professional perspective. According to the BLS, you can see an estimated 12% growth in the senior technical writer job profile.

A senior technical writer reported a yearly salary of $88,000 per year. But what makes a senior technical writer's job equivalent to a tech professional?

They will have similar goals as a chief operating officer or the finance vice president in any company. Senior technical writers have high goals and conduct similar research, making their yearly salaries similar. Furthermore, a senior technical writer will need optimal communication skills.

Do you want to know more about senior technical writers? Read on to find out.

What is a Senior Technical Writer?

A senior technical writer is someone that leads documentation practices at a company often for specific product verticals or even a product portfolio.

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about a technical writer? Do you think of someone who offers technical support or someone who writes technical articles?

Well, a senior technical writer can juggle both. A senior technical writer can use any medium that best facilitates the transfer and comprehension of the information. A senior technical writer will reduce synthesized material into precise and simple language for the readers to understand.

The job title of senior technical writers involves a lot of professional communication based on hard-to-understand information. They need to be concise about creating information through various publishing and distribution outlets.

A senior technical writer is often the topmost level of a technical writer preluding the management position. The job title does not require a lot of guidance.

Senior Technical Writer Responsibilities

By holding senior technical writer jobs, you need to document educational materials that can help enhance user experience on the internet. Due to a senior technical writer, a startup scene moves fast on digital platforms. Moreover, they create documentations like:

  • Integration guides
  • API developer guides
  • System operations
  • Integration guides
  • Configuration instructions

A senior technical writer is a chief technology officer who is effective in communication with numerous users. In startup jobs, they need to have experience in technical and non-technical aspects.

Technical writers are responsible for editing content and revising it to keep the technical terms convenient and understandable.

A senior technical writer's job is to continuously ensure the users have a good experience with product changes. In some cases, the senior technical writer's jobs dictate a diagram-oriented document that helps people understand the workings of the product. Furthermore, how-to guides and journals are a regular responsibility for senior technical writers.

Overall, they need to create supporting documents on complex products and make the technical information understandable.

Senior technical writer jobs have experience in technical writing and documentation. They have to be well versed in studying product samples with developers and designers. In addition, a senior technical writer's salary depends on the degree of easy instructions they can provide on technical aspects.

Like any other writer, they need to proofread their documents, write authentically and edit based on the requirements. They operate on maintaining, reviewing, and preparing technical documents. After analyzing, observing, and gathering information, they are expected to create effective documents.

These documents are then released and looked after by the company's customer success director. Apart from that, a senior technical writer is expected to have exceptional writing skills, observational skills, and fearlessness in grammar.

Most tech companies will have the senior technical writer present during development project meetings. A senior technical writer attends development project meetings to ensure proper analysis of their task.

The writer is expected to know about recent tech news and weekly meetups to have a detail-oriented discussion in some companies. They also need to establish new procedures based on conforming styles and policies. Furthermore, a senior technical writer needs to adhere to multiple feedback and proceed accordingly.

Skills Required to Become a Senior Technical Writer

The online community of senior technical writers has alluded to the educational requirements. So, a technical writer on the senior level should have a bachelor's degree in:

  • Computer science
  • Teaching
  • Software engineering
  • Communication
  • Journalism
  • English
  • Scientific publication

In some cases, a senior technical writer will be hired based on curriculum development and experience. Therefore, if you want to find startup jobs for a senior technical writer position, you need to gain a few years of professional experience.

Apart from the educational background, the average salary of a senior technical writer will depend on the numerous skills.

Most of these skills will reflect a healthy chunk on the average senior technical writer salary. Ideally, such writers need to have the same knowledge as the company's marketing vice president and the engineering vice president. Therefore, the technical aspects that a senior technical writer needs to know on are:

  • Scripting and coding languages
  • Publishing software for documentations
  • Analytics platforms
  • API knowledge
  • SaaS experience

If a senior technical writer gains infinite knowledge on such aspects, their average salary will skyrocket!

Who Do Senior Technical Writers Work With?

A senior technical writer will work with the "top managers" in the company.

They are involved with the top managerial team. Hence, a senior technical writer can produce numerous world-class documents with the help of the company's management team and senior members.

They also work with the care vice president and the product management director. Consequently, creating numerous API guides, developer information guides, and user manuals. Some companies need to collaborate with other technical writers and write documentation based on the information gathered.

When releasing a document, a senior technical writer may contact the vice president of the product marketing director. While offering guidance, they will also work closely with the content team and collectively create high-quality technical documents.

How Much Does a Senior Technical Writer Earn?

A senior technical writer reported a yearly salary of $88,000. However, the average total compensation varies depending on the state you are in. For example:

According to Boston's workforce, the average additional cash compensation is $14,218. At the same time, the technical writer's salary ranges between $88,000 to $97,000.

The average salary received by senior technical writer employees depends on numerous factors like educational qualification, experience, and more. Due to that, determining the average salary for a senior technical writer can be challenging.

On average, here is an estimated salary a senior technical writer earns:

  • In Colorado, a senior technical writer earns $59,286.
  • The senior technical writer's salary in the latest tech news jobs in Seattle is $94,412.

As you can see, the salary also varies in cities and states. Even then, the average cross-market writer salary by company is $74,766! So, that is the yearly salary a senior technical writer earns.

Based on market drivers, you can deduce that the job title average salary is below $80,000. Furthermore, a recent senior technical writer will not earn as much as a sales manager.

How to Become a Senior Technical Writer?

To get compensation for a senior technical writer role, you need to know about technical developments and have writing skills. Having language skills is one of the most crucial steps to success. However, having technical topics memorized will be like a cherry on top!

Do you want to become a senior technical writer?

If so, then you need to have strong communication skills and excellent writing skills. Moreover, you need to hail from a diverse technical background or have infinite knowledge about technical science. Initially, your formal education background will speak for your technical writing skills.

With years of experience, your hands-on expertise will determine your eligibility. Indeed, it would help if you scaled up to become a senior technical writer.

It would be best if you dealt with pressure and new responsibilities too. Moreover, you can obtain a bachelor's degree in technical subjects or conventional subjects to obtain this role. So, having a computer science background will help in achieving your dreams!

To have an effective career in this field and earn the salary a senior technical writer earns, you need to have a resume filled with skills like:

  • Strong writing skills - You need to make the technical content easier for the public to understand.
  • Excellent communication skills - You have to work with managers of the company when writing documents.
  • Technical skills - Knowing APIs and programming languages will make it easy for you to understand the task.
  • Knowledge about databases - As a senior technical writer, you have to work with technical topics, so analyzing them can be tough with no knowledge about the databases.

The Bottom Line

A senior technical writer will work with the chief information officer and build documents based on technical products. However, their job is to simplify the involved resources tech hubs for the audience to understand. They need to keep up weekly meetups to ensure the proper flow of work in every department.

Intricate technical knowledge will help an anonymous senior technical writer deal with the job description. As a technical writer, you need to be creative, factually correct, and have bonus skills to earn more. Furthermore, you need to consult with the chief product officer and adopt documentation based on the requirements.

Soft skills like collaboration and communication will also factor in. The senior technical writers need to have patience and a positive attitude towards work. Moreover, the senior technical writer's salaries range from $88,000 to $97,000! Do you have what it takes to scale up and become a senior technical writer, or do you want to remain a tech writer?