What Does a Senior Technical Writer Do?
A senior technical writer 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 technical writer can use any medium that best facilitates the transfer and comprehension of the information. A technical writer will reduce synthesized material into precise and straightforward 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 technical writer is often the topmost level of a technical writer, precluding management. The job title does not require a lot of guidance.
If you're interested in learning more about the role via video, then watch below. Otherwise, skip ahead.
Senior Technical Writer and Technical Documentation
The senior technical writer requires an excellent ability to understand the business and scope. Indeed, technical writing and technical documentation are not easy and require a lot of experience and professional perspective. According to the BLS, you can see an estimated 12% growth in the technical writer job profile.
A senior technical writer reported a yearly salary of $88,000 per year. But what makes a technical writer's job equivalent to a tech professional?
Senior technical writers have high ideals and conduct similar research, making their yearly salaries comparable. Furthermore, a technical writer will need optimal communication skills.
If you're looking to increase your salary as a senior technical writer, you can get a credible technical writing certification like the ones we offer at Technical Writer HQ.
Do you want to know more about senior technical writers? Read on to find out.
Senior Technical Writer Job Description
In a senior technical writer job description, you will see the need to document educational materials. Then, in the technical writer job description, you can see how technical writing needs to help enhance user experience on the internet. They create technical writing and technical documentation including:
- Integration Guides
- API developer guides
- System operations
- Integration guides
- Configuration instructions
A senior technical writer is a chief technology officer who effectively communicates with numerous users. In a startup technical writer job description, 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 description will continuously ensure the users have a good experience with product changes. In some cases, the technical writer's jobs dictate diagram-oriented technical writing and technical documentation that helps people understand the workings of the product. Furthermore, how-to guides and journals are regular for senior technical writers.
Overall, they need to create supporting documents on complex products and understand the technical information.
Senior Technical Writer Responsibilities
Senior technical writer jobs have experience in technical writing and technical documentation as well as working with a technical writing team. They have to be well versed in studying technical information and product samples with developers and designers. In addition, a successful technical writer will have a salary that depends on the value they provide.
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 anticipate effective documents.
These documents are then released and looked after by the company's customer success director. Apart from that, a technical writer must have exceptional writing skills, knowledge of a content management system, observational skills, a bachelor's degree, and excellence in grammar.
Most tech companies will have the senior technical writer present during development project meetings. A technical writer attends development project meetings to ensure proper task analysis.
A writer knows 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 technical writer must adhere to multiple feedback and proceed accordingly.
Senior Technical Writer Skills
The online community of technical writers and team members suggests the requirement of a Bachelor's degree. As a technical writer, you will have a bachelor's degree in:
- Computer science
- Software engineering
- Scientific publication
In some cases, a company will hire technical writer team members based on curriculum development and experience. Therefore, if you want to find startup jobs for a technical writer position, you need to gain a few years of professional experience as a team member of another company.
Apart from the educational background, the average salary of a senior technical writer will depend on the numerous skills.
These skills will reflect a healthy chunk on the average senior technical writer's 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 technical writer needs to know on are:
- Scripting and coding languages
- Publishing software
- Analytics platforms
- API knowledge
- SaaS experience
If a technical writer gains knowledge on such aspects, their average salary will boost.
Senior Technical Writers and Teams
A senior technical writer will work with the "top managers" in the company.
They are involved with the top managerial team. Hence, a 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 technical writing documentation based on the information gathered.
When releasing a document, technical writers 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?
Technical writers reported a yearly salary of $88,000. However, the average total compensation varies depending on your state.
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 technical writers 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 makes $59,286.
- The senior technical writer's salary in Seattle's latest tech news jobs is $94,412.
As you can see, the salary also varies in cities and states. Even then, the average cross-market writer salary by a company is $74,766. So, that is the yearly salary a senior technical writer earns as compared to lower-earning positions like junior technical writers.
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 technical 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, you need to have strong communication skills and excellent technical 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 helps if you scaled up to become a senior technical writer.
It is 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 a substantial career in this field and earn the salary a senior technical writer earns, you need to have a resume filled with skills like:
- Strong technical writing skills - You need to make the technical content more accessible for the public to understand.
- Excellent communication skills - You have to work with company managers when creating technical writing documents.
- Technical skills - Knowing APIs and programming languages will make it easy 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 specialized products. However, their job is to simplify the involved resources for an audience to understand. They need to keep up weekly meetups to ensure the proper workflow in every department.
Intricate technical knowledge will help an anonymous senior technical writer deal with the job description. It helps if you have analytical and technical skills to earn more as a technical writer. 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 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?
If you are new to technical writing and are looking to break-in, we recommend taking our Technical Writing Certification Course, where you will learn the fundamentals of being a technical writer, how to dominate technical writer interviews, and how to stand out as a technical writing candidate.
Josh is the founder of Technical Writer HQ and Squibler, a writing software. He is considered one of the top product influencers in the world by Product School and one of the top technical writers. He has been writing software tutorials, manuals, handbooks, and white papers for over eight years. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.