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Senior Technical Writer

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What Is a Senior Technical Writer? How to Become One, Salary, Skills.

A senior technical writer creates and edits communications that explain how to use technical products. Here’s what to know about a senior technical writer’s salary, needed skills and how to become one.


What Is a Senior Technical Writer?

A senior technical writer is responsible for writing, reviewing and revising both written and visual technical communications. They are often required to delegate tasks to other writers and oversee their work.


What Do Senior Technical Writers Do?

A senior technical writer has strong writing and communication skills that enable them to create instruction manuals and other content that help users get the most out of technical products.

Senior Technical Writer Responsibilities

  • Creating communications for users through various media, including manuals, videos and infographics. 
  • Reviewing and revising technical communications.
  • Learning and conforming to relevant style guides and standards.
  • Conducting research on products and technical communication best practices.
  • Collaborating with developers, engineers and UX teams to develop an understanding of software and other technical products.
  • Delegating tasks to other technical writers.
  • Overseeing the work of other writers to ensure they follow style and quality standards.
  • Collecting and applying user feedback.

Senior Technical Writer Within a Company

Senior technical writers collaborate with various teams responsible for product development so they can understand the features and use cases that will be included in the communications they create for users. In large organizations with multiple technical writers, they will likely be asked to participate in delegating tasks and reviewing the work of less experienced technical writers.

Importance of Senior Technical Writers

Senior technical writers ensure complex information about technical products is correctly and efficiently communicated to users in a way that is clear and understandable. They also bring the experience and skills to review and guide the work of other technical writers. 


Become a Technical Writer? Salary, Jobs, Education | Video:


What Skills Are Needed to Be a Senior Technical Writer?

Qualifications to Be a Senior Technical Writer

  • Strong writing, editing and communication skills.
  • Ability to create content in a variety of media.
  • Experience conducting research.
  • Knowledge of relevant technical topics, such as coding languages or UX principles.
  • Experience with leadership and balancing multiple responsibilities.
  • Open to feedback and collaboration.
  • Able to work with necessary tools and software.

Senior Technical Writer Prerequisites

  • A bachelor’s degree in a field like communication.
  • Professional courses and certifications to develop advanced skills.

Senior Technical Writer Hard Skills

  • Communicating complex topics.
  • Conducting research.
  • Ability to quickly understand technical information.
  • May need prior knowledge of coding languages or other technical concepts.
  • Familiarity with technical writing tools and software.

Senior Technical Writer Soft Skills

  • Collaborative mindset.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Accepting and applying feedback.
  • Time management and task delegation.
  • Meeting deadlines.

Tools and Programs Senior Technical Writers Use

  • Adobe RoboHelp
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • MadCap Flare
  • Microsoft Word
  • Slack
  • Google Workspace


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How to Become a Senior Technical Writer

Senior Technical Writer Education and Experience

A senior technical writer typically holds a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as English or communications. They also bring approximately five years of experience in producing technical communication.

Senior Technical Writer Certificates and Courses

Senior Technical Writer Career Path

To first become a technical writer, a professional will need at least a year of experience that can be gained through internships or junior-level technical writing positions, though many also work in an adjacent field such as UX design before shifting into the position of technical writer. It then takes at least five years working in technical communication to break into the role of senior technical writer.


Senior Technical Writer Salary and Job Outlook

There are expected to be 5,000 additional jobs for technical writers every between 2021 and 2031, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The full compensation package for a senior technical writer depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to the candidate’s experience and geographic location. See below for detailed information on the average senior technical writer salary.


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