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“I love the United States, but I see here everything is measured by success, by how much money it makes, not the satisfaction to the individual.”
–John Fellows Akers
Tech Writer Salaries in the United States
Being a technical writer can be a lot of fun. You get to meet a lot of people, write about a variety of topics, and, if you’re lucky, get to do some travel. But let’s talk about the bottom line – how much money can you make as a technical writer?
It’s hard to say how much money full time freelance technical writers make. But we do have some data on salaries made by full time technical writers working for a company.
Let’s take a look at the percentile salary estimates for technical writers. (Note: The following data is based on research in the U.S. If you live outside of the U.S., you should research technical writing salary statistics in your region.)
Percentile – 10% – 25% – 50%(median) – 75% – 90%
Hourly Wage $18 – $22 – $29 – $37 – $45
Annual Wage $36,490 – $46,680 – $60,390 – $76,650 – $94,550
Source: U.S. Department of Labor
Note that those in the top 10% average $94,550 a year. That’s a pretty good salary for a technical writer. Can you make $90,000 plus per year as a technical writer? The answer to this question depends on two factors:
1. Your level of experience
Broadly speaking there are three levels of technical writers:
Entry level technical writers – 0 to 3 years of experience
Mid level technical writers – 3 to 7 years of experience
Senior level technical writers – 7 plus years of experience
Let’s match these three levels to the annual wages in the chart. If you’re an entry level technical writer, you fall into the 10 – 25 percentiles and make between $36,490 and $46,680 per year. A mid level technical writer falls into the 50% percentile and makes $60,390 a year. Senior level technical writers at level three make between $76,650 and $94,550 a year.
You have to be a senior level technical writer to make $90,000 plus per year. This doesn’t mean it will take you seven years to become a senior level technical writer. For some of you it may take longer. For others the journey will be shorter.
It will also depend on which companies you worked for and the degree of complexity of your projects. If you have worked on complex projects at major companies you can apply for senior level technical writer jobs for sooner than seven years.
2. Your location
State and local taxes and standard-of-living play a part in determining your salary also. The pay level is higher in some states than in others. Technical writers get paid more in California and Massachusetts as opposed to Texas and Louisiana.
Top paying states for technical writers:
State Hourly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage
California $36 $75,470 Massachusetts $35 $72,820 Washington $35 $72,490 New Hampshire $34 $69,680 Nevada $33 $69,530
Source: U.S. Department of Labor
Keep in mind that these are averages. You could make more or less depending on your skill and experience.
Whatever your location or skill level, these figures show that there’s a lot of opportunity for technical writers, and there’s potential for a good income.
If you can write a simple sentence and organize your thoughts then technical writing may be a rewarding field. You can easily make it a second income stream in your spare time.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average salary for technical writers is $60,380. Freelance technical writers can make from $30 to $70 per hour.
The field of technical writing is like a golden city. It’s filled with wealth, rewards and opportunities. After learning technical writing you can branch out into business writing, marketing writing and communications writing. All of these can become additional income streams.
But to succeed you must learn how to market yourself to clients. You have to prove to them that you are an invaluable asset. That’s where ProTech – Your Fast Track to Becoming a Successful Technical Writer can help. It’s a technical writing course that does two equally important things:
1. It teaches you the skills to become a technical writer in the shortest time frame. You’ll learn to create manuals, procedures, tutorials, processes, proposals, spec sheets and other documents that businesses need.
2. It shows you how to market yourself to clients so you can start your income stream as soon as possible.
In fact, you’ll get a complete marketing toolkit which has templates and technical writing job sites to get started immediately!
You can download two sample lessons by clicking the link below.
This could be your chance to create a prosperous future.
Click the link below to download your two sample lessons.