Technical Writers Salary 2018: How Much Money Do They Make

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hourly pay for Technical Writers
do Technical Writers make a lot of money

Technical Writers

Other names for this job might include Assembly Instructions Writer, Chief Writer, Com Writer, Contract Writer, Director, Medical Writing, Document Specialist, Documentation Designer, Documentation Specialist, Documentation Specialist/Technical Writer, Documentation Writer

  • $73160
  • 68%
    Job satisfaction
  • Quite Hard
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank


How Much Do Technical Writers Make In 2018

In this salary guide, you will find out how much do Technical Writers make.

After reading this, you will be able to make a decision if working as a Technical Writer will suit your financial goals (e.g: buying a home, BMW or just your target salary goal).

Average salary

Annual salary
$73160 per year

Hourly wage
$35.180 per hour

One of the most popular questions we get from our readers here at OwlGuru is how much do Technical Writers make per year and what is their hourly wage.

According to BLS, the average annual salary of Technical Writers is $73160. Their salary can also be as low as $41700 if you’re still a newbie with no experience to over $111260 if you have a ton of experience under your belt.

The typical hourly pay is $35.180 and can range from $20.050 to $53.490 which also depends if you’re a newbie or a professional.

Just like any other job, the salary of A Technical Writer will vary based on your education and experience level.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.
Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of A Technical Writer to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank.

This compares the salary of all careers and we give them a rank of A, B, C or D depending on how high or low is their average salary.

After comparing how much do Technical Writers make with other careers, they have a salary rank of B.

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Salary range

Highest (Top 10%)$53.490$111260
Senior (Top 25%)$43.140$89730
Middle (Mid 50%)$33.580$69850
Junior (Bottom 25%)$25.960$53990
No experience (Bottom 10%)$20.050$41700

Entry-level Technical Writers who starts out at $53990 can expect to make $69850 after 3-5 years of experience in the field.

The bottom 10% makes less than $20.050 per hour while the top 10% makes over $53.490 per hour.

While the median wage is $69850 per annum or $33.580 per hour.

Depending on who you work for, you might also get overtime pay.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.

Highest paying industries

Industry nameHourly wageAnnual salary
Specialized Design Services41.285700
Other Information Services41.1585600
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing40.6684570
Wholesale Electronic Markets and Agents and Brokers40.3283870
Computer and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing39.8182810
Federal Executive Branch38.2279500
Federal government, including the US Postal Service38.2279490
Other Financial Investment Activities38.1679370
Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences38.1279300
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, Privately owned38.1279290
Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution38.0179060
Hospitals, Privately owned37.8878800
Scientific Research and Development Services37.7278450
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)37.4377850
Manufacturing and Reproducing Magnetic and Optical Media37.4177820
Drugs and Druggists' Sundries Merchant Wholesalers37.3577690
Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)37.277370
Computer Systems Design and Related Services36.5976110
Computer and Electronic Product Manufacturing36.4875870
Wholesale Trade36.4275750
Household Appliances and Electrical and Electronic Goods Merchant Wholesalers36.3975700
Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations36.3675620
Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing36.1375150
Securities, Commodity Contracts, and Other Financial Investments and Related Activities36.1275130
Semiconductor and Other Electronic Component Manufacturing35.9974850
Broadcasting (except Internet)35.9474750
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)35.9174680
Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods35.874470
Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing35.7774400
Cable and Other Subscription Programming35.774250
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services35.774250
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services35.674050
Business schools and computer and management training - Privately owned35.4773790
Transportation Equipment Manufacturing35.4373690
Business Schools and Computer and Management Training (including private, state, and local government schools)35.4373690
Testing Laboratories35.373430
Employment Services35.2873380
Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories35.1873180
Legal Services35.0672920
Software Publishers35.0172810
Administrative and Support Services34.9372650
Sector 56- Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services34.772180
All industries, private ownership only34.6772120
Professional and Commercial Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers34.6172000
All industries34.5971950
Federal, State, and Local Government34.3171360
Federal, State, and Local Government, excluding state and local schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service34.3171360
Other Telecommunications34.0870890
Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing34.0370790
Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods33.9970710
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages33.6970070
Services for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities33.6870060
Chemical Manufacturing33.6169910
Waste Treatment and Disposal33.6169900
Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing33.5669810
Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services33.4469560
Health Care and Social Assistance (including private, state, and local government hospitals)33.2969240
Publishing Industries (except Internet)33.2869230
Household Appliance Manufacturing33.2769200
Data Processing, Hosting, and Related Services33.1769000
Engineering Services33.1168870
Educational Services, Privately owned33.0768790
Machinery, Equipment, and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers33.0268680
Communications Equipment Manufacturing32.9768590
Educational Support Services, Privately owned32.8568330
Other Support Services32.7868190
Educational Support Services (including private, state, and local government schools)32.7368080
Federal, state, and local government, including government owned schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service32.7268050
Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services32.6467890
Business Support Services32.6267850
Management of Companies and Enterprises32.6167840
Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services32.5767740
Securities and Commodity Contracts Intermediation and Brokerage32.3467260
Construction of Buildings32.0166590
Nonresidential Building Construction31.9866520
Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers31.8966330
Office Administrative Services31.8666270
Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services31.8466220
Miscellaneous Manufacturing31.8266190
Performing Arts, Spectator Sports, and Related Industries31.6265770
Other schools and instruction, Privately owned31.6165760
Other Schools and Instruction (including private, state, and local government schools)31.5265570
Commercial and Service Industry Machinery Manufacturing31.4965490
Colleges, universities, and professional schools, Privately owned31.4865480
Industrial Machinery Manufacturing31.3565220
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation31.2565010
Educational Services (including private, state, and local government schools)30.9164300
Newspaper, Periodical, Book, and Directory Publishers30.8464150
Waste Management and Remediation Services30.8464150
Research and Development in the Social Sciences and Humanities30.8264100
Vocational Rehabilitation Services30.864060
Finance and Insurance30.7663980
Individual and Family Services30.6463730
Grantmaking and Giving Services30.5863600
Engine, Turbine, and Power Transmission Equipment Manufacturing30.5663560
Activities Related to Credit Intermediation30.5563540
Ambulatory Health Care Services30.5163450
Nondepository Credit Intermediation30.4963420
Credit Intermediation and Related Activities30.4563330
Direct Insurance (except Life, Health, and Medical) Carriers30.4363300
Depository Credit Intermediation30.2762960
Insurance Carriers30.2762950
Outpatient Care Centers30.2262860
Insurance Carriers and Related Activities30.2162840
Electrical Equipment Manufacturing30.2162830
Agencies, Brokerages, and Other Insurance Related Activities30.0362470
Electrical Equipment, Appliance, and Component Manufacturing30.0262440
Wired Telecommunications Carriers29.7561870
Support Activities for Air Transportation29.7461850
Repair and Maintenance29.6961740
Other Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing29.6461660
Electric Lighting Equipment Manufacturing29.6161580
Support Activities for Transportation29.661570
Transportation and Warehousing29.5861530
Scheduled Air Transportation29.461140
Machinery Manufacturing29.3961130
Air Transportation29.3361000
Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing29.2560850
Other Insurance Related Activities29.1760670
Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses29.1160550
Other Nondepository Credit Intermediation29.1160550
Nonstore Retailers29.0560430
Other Electrical Equipment and Component Manufacturing28.9760260
Food Manufacturing28.960120
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools (including private, state, and local government schools)28.8960090
Social Assistance28.8760050
Metalworking Machinery Manufacturing28.8259940
Other General Purpose Machinery Manufacturing28.7959880
Wood Product Manufacturing28.7259750
Other Wood Product Manufacturing28.7259750
Junior colleges, Local government owned28.6159500
Specialty Trade Contractors28.559280
Building Equipment Contractors28.559280
Motion Picture and Sound Recording Industries28.4759230
Investigation and Security Services28.4659190
Junior Colleges (including private, state, and local government schools)28.4559170
Ventilation, Heating, Air-Conditioning, and Commercial Refrigeration Equipment Manufacturing28.4359140
Motion Picture and Video Industries28.3959060
Educational Services, Local government owned28.3759010
Elementary and Secondary Schools (including private, state, and local government schools)28.2858830
Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing28.0458320
Motor Vehicle and Motor Vehicle Parts and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers27.9658160
Remediation and Other Waste Management Services27.9658150
Agriculture, Construction, and Mining Machinery Manufacturing27.9458110
Elementary and Secondary Schools, Local government owned27.9458110
Other Ambulatory Health Care Services27.8257860
All Other Ambulatory Health Care Services27.8257860
Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing27.8157850
Architectural and Structural Metals Manufacturing27.757610
Colleges, universities, and professional schools, State government owned27.1556470
Educational Services, State government owned27.1156390
Retail Trade27.0856320
Newspaper Publishers27.0456230
Local government, including schools and hospitals2756170
State government, including schools and hospitals26.6955520
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals26.3254760
Telephone Call Centers25.953870
State Government, excluding schools and hospitals25.6353310
Plastics and Rubber Products Manufacturing22.3246420
Community Food and Housing, and Emergency and Other Relief Services20.8943450

Not all industries pay the same for Technical Writers.

One of the easiest way to increase your salary is to change industries and find a higher paying one.

Highest paying states


Another simple way to boost your pay as A Technical Writer is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like CA doesn’t mean you will make more overall. This is because the expenses at CA may be 2x higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to the BLS, the highest paid / most successful Technical Writers are in the states of CA, CT, DC, MA and NC. The average salary in CA is $87760.

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Rank: A
Salary: $64570

They collect, analyze, and interpret geographic information provided by geodetic surveys, aerial photographs, and satellite data. Research, study, and prepare maps and other spatial data in digital or graphic form for legal, social, political, educational, and design purposes. May work with Geographic Information Systems (GIS). May design and evaluate algorithms, data structures, and user interfaces for GIS and mapping systems.
Rank: C
Salary: $64140

They plan, coordinate, or edit content of material for publication. May review proposals and drafts for possible publication. Includes technical editors.
Rank: D
Salary: $45800

They collect and analyze facts about newsworthy events by interview, investigation, or observation. Report and write stories for newspaper, news magazine, radio, or television.
Rank: C+
Salary: $67870

They write advertising copy for use by publication or broadcast media to promote sale of goods and services.
Rank: C
Salary: $36990

They read transcript or proof type setup to detect and mark for correction any grammatical, typographical, or compositional errors. Includes proofreaders of Braille.

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