Most people want to pursue a career that will allow them to live comfortably, and those considering technical writing are no exception. The question of what a technical writer actually earns is a difficult one to answer. For full-timers, location and experience can significantly influence how much they can expect to take home, and wages for freelance technical writers vary even more considerably. The following information should give you some idea about what you can hope to earn as a technical writer. Remember, your actual earnings may be higher or lower depending on your location, the number of hours you work, how much experience you have, the size of the company you work for, and a number of other factors.
Full-time: In 2007, full-time technical writers earned about $29.00/hour. The median annual salary for a full-time technical writer was about $60,000. Many technical writers earned less than this, but others also earned significantly more.
Freelance: It's quite difficult to locate salary data for freelance technical writers. Typically, freelance technical writers charge anywhere between $40 to $100/hour for their services, which is substantially higher than the rates paid to full-time writers. However, freelance writers may only put in about four or five billable hours a day. The rest of their time is spent looking for work and taking care of bookkeeping tasks. Even considering this, however, it's quite obvious that the potential to earn a six-figure salary is there. One site claims freelance technical writers typically earn between $36,000 and around $120,000 a year, so it's somewhat inaccurate to speak of an "average" salary.
Last Updated: 05/05/2014