RE: what separates a senior tech writer from a regular tech writer?

Subject: RE: what separates a senior tech writer from a regular tech writer?
From: "Lauren" <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>
To: "'Paul Kretschmer'" <Paul -dot- Kretschmer -at- YARDI -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2008 11:46:41 -0800

> From: Paul Kretschmer

> I've been asked to come up with a set of criteria for senior tech
> writers and regular (junior) tech writers at my workplace. (Currently
> we are all just tech writers - there are no "seniors" among us, even
> though most of us have been doing this for years and years.)
> In your opinion, what are the important differences between a
> senior and
> regular tech writer? If you have any ideas, please pass them along.

I like the job descriptions on, although the web site isn't
loading for me today. is also a good source for different jobs and
descriptions. Gene provided accurate job descriptions.

Generally, the conspicuous differences between junior, intermediate, and
senior levels of any job is the required education and experience of each
level. In most cases, junior levels work under direct supervision and
senior levels direct the work of others with some form of resource or
project management. Intermediate levels do the work assigned to them
according to the company standards or style guides without requiring much

The amount of compensation between levels is different, as is the job
security when determining lay-offs. For example, a manager making decisions
of who to lay-off will likely keep one person of each level and lay-off the
people who will cost the most when compared to the level of work that they
can produce.

> For me, the most important criteria is being able to work
> independently
> - to come up with solutions to problems that face our dept.
> (in addition
> to following our standard procedures for producing documentation).

That's not a senior technical writer description. Your description is
consistent with an intermediate or regular technical writer.

If you just want a raise, then ask for a raise and cite how your
productivity has improved since your pay was set. You can also look at how
you are improving the team through leadership if you still want to pursue a
lead role. If you want to advance, then you should look at options for
getting training to assume lead roles, like project management training or
training in some form of documentation methodology.



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what separates a senior tech writer from a regular tech writer?: From: Paul Kretschmer

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