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Become A Grant Writer

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Working As A Grant Writer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $53,176

    Average Salary

What Does A Grant Writer Do

Technical writers, also called technical communicators, prepare instruction manuals, how-to guides, journal articles, and other supporting documents to communicate complex and technical information more easily. They also develop, gather, and disseminate technical information through an organization’s communications channels.

Duties

Technical writers typically do the following:

  • Determine the needs of users of technical documentation
  • Study product samples and talk with product designers and developers
  • Work with technical staff to make products easier to use and thus require fewer instructions
  • Organize and write supporting content for products
  • Use photographs, drawings, diagrams, animation, and charts that increase users’ understanding
  • Select appropriate medium for message or audience, such as manuals or online videos
  • Standardize content across platforms and media
  • Gather user feedback to update and improve content
  • Revise content as new issues arise

Technical writers create paper-based and digital operating instructions, how-to manuals, assembly instructions, and “frequently asked questions” pages to help technical support staff, consumers, and other users within a company or an industry. After a product is released, technical writers also may work with product liability specialists and customer-service managers to improve the end-user experience through product design changes.

Technical writers often work with computer hardware engineers, scientists, computer support specialists, and software developers to manage the flow of information among project workgroups during development and testing. Therefore, technical writers must be able to understand complex information and communicate the information to people with diverse professional backgrounds.

Applying their knowledge of the user of the product, technical writers may serve as part of a team conducting usability studies to help improve the design of a product that is in the prototype stage. Technical writers may conduct research on their topics through personal observation, library and Internet research, and discussions with technical specialists.

Technical writers are also responsible for managing the consistency of technical content and its use across business departments including product development, manufacturing, marketing, and customer relations.

Some technical writers help write grant proposals for research scientists and institutions.

Increasingly, technical information is being delivered online and through social media. Technical writers are using the interactive technologies of the Web and social media to blend text, graphics, multidimensional images, sound, and video.

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How To Become A Grant Writer

A college degree is usually required for a position as a technical writer. In addition, experience with a technical subject, such as computer science, Web design, or engineering, is important.

Education

Employers generally prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, English, or communications. Many technical writing jobs require both a degree and knowledge in a specialized field, such as engineering, computer science, or medicine. Web design experience also is helpful because of the growing use of online technical documentation.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Some technical writers begin their careers as specialists or research assistants in a technical field. They eventually develop technical communication skills and assume primary responsibilities for technical writing. In small firms, beginning technical writers may work on projects right away; in larger companies with more standard procedures, beginners may observe experienced technical writers and interact with specialists before being assigned projects.

Training

Many technical writers need short-term on-the-job training to adapt to a different style of writing.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Some associations, including the Society for Technical Communication, offer certification for technical writers. In addition, the American Medical Writers Association offers extensive continuing education programs and certificates in medical writing. These certificates are available to professionals in the medical and allied scientific communication fields.

Although not mandatory, certification can demonstrate competence and professionalism, making candidates more attractive to employers. It can also increase a technical writer’s opportunities for advancement.

Advancement

Prospects for advancement generally include working on more complex projects and leading or training junior staff. Some technical writers become self-employed and produce work on a freelance basis.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Technical writers must be able to take complex, technical information and translate it for colleagues and consumers who have nontechnical backgrounds.

Detail oriented. Technical writers create detailed instructions for others to follow. As a result, they must be detailed and precise at every step so that the instructions can be useful.

Imagination. Technical writers must be able to think about a procedure or product in the way a person without technical experience would think about it.

Teamwork. Technical writers must be able to work well with others. They are almost always part of a team: with other writers; with designers, editors, and illustrators; and with the technical people whose information they are explaining.

Technical skills. Technical writers must be able to understand highly complex information. Many technical writers need a background in engineering or computer science in order to do this.

Writing skills. Technical communicators must have excellent writing skills to be able to explain technical information clearly.

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Grant Writer Jobs

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Grant Writer Career Paths

Grant Writer
Technical Writer Program Manager Development Director
Community Development Director
8 Yearsyrs
Proposal Writer Senior Technical Writer Content Manager
Content Director
7 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Professor Senior Project Manager Marketing Director
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Communications Manager Marketing Director
Director Of Marketing & Development
9 Yearsyrs
Developer/Consultant Management Consultant Marketing Consultant
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
6 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Adjunct Professor Senior Project Manager
Director Of Project Management
12 Yearsyrs
Grant Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Instructor Instructor Assistant Director
Interim Director
10 Yearsyrs
Managing Editor Technical Writer Senior Technical Writer
Knowledge Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Faculty Development Director Marketing Consultant
Marketing And Communication Consultant
10 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Faculty Writer And Editor Social Media Manager
Marketing/Social Media Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Grant Coordinator Development Coordinator Media Coordinator
Media Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Professor Information Technology Project Manager Business Development Manager
Proposal Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Development Manager Marketing Director Public Relations Consultant
Public Information Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Writing Consultant Technical Writer Senior Technical Writer
Publications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Technical Writer Proposal Writer Proposal Manager
Senior Proposal Manager
14 Yearsyrs
Development Manager Marketing Manager Social Media Manager
Strategist
7 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Instructor Attorney Assistant Vice President
Vice President, Strategy
13 Yearsyrs
Reviewer Writer And Editor Content Manager
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Grant Writer Demographics

Gender

Female

70.9%

Male

26.8%

Unknown

2.3%
Ethnicity

White

63.5%

Hispanic or Latino

13.4%

Black or African American

11.8%

Asian

7.1%

Unknown

4.2%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

45.7%

French

17.6%

German

5.2%

Italian

4.9%

Portuguese

3.7%

Arabic

3.4%

Mandarin

2.8%

Korean

2.2%

Hindi

1.9%

Chinese

1.9%

Russian

1.5%

Japanese

1.5%

Dutch

1.2%

Thai

1.2%

Hebrew

1.2%

Urdu

1.2%

Swahili

0.9%

Romanian

0.6%

Dari

0.6%

Greek

0.6%
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Grant Writer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

12.4%

George Washington University

7.1%

New York University

6.6%

University of Southern California

6.1%

University of Texas at Austin

5.3%

Florida State University

5.3%

Walden University

4.5%

DePaul University

4.5%

Ithaca College

4.2%

San Diego State University

4.2%

University of Iowa

4.2%

University of Maryland - University College

4.0%

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

4.0%

Temple University

4.0%

Pennsylvania State University

4.0%

Howard University

4.0%

Boston University

4.0%

University of Arizona

4.0%

University of New Mexico

4.0%

University of Alabama

3.7%
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Majors

Business

17.8%

English

11.3%

Public Administration

5.9%

Writing

5.9%

Education

5.5%

Psychology

5.1%

Communication

4.9%

Political Science

4.8%

Social Work

4.5%

Management

4.1%

Law

4.1%

Educational Leadership

3.9%

Accounting

3.3%

Elementary Education

3.0%

Sociology

3.0%

Journalism

3.0%

Public Health

2.7%

Public Relations

2.7%

Health Care Administration

2.5%

History

2.5%
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Degrees

Masters

40.7%

Bachelors

31.5%

Other

13.5%

Doctorate

8.2%

Certificate

3.7%

Associate

2.0%

Diploma

0.2%

License

0.2%
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Real Grant Writer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Technical Grant Writer The University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA Aug 09, 2010 $82,000
Technical Grant Writer The University of Southern California Washington, DC Aug 09, 2010 $82,000
Grant Writer Morgan State University Baltimore, MD Jul 01, 2013 $71,400
Grant Writer North Shore-LIJ Health System Manhasset, NY Aug 01, 2011 $70,000
Grants Writer Lincoln University Lincoln University, PA Nov 24, 2009 $65,000
Grant Writer Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center New York, NY Nov 16, 2015 $64,000
Technical Grant Writer The University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA Oct 01, 2014 $60,819
Technical Writer/Grant Writer Justice & Security Strategies, Inc. Miami Gardens, FL May 15, 2016 $60,000
Grants Writer Lincoln University Lincoln University, PA Nov 24, 2009 $60,000 -
$65,000
Grant Writer Owen Software Development Company Limited Rockville, MD Sep 16, 2014 $54,200
Grant Writer Bard College New York, NY Jan 09, 2016 $53,010
Grant Writer Old Dominion University Norfolk, VA Jul 10, 2013 $50,000
Grants Specialist, MSM Initiative The Foundation for Aids Research New York, NY Jul 02, 2016 $48,100
Grants Specialist, MSM Initiative The Foundation for Aids Research New York, NY Nov 18, 2015 $48,100
Grant Writer Americas Society, Inc. New York, NY Feb 15, 2013 $48,000
Senior Grant Writer Bethel World Outreach Church Robbinsdale, MN Aug 01, 2009 $43,000

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Top Skills for A Grant Writer

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  1. Proposals
  2. Financial Statements
  3. Non-Profit Organization
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Constructed and edited grant proposals to benefit six departments for a highly effective nonprofit organization serving New Jersey residents.
  • Submit all financial statements to the State of Alaska in Fairbanks.
  • Communicated the mission of non-profit organizations represented in order to cultivate new donors and maintain relationship with current sponsors.
  • Prospected grant opportunities for towns and agencies within the region, and provided technical support for their efforts in writing proposals.
  • Facilitated financial data entry for the Minnesota Cultural Data Project database profile.

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Top Grant Writer Employers

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Jobs From Top Grant Writer Employers

Grant Writer Videos

An Introduction to Grant Writing

Grant Writing Advice for Becoming A Grant Writer - Rebecca Tuttle of Grant Central USA

Writing Lessons : How to Become a Certified Grant Writer

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