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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

  • $82,350

    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
Case Manager Program Manager General Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Human Resources Coordinator Business Analyst
Assistant Vice President
7 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Communications Manager
Communications Director
7 Yearsyrs
Proposal Writer Communications Specialist Marketing Communications Manager
Content Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Instructor Assistant Professor Program Director
Development Director
9 Yearsyrs
Grant Coordinator Program Manager Marketing Manager
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Grant Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Grants Administrator Grant Manager
Grants Director
9 Yearsyrs
Grants Administrator Project Manager Product Manager
Marketing Communications Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Adjunct Professor Senior Project Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Faculty Assistant Professor Project Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Grant Coordinator Project Manager Marketing Consultant
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Grant Manager Development Director Business Developer
Marketing/Business Development
8 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Professor Senior Project Manager Program Director
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Faculty Chief Executive Officer Specialist
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Professor Faculty Chairperson
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Board Member Owner Facilities Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Chief Executive Officer Management Consultant Product Manager
Senior Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Instructor Instructor Program Manager
Senior Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Chief Executive Officer Property Manager Communications Director
Vice President Of Communication
5 Yearsyrs
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Grant Writer Demographics

Gender

Female

70.6%

Male

27.0%

Unknown

2.3%
Ethnicity

White

82.5%

Hispanic or Latino

8.4%

Asian

6.8%

Unknown

1.8%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

46.0%

French

17.0%

Italian

5.1%

German

5.1%

Portuguese

3.9%

Arabic

3.6%

Mandarin

2.1%

Korean

2.1%

Russian

2.1%

Hindi

1.8%

Hebrew

1.8%

Japanese

1.8%

Thai

1.5%

Chinese

1.5%

Dutch

1.2%

Urdu

1.2%

Swahili

0.6%

Romanian

0.6%

Norwegian

0.6%

Dari

0.6%
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Grant Writer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

12.3%

George Washington University

7.4%

New York University

6.4%

University of Southern California

5.9%

University of Texas at Austin

5.9%

Florida State University

5.7%

Walden University

5.2%

DePaul University

4.9%

Temple University

4.7%

Ithaca College

4.0%

University of North Texas

4.0%

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

4.0%

Arizona State University

4.0%

Pennsylvania State University

4.0%

Michigan State University

3.7%

Virginia Commonwealth University

3.7%

University of Iowa

3.7%

San Diego State University

3.7%

University of Maryland - University College

3.5%

Capella University

3.5%
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Majors

Business

18.2%

English

10.7%

Public Administration

5.9%

Writing

5.9%

Education

5.7%

Psychology

5.2%

Communication

5.0%

Social Work

4.8%

Political Science

4.5%

Law

4.1%

Educational Leadership

4.1%

Management

3.9%

Accounting

3.1%

Elementary Education

3.0%

Public Health

2.8%

Sociology

2.8%

History

2.8%

Public Relations

2.6%

Journalism

2.6%

Health Care Administration

2.2%
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Degrees

Masters

40.3%

Bachelors

31.4%

Other

13.5%

Doctorate

8.4%

Certificate

4.0%

Associate

2.0%

Diploma

0.3%

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

ProposalDevelopmentFinancialReportsNon-ProfitOrganizationTechnicalAssistanceDataEntryCommunityOutreachCurriculumAdditionalResourceEmergencyInitiativeRFPProgramDevelopmentCommunityDevelopmentEnsureComplianceNIHAnnualReportInvestigatorsPressReleasesCustomerService

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Top Grant Writer Skills

  1. Proposal Development
  2. Financial Reports
  3. Non-Profit Organization
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided instruction on various aspects of research administration, including proposal development, administration, compliance, and research integrity.
  • Prepared quarterly federal financial reports developed and monitored monthly program budget allocations and budget justification.
  • Communicated the mission of non-profit organizations represented in order to cultivate new donors and maintain relationship with current sponsors.
  • Provided technical assistance on grant proposal writing to Program Managers.
  • Facilitated financial data entry for the Minnesota Cultural Data Project database profile.

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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