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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

  • $73,000

    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 Career Paths

Grant Writer
Consultant Project Manager
Project Director
8 Yearsyrs
Consultant General Manager President
Board Of Directors Member
8 Yearsyrs
Consultant Owner Marketing Director
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Vice President Marketing Vice President
Chief Marketing Officer
10 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Project Manager Purchasing Manager
Contracts Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Project Manager Product Manager
Brand Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Director
Administrative Director
8 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Owner Marketing Director
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
6 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Director Development Director
Director Of Advancement
11 Yearsyrs
Owner Owner/Manager Property Manager
Assistant Director, Communications
5 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Instructor Manager Business Development Manager
Proposal Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Writer Proposal Writer Proposal Manager
Senior Proposal Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Instructor Principal Communications Director
Community Development Director
9 Yearsyrs
Grant Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Professor Marketing Manager Marketing Communications Manager
Content Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Writer Content Manager
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Supervisor Shipping Supervisor Traffic Manager
Freelance Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Writer Senior Technical Writer Content Manager
Content Director
7 Yearsyrs
Proposal Writer Senior Technical Writer Content Manager
Digital Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Author Content Writer Staff Writer
Public Information Officer
6 Yearsyrs
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Grant Writer Demographics

Gender

Female

63.6%

Male

26.8%

Unknown

9.7%
Ethnicity

White

63.3%

Hispanic or Latino

13.5%

Black or African American

12.2%

Asian

6.9%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

46.2%

French

17.6%

German

5.3%

Italian

4.4%

Arabic

4.0%

Mandarin

3.3%

Portuguese

3.3%

Chinese

2.2%

Korean

2.0%

Russian

2.0%

Japanese

2.0%

Hebrew

1.5%

Hindi

1.3%

Urdu

1.1%

Romanian

0.9%

Dutch

0.9%

Swahili

0.7%

Thai

0.7%

Swedish

0.4%

Dari

0.4%
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Grant Writer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

14.2%

George Washington University

6.6%

New York University

6.3%

University of Southern California

6.3%

University of Washington

5.6%

Florida State University

5.4%

Walden University

4.9%

University of Texas at Austin

4.8%

Columbia University

4.3%

University of Maryland - University College

4.0%

Arizona State University

4.0%

Temple University

3.9%

Boston University

3.9%

Michigan State University

3.7%

University of California - Los Angeles

3.7%

Pennsylvania State University

3.7%

Howard University

3.7%

DePaul University

3.7%

Portland State University

3.6%

University of Missouri - Columbia

3.6%
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Majors

Business

19.4%

English

10.7%

Writing

5.6%

Public Administration

5.4%

Psychology

5.3%

Education

5.1%

Political Science

4.8%

Social Work

4.6%

Communication

4.5%

Law

4.2%

Management

4.1%

Accounting

3.5%

Educational Leadership

3.5%

Sociology

3.1%

Elementary Education

3.0%

Public Relations

2.9%

Journalism

2.7%

Public Health

2.6%

Health Care Administration

2.5%

Fine Arts

2.4%
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Degrees

Masters

40.0%

Bachelors

32.4%

Other

12.7%

Doctorate

8.0%

Certificate

4.0%

Associate

2.4%

Diploma

0.4%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$73,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$41,000
Min 10%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$132,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Neighborcare Health
Highest Paying City
Anchorage, AK
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
2.5 years
How much does a Grant Writer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Grant Writer in the United States is $73,816 per year or $35 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $41,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $132,000.

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

  1. Proposal Preparation
  2. Financial Statements
  3. Non-Profit Organization
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Educated faculty, staff, and students in proposal preparation and spending of grant funds (OMB circulars).
  • Provided expertise in Federal grants and contract administration, reviewed nonprofit financial statements.
  • 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.
  • Attended community outreach meetings to gather and disseminated pertinent city information.

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Top 10 Best States for Grant Writers

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Washington
  3. California
  4. Virginia
  5. District of Columbia
  6. North Carolina
  7. New Jersey
  8. Maryland
  9. Connecticut
  10. Colorado
  • (252 jobs)
  • (129 jobs)
  • (595 jobs)
  • (319 jobs)
  • (110 jobs)
  • (145 jobs)
  • (110 jobs)
  • (195 jobs)
  • (40 jobs)
  • (76 jobs)

Top Grant Writer Employers

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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