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Become A Proposal Writer

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Working As A Proposal 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

  • $68,824

    Average Salary

What Does A Proposal 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 Proposal 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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Proposal Writer Jobs

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Proposal Writer Career Paths

Proposal Writer
Writer And Editor Marketing Specialist Marketing Director
Brand Director
11 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Business Development Manager Proposal Manager
Capture Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Writer Managing Editor
Content Director
7 Yearsyrs
Communications Specialist Writer And Editor
Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Proposal Analyst Proposal Manager Marketing Communications Manager
Content Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Product Manager Purchasing Manager
Contracts Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Technical Writer Business Analyst Program Manager
Deputy Program Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Document Specialist Technical Writer Content Manager
Digital Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Communications Manager Marketing Director
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Technical Writer Senior Project Manager Marketing Director
Director Of Marketing & Development
9 Yearsyrs
Communications Specialist Public Relations Manager Public Relations Director
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Writer Senior Editor Senior Technical Writer
Knowledge Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Proposal Manager Program Manager Marketing Manager
Marketing Communications Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Marketing Manager Social Media Manager
Marketing/Social Media Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Business Development Manager
Proposal Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Instructor Training Specialist Senior Technical Writer
Publications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Instructor Writer And Editor Content Manager
Senior Content Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Proposal Manager
Senior Proposal Manager
14 Yearsyrs
Communications Manager Social Media Strategist Social Media Manager
Strategist
7 Yearsyrs
Communications Manager Content Manager
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Proposal Writer?

Proposal Writer Demographics

Gender

Female

59.6%

Male

38.8%

Unknown

1.6%
Ethnicity

White

61.5%

Hispanic or Latino

13.3%

Black or African American

13.1%

Asian

8.3%

Unknown

3.9%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

43.9%

French

15.3%

Mandarin

6.1%

Chinese

5.1%

Russian

4.1%

Arabic

4.1%

Portuguese

3.1%

Japanese

3.1%

Hindi

2.0%

Tagalog

2.0%

German

2.0%

Swahili

1.0%

Estonian

1.0%

Vietnamese

1.0%

Cherokee

1.0%

Romanian

1.0%

Korean

1.0%

Wolof

1.0%

Norwegian

1.0%

Hausa

1.0%
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Proposal Writer Education

Schools

George Mason University

10.2%

George Washington University

8.0%

Arizona State University

6.3%

New York University

5.7%

University of Phoenix

5.7%

University of North Texas

5.1%

University of Maryland - College Park

5.1%

Towson University

5.1%

University of Alabama

4.5%

Virginia Commonwealth University

4.5%

Howard University

4.5%

Strayer University

4.5%

Temple University

4.0%

Georgetown University

4.0%

Georgia State University

4.0%

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

4.0%

University of Iowa

4.0%

University of Denver

4.0%

Auburn University

3.4%

San Francisco State University

3.4%
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Majors

English

22.4%

Business

13.3%

Writing

9.7%

Communication

8.9%

Journalism

7.5%

Political Science

6.6%

Public Relations

4.9%

Marketing

3.6%

Psychology

3.2%

Management

2.9%

History

2.2%

Liberal Arts

2.0%

Education

1.8%

Economics

1.8%

Law

1.8%

Public Administration

1.6%

Business Communications

1.6%

Fine Arts

1.4%

Project Management

1.4%

Computer Science

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

46.9%

Masters

31.9%

Other

10.9%

Certificate

4.4%

Doctorate

3.7%

Associate

2.0%

Diploma

0.2%
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Real Proposal Writer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Proposal Writer Jones Lang Lasalle Americas, Inc. New York, NY Nov 15, 2010 $90,000 -
$115,000
Proposal Writer Crowley Enterprises Chevy Chase, MD Dec 01, 2009 $88,301
Proposal Writer/Manager A P Ventures, LLC Columbia, MD Feb 22, 2016 $68,000
Proposal Writer HGS USA LLC Warrenville, IL Aug 01, 2015 $51,106 -
$62,762
Proposal Writer Concert Tech Corporation Sterling, VA Oct 01, 2011 $48,000
Proposal Writer American Infotech Solutions, Inc. Reston, VA Jan 01, 2012 $46,987
Proposal Writer/Editor Outline Systems, Inc. Somerset, NJ Nov 04, 2013 $36,000
Proposal Writer/Editor 22Nd Century Technologies, Inc. Somerset, NJ Nov 18, 2013 $36,000

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Top Skills for A Proposal Writer

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  1. Matter Expert
  2. Proposals
  3. RFP
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Cultivated productive relationships with subject matter experts, sales representatives and underwriters in challenging circumstances.
  • Lead technical writer for numerous intelligence training proposals that included top-to-bottom course outline, development, and resource planning
  • Liaised with Department of General Services (DGS) to build the evaluation and scoring portion of the RFP.
  • Determined RFP/RFI concept by identifying and clarifying customer opportunities and needs.
  • Provided communications expertise for these proposals and interviewed SMEs.

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