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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

  • $68,000

    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 Career Paths

Proposal Writer
Proposal Manager Program Manager Marketing Manager
Marketing Communications Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Proposal Manager Program Manager Product Manager
Senior Manager Of Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Proposal Manager Program Manager
Deputy Program Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Technical Writer Project Manager Marketing Director
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Technical Writer Senior Project Manager Marketing Director
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Technical Writer Senior Project Manager Development Director
Director Of Advancement
11 Yearsyrs
Proposal Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Marketing Manager Marketing Communications Manager
Manager Of Corporate Communications
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Owner Communications Director
Community Development Director
9 Yearsyrs
Marketing Manager Marketing Communications Manager
Content Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Business Development Manager Realtor Portfolio Manager
Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Writer Senior Editor Content Manager
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Writer Content Strategist Content Manager
Senior Content Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Writer Communications Manager Social Media Manager
Content Director
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Editor Managing Editor
Publications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Technical Editor Technical Writer Content Manager
Digital Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Proposal Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Instructor Development Specialist Grant Writer
Grant Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Document Specialist Logistics Coordinator Traffic Manager
Freelance Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Document Manager Document Control Manager Information Manager
Knowledge Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Proposal Writer?

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Do you work as a Proposal Writer?

Proposal Writer Demographics

Gender

Female

56.5%

Male

35.2%

Unknown

8.3%
Ethnicity

White

61.6%

Black or African American

13.4%

Hispanic or Latino

13.2%

Asian

7.9%

Unknown

3.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

43.7%

French

17.6%

Mandarin

5.9%

Chinese

5.0%

Russian

3.4%

German

3.4%

Arabic

3.4%

Italian

2.5%

Portuguese

2.5%

Japanese

2.5%

Hindi

1.7%

Tagalog

1.7%

Swahili

0.8%

Estonian

0.8%

Vietnamese

0.8%

Cherokee

0.8%

Romanian

0.8%

Korean

0.8%

Wolof

0.8%

Norwegian

0.8%
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Proposal Writer Education

Schools

George Mason University

13.2%

George Washington University

8.1%

New York University

7.3%

University of Phoenix

6.6%

University of Maryland - College Park

6.2%

Towson University

5.1%

Georgetown University

4.8%

Howard University

4.8%

University of North Texas

4.0%

Arizona State University

4.0%

Virginia Commonwealth University

4.0%

Georgia State University

4.0%

James Madison University

4.0%

Strayer University

3.7%

University of Virginia

3.7%

University of Alabama

3.3%

San Francisco State University

3.3%

University of Maryland - University College

3.3%

University of Utah

3.3%

University of Central Florida

3.3%
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Majors

English

22.4%

Business

14.0%

Communication

9.6%

Writing

8.7%

Journalism

7.8%

Political Science

5.5%

Marketing

4.3%

Public Relations

3.9%

History

3.1%

Management

2.8%

Psychology

2.6%

Education

2.2%

Law

2.1%

Project Management

1.9%

Public Administration

1.7%

Liberal Arts

1.7%

Fine Arts

1.6%

Economics

1.4%

Counseling Psychology

1.4%

Finance

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

48.8%

Masters

30.6%

Other

10.1%

Certificate

4.2%

Doctorate

3.7%

Associate

2.5%

License

0.1%

Diploma

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$68,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$44,000
Min 10%
$68,000
Median 50%
$68,000
Median 50%
$68,000
Median 50%
$68,000
Median 50%
$68,000
Median 50%
$68,000
Median 50%
$68,000
Median 50%
$105,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
AT&T
Highest Paying City
Anchorage, AK
Highest Paying State
Massachusetts
Avg Experience Level
2.4 years
How much does a Proposal Writer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Proposal Writer in the United States is $68,440 per year or $33 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $44,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $105,000.

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

  1. RFP
  2. Proposal Preparation
  3. Matter Expert
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Monitor RFP requirements for common requests and report potential functionality gaps to product management.
  • Managed proposal preparation from start-to-finish* Coordinated corporate resume update program* Wrote articles for corporate newsletter
  • Produce technical sales proposals for Maestro Learning Management System by establishing databases and collaborating with team members and subject matter experts.
  • Produced and coordinated new business development communications, as well as employee communication materials for Watson Wyatt's Minnesota clients.
  • Develop effective RFP and RFI Response Templates for different industries and solutions to speed up the proposal development process.

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