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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

  • $82,350

    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
Business Development Manager Marketing Consultant Marketing Manager
Associate Director, Marketing
8 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Management Consultant Product Manager
Brand Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Marketing Specialist Brand Manager Creative Director
Brand Strategist
5 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Proposal Analyst Marketing Manager Social Media Manager
Content Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Instructor Writer And Editor Communications Manager
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Marketing Consultant
Marketing Communications Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Communications Specialist Communications Manager Marketing Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Communications Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Proposal Analyst Proposal Manager Marketing Consultant
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Communications Specialist Project Manager Program Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Instructor Instructor Account Manager
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Technical Writer Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Marketing Specialist Marketing Manager Business Developer
Proposal Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Product Manager Sales Manager
Senior Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Technical Writer Business Analyst Senior Consultant
Senior Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Adjunct Professor Senior Project Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Proposal Manager Program Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Proposal Manager
Senior Proposal Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Business Development Manager Senior Manager Director Of Strategy
Vice President, Strategy
13 Yearsyrs
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Proposal Writer Demographics

Gender

Female

60.5%

Male

37.8%

Unknown

1.7%
Ethnicity

White

81.4%

Hispanic or Latino

8.1%

Asian

7.8%

Unknown

1.9%

Black or African American

0.8%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

40.6%

French

17.7%

Mandarin

5.2%

Arabic

5.2%

Portuguese

4.2%

Chinese

4.2%

Russian

3.1%

Italian

3.1%

Hindi

2.1%

Tagalog

2.1%

German

2.1%

Japanese

2.1%

Swahili

1.0%

Vietnamese

1.0%

Cherokee

1.0%

Romanian

1.0%

Korean

1.0%

Wolof

1.0%

Norwegian

1.0%

Chickasaw

1.0%
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Proposal Writer Education

Schools

George Washington University

10.4%

George Mason University

7.9%

University of Maryland - College Park

6.1%

Arizona State University

5.5%

University of Phoenix

5.5%

Strayer University

5.5%

University of Alabama

4.9%

New York University

4.9%

Virginia Commonwealth University

4.9%

Georgia State University

4.9%

Howard University

4.9%

Georgetown University

4.3%

Regis University

4.3%

University of Denver

4.3%

Syracuse University

3.7%

Auburn University

3.7%

Temple University

3.7%

James Madison University

3.7%

University of Connecticut

3.7%

University of Iowa

3.7%
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Majors

English

21.9%

Business

14.0%

Writing

9.4%

Communication

8.7%

Journalism

7.6%

Political Science

6.5%

Public Relations

4.9%

Psychology

3.2%

Marketing

3.2%

Management

2.7%

History

2.2%

Law

2.1%

Education

2.0%

Liberal Arts

2.0%

Economics

1.8%

Business Communications

1.8%

Fine Arts

1.5%

Computer Science

1.5%

Project Management

1.4%

Public Administration

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

46.0%

Masters

32.1%

Other

11.4%

Certificate

4.6%

Doctorate

3.9%

Associate

2.0%

Diploma

0.1%
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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

SubjectMatterExpertsRfp/RfiBusinessDevelopmentSmesPastPerformanceRfqsProposalDevelopmentProcessProposalResponsesSharepointPowerpointProceduresProjectManagementProposalContentWebComplianceMatricesFederalGovernmentTechnicalProposalsBusinessProposalsProposalDocumentsProposalProduction

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Top Proposal Writer Skills

  1. Subject Matter Experts
  2. Rfp/Rfi
  3. Business Development
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.
  • Served as chief writer, editor, and proofreader for RFP/RFI/LOI.
  • Assist marketing and business development team to determine organizational win themes, branding messaging and communicating value proposition.
  • Research new opportunities and meet with actuaries and SMEs to determine feasibility of pursuing opportunity.
  • TRIPLE CANOPY - Project Crimson Talon (US Government) Wrote subcontractor qualifications and past performance components of services proposal.

Top Proposal Writer Employers

Proposal Writer Videos

Project Proposal Writing: How To Write A Winning Project Proposal

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