Proposal Writer Jobs: Salary and Career Facts

Research what it takes to become a proposal writer. Learn about the job duties, educational requirements, job outlook and salary to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering English Reading & Writing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Proposal Writer?

Proposal writers create and deliver business proposals on behalf of a company or organization. They incorporate research, financial assessment, organization and writing skills to obtain business or funding for their employers. They also relay the capabilities of their company or organization in achieving targets and meeting needs that may be set for the approval of a proposal.

The following chart provides an overview of what you need to know about entering this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study English, communication, technical writing, editing
Key Responsibilities Research information, assess financial needs, maintain timelines
Job Growth (2014-2024) 2%* (writers); 10%* (technical writers)
Median Salary $54,043** (proposal writers, 2016); $70,240* (technical writers, 2015)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics **PayScale.com

What Types of Educational Programs Are Available for Proposal Writers?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Most writers - including freelance and technical writers - have a bachelor's degree (www.bls.gov). As an aspiring proposal or grant writer, you might consider pursuing a bachelor's degree in communications or English. In these programs, you could learn how to harness the power of prose through courses in creative writing, written communication, mass media reporting and advanced editing.

If you already have a bachelor's degree in an unrelated field, you might want to earn a certificate in proposal writing. Certificate programs generally consist of a series of courses designed to familiarize you with every step of the proposal writing process. You'll study how to find funding sources, design a budget and manage a proposal project. Completion of an internship may be required in order to earn your certificate.

What Will My Job Duties Be?

You might assess an organization's financial needs, collect the data required to submit a proposal and ensure that proposal deadlines are met. According to job postings found on Careerbuilder.com in April 2011, grant writers may also be responsible for locating funding opportunities offered by government agencies and private foundations, meeting with local community members and editing completed proposals. Some writers work as part of a fundraising team; you might supervise administrative support staff or proposal writing assistants.

What Could I Expect to Earn?

According to PayScale.com, the median annual salary for proposal writers was $54,043 as of October 2016. Most employers prefer to hire applicants who have several years of proposal writing experience. Your exact salary range will depend on a number of factors, including type of industry, years of experience and geographic location. Proposal writers who deal with highly technical fields, such as bioengineering or genetic research, may command a higher salary than those working in non-technical fields. The BLS lists the 2015 median annual wage for technical writers at $70,240.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Prospective proposal writers might consider working as authors or other types of writers for various media such as publications, film, radio, television or online sites. Another option is to pursue a career as a public relations specialist. Being a public relations specialist offers greater opportunities to promote an organization or individual and help create a positive image for the client through media releases. Either career option requires a bachelor's degree and good communication skills, both oral and written.

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