Proposal Writers draft documents aimed at persuading the reader or recipient to either support a particular project or enter into a business agreement.
Proposal Writers specialize primarily in grant and business proposals. Grant proposals convince readers to invest, lend or donate to a project. Business proposals persuade recipients to buy a product or service or to enter into a business relationship. However, a wide variety of industries can — and do — rely on proposal writers’ services, including health care, film, finance, and sports.
A Proposal Writer must write factually and research thoroughly to convey accurate financial information persuasively. They need great organization and presentation skills to “sell” their ideas face-to-face.
Typical Duties and Responsibilities
- Attend kickoff meetings to determine project scope
- Help create project schedules and deadlines
- Conduct research
- Edit documents for accuracy and clarity
- Incorporate feedback and revisions
- Collaborate with Graphic Designers during layout
- Present proposals to potential investors and business partners
Education and Background
This position requires a bachelor’s degree in journalism, English, mass communications, or a related field.
Skills and Competencies
- Strong attention to detail
- Ability to adhere to brand voice, tone, and style guidelines
- Excellent organization and communication skills
- Solid background in Microsoft Word and Excel
- Strong interpersonal and presentation skills
- Ability to work on tight deadlines
According to Payscale the median annual salary of a Proposal Writer with
1 Year of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $40,000
- Tampa, Florida: $44,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $42,000
- Miami, Florida: $43,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $60,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $52,000
- Houston, Texas: $60,000
- Los Angeles, California: $53,000
- New York City, New York: $58,000
- Seattle, Washington: $60,000
- Overall: $53,000
5 Years of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $44,000
- Tampa, Florida: $48,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $46,000
- Miami, Florida: $49,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $65,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $61,000
- Houston, Texas: $69,000
- Los Angeles, California: $63,000
- New York City, New York: $70,000
- Seattle, Washington: $70,000
- Overall: $65,000
- Sales Proposal Writer
- Grant Writer
- Service Writer
Becoming a full-time Proposal Writer often begins by earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, English, mass communications, or a related field of study. Next, a candidate for this position is encouraged to earn certification with the Association of Record for Bid, Proposal, Business Development, Capture and Graphics Professionals (APMP).
Employers will want to see proven experience in proposal writing. Writing proposals as part of an internship, college coursework, or volunteer work for a nonprofit organization is a great way to assemble the portfolio required to fill these positions. Many Proposal Writers will work as freelancers to build their own client bases and strengthen their bona fides in their respective industries.
Private industries ebb and flow with the market, and federal agencies grow and shrink with their annual budgets. Strong research skills will remain crucial for Proposal Writers to become “instant experts” in the sector they’re currently working — and to be versatile enough to move between sectors when available funding funds dry up.
Speaking of versatility, learning cross-disciplinary skills will help Proposal Writers stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace. Working knowledge of graphic design and publishing platforms like Adobe InDesign can also improve Proposal Writers’ abilities to collaborate with their creative teams.
As with all professional writer roles, the competition to land a full-time Proposal Writer role is fierce. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of growth for Proposal Writers is projected to stay flat through 2028.
The work hours for a Proposal Writer are typically from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in an office setting. However, longer or different hours may, at times, be necessary.
Where You Can Find Jobs
- 4 Corner Resources
- Career Builder
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