Proposal Writer: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a proposal writer. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and salary expectations to find out if this is the career for you.

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A proposal writer is an individual who works with non-profits or businesses, creating documents that convince others to support a project or enter into business arrangements. They typically hold a bachelor's degree in a communications related subject, but will still need experience and aptitude to stand above in this competitive field.

Essential Information

A proposal writer creates written documents used to convince a reader to do something specific. In business proposals, the goal is to convince the recipient to enter into a business arrangement or buy services or products. Grant proposals convince a reader to lend, donate or invest money in a project. A proposal writer must be able to write in a detailed, factual and convincing manner. Most employers expect grant writers to hold bachelor's degrees. These may be in journalism or communications or in a technical field.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in journalism, communications or related field is common; proposal writers in technical fields may have degrees related to that field
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 2% for all types of writers and authors*
Median Salary (2016) $55,388**

Sources: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **PayScale.com

Proposal Writer Job Description

A proposal writer may work for businesses or non-profit organizations. A writer creates a proposal according to guidelines and bases it on factual information that provides the reader with necessary details to make a decision about future financial contributions or business commitments.

A proposal writer usually works in an office environment, using computers to conduct research and write. Travel may be required to conduct research and to meet with involved parties. Jobs may be found in almost any industry since proposals are used for many different purposes. Some writers may work as freelancers, hired as needed by businesses and organizations.

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Proposal Writer Duties

A proposal writer communicates in a professional and credible manner. Excellent research skills and the ability to write persuasively and articulately are essential. The main job duties involve researching, writing and organizing ideas. Additional duties may include conducting interviews, reviewing products or services, creating strategies, working with graphic designers and presenting proposals.

Proposal Writer Requirements

Most employers require a proposal writer to have a minimum of a bachelor's degree. Individuals with a bachelor's degree in journalism, communications, English or a related field are desired; however, if a writer is working in a highly technical area, a degree in that field may be preferred.

According to job ads from Monster.com in November 2014, employers prefer detail-oriented candidates with excellent interpersonal, computer and organizational skills. Some employers want candidates who can travel and work irregular hours. Most employers also require previous experience in proposal writing, which may be gained through internships, as part of college course projects and through volunteer opportunities with awareness groups, community programs and other non-profit organizations.

Proposal Writer Job Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted overall opportunities for writers to grow at 2 percent from 2014 to 2024, which is slower than in other professions. In January 2016, PayScale.com reported the median salary for proposal writers at $55,388. The median salary for all types of writers and authors was $60,250 in 2015, according to the BLS.

Proposal writers work for non-profit organizations and businesses to create documents meant to outline objectives and convince intended readers. They may write grant applications or business proposals that need to be thorough, clearly written and articulate. This is a slow growing job market, at an expected rate of only 2 percent for the 2014-2024 decade.

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