Be a Proposal Coordinator: Education and Career Roadmap

Research the requirements to become a proposal coordinator. Learn about the job description and duties, and explain the step-by-step process to start a career in proposal coordination. View article »

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Become a Proposal Coordinator

Proposal coordinators create, edit and oversee proposals for businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies. They also might develop and conduct strategic planning and marketing presentations. Travel and overtime work might be required.

Degree Level Bachelor's degree is standard
Degree Fields Marketing, business, communications or English
Certification Certification is not required, but employers often state that accreditation from the Association of Proposal Management Professionals is a plus
Experience 3-6 years of experience
Key Skills In-depth knowledge of the proposal development process, strong written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills, able to work around deadlines, Microsoft Office, database, presentation design, and graphics programs
Salary (2016) $49,586 yearly (median salary for proposal coordinators)

Sources: PayScale.com

Let's look at the steps involved to become a proposal coordinator.

Earn a Bachelor's Degree

Employers tend to prefer proposal coordinators who hold a bachelor's degree in marketing, business, corporate communications, or English. These majors typically include courses that help build a foundation for excellent writing and some even offer elective courses specifically in proposal writing. Corporate communications programs might include courses in composing marketing materials and business documents, which also would be useful for aspiring proposal coordinators.

Success Tips

  • Master the widely used presentation software programs. Employers look for individuals who have expertise in creating compelling marketing materials and presentations by using the popular graphics and presentation software programs.
  • Take a project management class. Proposal coordinators should be knowledgeable about project life cycles. Taking classes in project management can help prospective proposal coordinators learn how various project management computer programs work and the part they play in the planning, designing, and finishing stages of the projects.

Obtain an Entry-Level Job

Most employers prefer candidates who have a minimum of three years of experience. To acquire this experience, future proposal coordinators may find entry-level work as proposal writers, technical writers, or marketing and communications specialists.

Success Tip

  • Strive to build leadership and communications skills. Joining groups, such as Toastmasters, can boost one's confidence in public speaking. Employers prefer candidates who are comfortable and confident in making presentations.

Join a Professional Group

Proposal coordinators can communicate with other professionals in the field, learn about professional opportunities, and gain insight from other proposal coordinators through participating in a professional organization, such as the Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP). APMP hold local meetings and national conferences with networking opportunities.

Success Tip

  • Earn professional certification. While certification is optional, it can demonstrate to employers a professional's dedication to the proposal business. APMP offers three levels of accreditation credentials for proposal professionals. All levels require a minimum amount of experience and a professional assessment, which could be an exam, an interview or a presentation, depending on the level of accreditation. Continuing education is required to maintain certification.

Remember, to become a proposal coordinator, you need to earn a bachelor's degree in marketing, corporate communications, or a related field, and gain entry-level experience. Joining a professional group and earning voluntary certification could boost your chances for success.

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