Whether you're just starting out as a proposal writer or have experience under your belt, you want to land a job that pays an impressive proposal writer salary. According to popular salary reporting platforms Glassdoor, the proposal writer's salary lies between the $37,000 and $151,000 range.
Although it's normal to accept lower-paying jobs earlier in your career path, as you build experience, you'll seek job opportunities with a higher base salary.
Remember that a good proposal writer is harder to find than regular writers, and employers are ready to pay more for writers whose skills match the company's requirements. In addition, since a proposal writer writes formal business proposals for potential clients, the proposals need to be perfect if a company wants to get the client.
This article goes over how much a proposal writer makes and how the average salary correlates to your skills. Let's start.
Average Proposal Writer Salary
Besides the job position, people forget how much the job location impacts the average salary—a proposal writer working in San Francisco has a different average base salary than a writer in New York City.
Although you might not have the option to work in a city with better salary opportunities, it's good to keep the differences in mind.
Furthermore, since different job websites have different salary resources from which they gather compensation data, you'll find different results. As such, it's important to check different sources to get the best overview of salary ranges.
Glassdoor is a popular job and recruiting website where you can find information on almost any job position in the U.S. Besides relying on the user-salary report, Glassdoor also leverages different algorithms when determining average salaries.
According to Glassdoor, the average proposal writer's salary is $73,105. However, since the base salary range can differ, Glassdoor lets you get a deeper look by filtering out company size, location, and position seniority.
Indeed is another popular job website. According to Indeed, the national average total for proposal writers is $68,265.
Additionally, salaries range from $12,757 to staggering $340,335. It is a great showcase of how different proposal writer salaries can be. The career journey can be long and cumbersome, but the higher you climb and the better your job title is, the higher your cash compensation gets.
Finally, a third website worth mentioning is Payscale. According to their data, the average salary for proposal writers in the United States is $60,641.
Payscale's average salary estimate is lower than the previous two websites. Since the way websites report data, the reasons for different national average salaries can be company types, cities, and job positions.
For beginner proposal writers, as starting career advice, it's better to search for companies that help you grow rather than aiming for ones that pay well. Although total compensation is essential, struggling to land a well-paid job can be discouraging.
Career Outlook for a Proposal Writer
After gaining some necessary professional experience, an individual can progress to a proposal manager position. After handling more crucial responsibilities, they can go forward to a senior proposal manager role. Alternatively, they can become a proposal coordinator or a project manager within the organization.
The average compensations for more senior positions on the technical writer career path (as per PayScale and reported in March 2022) are given below:
A proposal manager oversees a team of proposal writers and guides their output. Since it is a more senior role and involves managerial duties, the average pay annual pay for the part is $79,145. Additionally, the role can receive extra compensation like bonuses, commissions, and profit-sharing.
Senior Proposal Manager
This role is a much more senior position and involves project management and business development duties too. Therefore, it requires more than eight years of experience in the field. Additionally, it receives a significantly higher average annual pay of $99,736, and more experienced senior proposal managers can get up to $111,000.
You need to have the necessary skills and knowledge to rise through the ranks on the proposal writer career path. If you are interested in becoming a more competent proposal writer and achieving a higher compensation, check out our certification at TechnicalWriterHQ.
Top Paying Cities for Proposal Writers
As per ZipRecruiter, the cities with the top-paying proposal writing positions, categorized by location in the U.S., are given below.
U.S. West Coast
- Los Angeles: $66,777
U.S. Midwest/Rocky Mountains
- Chicago: $69,098
U.S. East Coast
- Reston: $71,911
- Arlington: $67,499
- Tampa: $62,729
- Dallas: $67,535
Education Level for Proposal Writer Role
The proposal writing position is vital for the organization since communication skills play an essential role in attracting and securing support. Therefore, organizations prefer to hire individuals with the ideal qualifications for a proposal writing role.
A proposal writer should have a Bachelor's in business or a related field. They can focus on a specialty and gain skills in that area of focus to land a more well-suited role.
Since certifications help proposal writers showcase their writing skills and business aptitude, you should pursue them to get a well-paying position. Some prominent ones are mentioned below:
- TechnicalWriterHQ: It offers a dedicated proposal writing course that goes through all the fundamentals and prepares you for professional opportunities.
- Candid Learning: It offers an entry-level proposal writing certification with hands-on exercises.
Proposal Writer Salary Across Top Companies
As per Glassdoor, here is what the annual average proposal writer salary looks like in some of the top firms across different industries.
- U.S. Bank: $59,212
- J.P. Morgan: $89,130
- PwC: $86,468
- Deloitte: $115,290
- IBM: $65,000
Besides your capabilities, proposal writer salaries depend primarily on your company, industry, and city. To successfully negotiate better pay opportunities, focus on creating a robust portfolio through work and getting the proper certifications.
You won't become a great proposal writer in a day, but as long as you're persistent, you can open the doors to a great career.
The industry is constantly evolving, and in reality, growing as a writer never ends. Average salaries change over the years along with the requirements and responsibilities a writer might have. So staying on top of the latest trends is another way to ensure career wins.
If you are new to proposal writing and are looking to break-in, we recommend taking our Proposal Writing Certification Course, where you will learn the fundamentals of being a proposal writer and how to write winning proposals.
Josh is the founder of Technical Writer HQ and Squibler, a writing software. He had his first job in technical writing for a video editing software company in 2014. Since then, he has written several books on software documentation, personal branding, and computer hacking. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.