In the world of technical writing, you'll find a lot of different writing formats and techniques. All of them require a specific set of knowledge points that earn them a bigger salary than typical writers. Some technical writers function as specialized grant writers, which is why the average grant writer salary is usually higher.
Grant writers are a special breed because they require complete knowledge of the subject matter, and they need to master a certain format. That’s because grant proposals and grant applications need to be written and formatted in a very specific way to be accepted.
In this article, we’ll go over the average grant writer salary, along with some FAQs on their duties, responsibilities, and career paths.
Let’s dive right in.
What is the Average Grant Writer Salary in the United States?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average technical writer salary is around $72,850 in the United States. As per the BLS database, there are currently over 50,000 technical writer jobs in the US, with over 5,000 being grant writer jobs.
The grant writer position is a full-time commitment in most cases.
However, some organizations tend to get grant writers on a contractual basis. You can also find plenty of grant writers on freelance websites although it’s pretty hard to find one who knows what they’re doing.
Furthermore, each industry has different regulations for grants. This means that a grant writer would be better off writing grant proposals and applications for any one industry.
The grant writer position is categorized under the technical writer job description in most cases.
The highest-earning industries for such writers are healthcare, computer science, and management services.
Grant writers working in STEM-related companies and healthcare organizations tend to earn more due to an increased need for complex knowledge.
That said, it’s best to look at a few other sources to understand how much a grant writer makes, according to individual salary reports.
According to Glassdoor, the national average base salary for grant writers is $51,395. The average salary range is between $33,000 and $81,000, with the higher-end pay on offer in cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, and New York City.
Glassdoor is a well-known website for finding various salary estimates, reviews, and more.
Any employee can upload and add anonymous annual salary reports, as well as enter benefits information, cost of living estimates, employer reviews, and total compensation values.
Other than that, you can check various salary estimates on the site by adding more filters. You can make more precise searches with the following filters.
- Choose your industry or the industry you want salary estimates for.
- Enter the approximate size of your company based on the total number of employees.
- Enter the combined years of experience in the position.
Adding the filters listed above will help make your search better and more accurate. That will help you get a better estimate of the grant writer salary according to your parameters.
Glassdoor’s data is calculated using the individual salary reports submitted by people, by companies, and their own research.
You can also look at the salaries of related jobs, such as a proposal writer, medical writer, and more.
Glassdoor practically offers one of the best estimates and most detailed information on the grant writer's salary.
According to Indeed, the average salary for a grant writer in the United States is $43,031. Other than that, grant writers get additional cash bonuses and monetary compensation in some cases. However, that usually depends on the company and industry.
The site also shows you the most common employee benefits you can get while working as a grant writer.
Some of the common benefits include a 403b, dental insurance, employee assistance programs, work-from-home privileges, and flexible scheduling.
Furthermore, Indeed shows you what cities offer the best grant writer salaries. The highest-paying cities in the US for grant writers include Sacramento, New York City, Omaha, Phoenix, and San Francisco.
Indeed is one of the most renowned job-search engines in the world. It’s also a great place to find proper salary estimates as thousands of ads are posted on the site every single day.
Most importantly, you can set up customized job alerts based on specific salary estimates. As a result, you’ll only get job alerts for grant writer jobs with a certain salary and above.
According to PayScale, the median salary for grant writers in the US is $49,044. That brings the average hourly rate to around $24.53. The average salary range is between $37,000 and $69,000.
Other than that, grant writers can earn up to $4,000 in bonuses, $20,000 in profit-sharing, and $11,000 in commissions.
PayScale is a website that’s dedicated to providing a holistic view of salary data, estimates, total compensation, and information on employee benefits.
You can also find gender-based pay estimates, cost of living estimates, and other pay-related information.
Furthermore, PayScale shows you what states offer the most pay to grant writers. According to successful grant writers, proposal writers, and organizations, New York and California are the highest-paying states. Other than that, the highest-paying cities include New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco.
The grant writer salary mainly depends on the organization and industry.
For example, nonprofit organizations would pay relatively less because they would be looking to get funders through fundraisers. While fundraising can be successful, grant writers don't get paid much initially.
That’s why professional grant writers and grant writing businesses mostly focus on one industry. They develop personal benchmarks to become better and then focus on getting more technical knowledge and experience.
As a result, just like a technical writer, a grant writer can negotiate for a better salary.
Since becoming an expert grant writer takes time, effort, and learning, it’s best to develop a habit of keeping up to date with your industry’s rules, formats, and regulations.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who is a grant writer, and what do they do?
To understand this, you need to understand what a technical writer is. Technical writers tend to translate complex concepts and knowledge into easy-to-understand bits. Grant writers are a category of technical writers, in that they focus on writing grant proposals, grant applications, and more. Typically, grant writers complete grant applications for organizations and their teams. To do that, they research potential grants and the organization in question, collect relevant data, and then write/format the proposal.
What are the typical duties and responsibilities of a grant writer?
According to the job title, grant writers have a fairly simple and straightforward job. When they get a job, they first research potential grants. They also research the organization that hired them and collect relevant information. Using all that data, they write a proposal and format it accordingly. After that, they proofread the proposal and make any relevant edits before submitting it. All writers need to be available to answer potential questions from funders.
What’s the roadmap to becoming a grant writer?
Ideally, you would start by getting a high school diploma, GED, and a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field. After that, get some experience in content writing or technical writing to build up your experience. Meanwhile, you can try getting some online certifications to help you become a better writer. Lastly, develop a strong portfolio that shows the grants you’ve worked on.
What’s the best way to get a grant writer salary estimate?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers the largest median numbers, but they mix up various subcategories. Your best bet is to use Glassdoor, Indeed, and PayScale. If you want more options, you can check out Salary.com and ZipRecruiter.
How do you become a better grant writer to negotiate for better salaries?
The best way to become a better grant writer is to start taking technical writing courses and certifications to increase your knowledge, expertise, and accreditations. Other than that, you can learn more about your industry and its best practices. For example, you can learn more about good documentation practices.