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Job Description of a Proposal Writer

Whether they work for a private organization or a government entity, proposal writers take their company’s ability to deliver needed services, study a Request for Proposals (RFP) and package their company’s services into a written bid or proposal in response to the RFP. The effective proposal writer knows how to manage his time, company resources and personnel so he can deliver a proposal that adheres firmly to an RFP. He also knows how to express himself well verbally and in writing.

Job Description

Proposal writers’ job descriptions discuss the job responsibilities, which include “developing and preparing” proposals that respond to Requests for Proposals (RFPs). Proposal writers are also expected to develop presentations for their employers and field and respond to any requests for information for the company’s sales team.

The proposal writer is expected to work closely with several departments and representatives of departments, such as sales and the contract department. He should be able to develop good working relationships with people in the proposal writing department and other departments.

His duties include negotiating contracts, agreements and provisions, administering private and government funds and contracts, tracking proposals and performance databases, writing proposals and other documentation, updating existing databases, making sure that proposals in progress are in compliance with instructions, managing production and the distribution of all work documents, ensuring proposal formatting, helping with developing and implementing work solutions, developing sales presentations and gathering critical information for different personnel.


The proposal writer working for the government or for a government contractor has to make sure that proposals he’s responsible for are in full compliance with RFPs let by the government. At the time he applies for a position, he should be able to break down RFP language and understand it before beginning work on his company’s proposal.

Privately employed proposal writers whose employers provide services to government-related clients also have to be able to ensure presentations and proposals are in full compliance with government specifications as spelled out in government RFPs.


The proposal writer helps her employers increase sales of the company product. She needs to have prior experience working in compliance with federal procurement regulations, effectively manage ongoing projects that are assigned to her, be well-organized and able to meet firm deadlines.

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Position Requirements and Job Outlook

A proposal writer should have previous writing and editing experience, be able to pay good attention to details and work well in a team environment oriented to production.

Minimal requirements include a bachelor’s degree in English, business communications, journalism or marketing, strong communication--verbal and written--skills, organizational skills, and ability to maintain working files and revisions of documents. Additional requirements include having two to four years of writing and editing experience with some experience having taken place in a government setting. A good candidate should be able to demonstrate his ability to translate complicated ideas into language easily understood by others. He must be able to handle and use constructive feedback in order to make needed changes to documents and proposals. He should have previous contracts management and program management experience. If he is applying for a position within the federal government, a secret security clearance is preferred but not required.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that proposal writers--included in technical writers--can earn an annual salary of $64, 670 as a management, scientific and technical consultant, as of 2010. The breakdown of the top paying industries indicates that financial investment writers can earn $78,670 annually. The top paying states for proposal writers include Massachusetts, California, Washington, New Hampshire and New Mexico, with annual salaries ranging from $78,380 to $70,550, respectively.

Employment prospects for proposal writers as of May 2008 indicate that jobs in this field have increased by 1.9 percent.


Proposal writers work in a high-pressure, high-output environment. They should be able to handle the stresses while producing written proposals that spell out what the company is able to offer to the agency seeking proposals.

Because the proposal writer's employer is constantly seeking new clientele, the proposal writer should expect to travel on occasion.

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