Bid writers prepare documents used to pitch for contracts to provide services, or to apply for project funding.
Salary range: £25,000 to £70,000
How to become a bid writer
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- specialist courses run by professional bodies
Some employers will expect you to have a degree. Relevant subjects include:
- business management
- sales and marketing
You could also study a subject relevant to an industry you want to specialise in, like IT, civil engineering or housing.
You’ll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You can work towards this role by completing a bid and proposal co-ordinator advanced apprenticeship.
There are no set entry requirements but it may help you to get in if you have:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
You could start as a trainee or junior bid writer. You’ll need a minimum of five GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and maths. Many employers will prefer you to have at least A levels.
You may also be able to work your way up through administrative jobs, especially in bid writing companies.
The Association of Bid & Proposal Management Professionals offers certification qualifications for people working in bid and proposal writing.
Institute of Sales Management also offers short courses like the Level 4 Award In Writing and Delivering a Sales Proposal and Level 5 Award in Bid and Tender Management for Account Managers.
A professional marketing qualification may help you find work.
If you’re preparing bids for international funding, the ability to speak other languages can help.
Professional and industry bodies
You can join the Association of Bid Proposal Management Professionals and the Institute of Sales Management for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of English language
- excellent written communication skills
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- excellent verbal communication skills
- knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
- the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
- administration skills
- the ability to use your initiative
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- finding out about possible business opportunities
- finding out about the industry or service you’ll be writing the bid for
- talking and listening to clients
- gathering evidence to answer Pre Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) questions
- collecting data for bids, like financial records
- checking the rules the bid must follow
- working closely with planning teams
- presenting technical information in easy-to-understand ways
- designing, writing, editing and checking bid documents
- keeping accurate records and saving material to a ‘bid library’ for future use
- submitting bids
You could work at a client’s business or in an office.
Career path and progression
You could become a team leader, senior bid writer, or bids and proposals manager.
You could also transfer your skills to other kinds of technical writing or contract management.