Proposal Managers


Education and Training Requirements

High School

While in high school, take classes in English, writing, math, business, and trades. They will prove useful later in your career. Joining school clubs that will give you experience working with others toward common goals.

Postsecondary Education

Educational requirements vary from job to job. A lot has to do with the specific industry in which you aspire to work. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is often required. Requirements for majors will differ. In some instances employers may want applicants to hold either an engineering degree or trade education in their industry. In other cases, applicants may be required to have a business degree or a technical background. Still other employers look for people who have degrees in journalism or writing. It all depends on the employers needs. Some employers even prefer applicants with a master’s degree in a related field.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

A voluntary certification is available through the Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP). Certification provides validation of knowledge, skills, and leadership abilities. Various levels are available depending on the level of your career and the extent of your experience. Foundation is the beginning level of certification for junior level professionals with one to three years of experience. Practitioners have extensive experience in the proposal management process and have over three years of experience. Professionals have over seven or more years of experience in the industry. Certification requirements include tests and exams

Designations include CF APMP (Certified Member) for those on the foundation level; Practitioner CP APMP (Certified Practitioner Member) for those on the practitioner level; and  Professional CPP APMP (Certified Proposal Professional Member) for those on the professional level.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Most employers prefer applicants to have three to five years or more of experience in proposal and project management prior to working as a proposal manager. They want to ensure that the individual can effectively prepare schedules and budgets and manage a proposal team. Experience in interpreting requests for proposals (RFPs) as well as developing proposal outlines is necessary as is experience in leading proposal teams. Individuals must have the ability to multi-task, organize, and prioritize multiple projects. Excellent verbal and written communication skills are essential. Computer skills are necessary. The ability to conduct meetings effectively, deal with people, and manage projects is mandatory. Proposal managers must also value accuracy. Sales skills are helpful.