While bidding for an hourly contract, you are only supposed to bid with your hourly rate.
For example, if you think you can do the kind of work the job posting describes at $X per hour, you write X in the field provided when you submit the proposal.
This makes sense: "During the interview stage, when you have more information about the project, and if the client asks for it, you can provide a rough estimate about the number of hours you would need for the work. "
As i said in another reply, I thought other freelancers must have a field to enter the full project price (as an option) on any job based on the amount of the bids. I've seen a lot of really high prices that seemed more like the total amount for the project rather than an hourly rate.
I'm fairly new on Upwork, but I have years of experience with copyediting and so on. So some of the really high prices (apparently outrageously high hourly rates) seemed to be fixed-price project bids.
If the job is listed as hourly, then the bid range displayed indicates the hourly rates of the other freelancers. Whether the other freelancer entered a fixed price in error is unknowable. Your bid should be based on your hourly rate.
Yes, I've been trying to get Upwork to change this for awhile. For my profession (voiceover artist) we really don't get paid by the hour. It's so misleading because the client sees an "hourly" amount and assumes that they'll get an hour of narration for that price. I always have to explain to them that it's not what it means. And then I have to tell my client to change it to whatever fixed price we've agreed on because the freelancers can't change it, only the client can. Upwork should really allow the freelancers to change the proposal so that we can change it to a fixed price job. Also I've been left out of some offers simply because I didn't have "enough hours." Since my work isn't hourly, I think that's unfair. I really hope someone at Upwork sees this. I think it would be such a simple thing to do to just make it possible for the freelancers to offer a fixed price to a client, without the client having to do that. I hope someone from Upwork will let me know that they received this.