Copywriter: Salary, Duties, Outlook and Requirements

A copywriter requires some formal education. Learn about the degree programs, job duties, salary expectations and requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

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A copywriter can work in a number of industries, executing their creativity and writing skills. A degree in a relevant field is typically demanded in addition to some experience. Let's take a more detailed look into the responsibilities, outlook, and qualifications for a copywriter job.

Essential Information

Copywriters create advertising text and promotional content for companies such as advertising agencies and marketing corporations; they can work as employees or freelancers. A bachelor's degree in advertising, writing or marketing, as well as experience, are usually necessary to obtain a job in copywriting. Copywriters need creativity, good communications skills and knowledge of sales and marketing.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in advertising or related field
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 3.4% for writers in advertising, public relations and related services
Median Annual Salary (2016)** $45,648 for copywriters

Sources: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **PayScale.com.

Salary Information

PayScale.com stated that salaries for copywriters ranged from approximately $31,000 to $68,345 in January 2016. Additionally, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that writers and authors in general earned an annual median salary of $60,250 in May 2015 (www.bls.gov).

Duties of a Copywriter

Specific job duties vary by employer, but copywriters are generally hired to produce written promotional content. They might write text, slogans, scripts and jingle lyrics for television, radio, print and Internet advertising campaigns. In addition to advertisements, copywriters also might write text for:

  • Direct mail pieces
  • Marketing media campaigns
  • Billboards
  • Speeches
  • Press releases
  • Catalogs
  • Sales letters and bulletins

Copywriters might work with creative directors, art directors, account staff, marketing managers and other members of a creative team. They also might work on a freelance basis directly for a client. Copywriters are also often responsible for rewriting, proofreading and editing their work.

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Employment Outlook

Although there is no information available specific to copywriters, employment of advertising, promotions and marketing managers is expected to grow 9% between 2014 and 2024, according to the BLS. In addition, there might be more job competition due to the allure of this particular industry. The BLS also projected that all writing jobs within advertising, public relations, and related industries will increase by 3.4% from 2014-2024.

Education Requirements

According to the BLS, many employers prefer to hire prospective copywriters with a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as English, advertising, journalism or marketing. The required coursework in these programs provides students with valuable communication and writing skills, as well as knowledge in critical thinking, logic, sales and marketing.

Specific course topics might include writing advertising copy and identifying audiences, as well as grammar, creative writing and persuasive writing. Many degree programs include courses that help a student develop a portfolio, which is useful for demonstrating skills and creativity when searching for a job.

As a copywriter, your task will be to write engaging, persuasive, and informative material. Employers prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree in English or related major. Salaries differ based upon experience and other factors. Job growth of around 3.4% is expected, which is slower than average due to high competition.

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