How to Become a Jingle Writer: Education and Career Guide

Learn how to become a jingle writer. Research the education requirements, training information and experience required to start a career in jingle writing.

Should I Become a Jingle Writer?

Jingle writers compose music and lyrics to advertise products or services for companies. They seek to create a highly memorable melody and slogan, sometimes by working directly with clients, to convey a positive impression of a particular product or service. Some jingle writers work as freelancers, deciding their own work schedules and which assignments to take; however, steady work is not a guarantee. While there are no educational requirements to become a jingle writer, earning a degree in music may be beneficial and help improve musical and composing skills.

Career Requirements

Degree Level None required, a bachelor's degree is beneficial
Degree Field Music theory, composition, or conducting
Experience Playing instruments, composing music and audio recording
Key Skills Musical talent, discipline, perseverance, strong interpersonal skills, promotional skills, and knowledge of advertising and composition concepts
Salary $48,180 per year (median 2014)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Develop Broad Musical Skills and Knowledge

Jingle writers write songs that are intentionally brief and designed to market a product or service. Successful jingle writers must know how to play a wide variety of musical instruments and select which sounds and melodies to use for jingles. They also must be familiar with various genres of music in order to best match the tone and atmosphere of a specific company for their advertisements.

Success Tip:

  • Consider formal education. While practice and personal study can produce tremendous results, training with experienced musicians, studying at a music conservatory or entering a music degree program can greatly benefit all musicians, including jingle writers. Additional courses in business or advertising may also assist a jingle writer's understanding of how to achieve the most profitable results.

Step 2: Create Music

Often the most useful learning tool for jingle writers is to simply begin composing and experimenting with music and sounds. While some jingle writers may begin writing for commercials, many begin their careers with the intention of writing full songs. Once musicians have a library of music, they are able to pitch their ideas to advertising companies.

Success Tip:

  • Pitch to a local or small business. Local businesses are often a good launch pad for jingle writers. A memorable jingle from small business advertising often is the best way for jingle writers to gain recognition and hopefully obtain more profitable opportunities. In addition to pitching to the businesses themselves, consider sending pitches and samples to local ad agencies or television and radio stations.

Step 3: Stay Up-To-Date With Products and Advertising

The rise of digital video recording and Internet music software has shifted many companies' television and radio advertising methods. While jingles have diminished somewhat on the national level, local and regional jingle advertising continues to be profitable. The Internet also provides greater ease of connectivity for businesses and writers worldwide to seek profitable advertising opportunities. Making connections will be vital to the jingle writer as the BLS predicts that the outlook for job growth among musical directors and composers will be only 5% between 2012-2014, much lower than average (www.bls.gov).

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