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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. View article »

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Video Transcript

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.

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 (2015) $49,820 average per year

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Jazz
  • Music Composition and Theory
  • Music History and Literature
  • Music Merchandising and Management
  • Music Pedagogy
  • Music Performing
  • Musical Conducting
  • Musicology and Ethnomusicology
  • Piano and Organ
  • Stringed Instruments
  • Voice and Opera

Steps to Becoming a Jingle Writer

Here are some steps you can take to begin a successful career as a jingle writer:

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're 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.

Hopeful jingle writers can earn an annual average of $49,820 by developing broad musical knowledge, learning to play instruments and write music, and staying up to date on new trends.

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