Jingle Writer Salary and Career Facts

Jingle writers are songwriters who write short, catchy tunes for commercials. Read on to find out what type of music programs can help to prepare you for this type of work, as well as information about skills and salary. Schools offering Ethnomusicology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Education Do I Need to Be a Jingle Writer?

Locating degree programs that specialize in jingle writing may be difficult; some community colleges and music conservatories may have music-based programs that can help you get started. Certificate programs in music business or music industry studies focus on the entrepreneurial aspect of the industry; these programs may include courses in songwriting, music production and the legal aspects of the music business.

You may be able to locate associate's degree programs in commercial music, which might help you understand the music business, acquire business management skills and learn how to promote your work. Courses may cover music theory, commercial song arrangements, business law and basic musicianship.

Bachelor's degree programs in commercial music include performance-based courses within the curriculum. You may also study songwriting, ear training, song arrangement and digital music composition. You'll be required to give an audition on the instrument of your choice for admission into most bachelor's programs.

What Skills Do I Need?

Because jingle writers are considered songwriters, you must have strong song composition capabilities. Most clients want you to produce fun and catchy songs for radio or television that people will remember, according to December 2010 job postings on iFreelance.com.

You may also be competing with other jingle writers to land jobs, so you must be able to follow directions precisely to ensure you produce the highest-quality jingles for your clients. According to the Berklee College of Music, jingle writers need solid music arrangement skills and should have a vast knowledge of different music styles and genres (www.berklee.edu). Strong communication skills and the ability to succinctly convey a client's message may also help you find work as a jingle writer.

What Salary Might I Expect?

Compensation for jingle writers may vary by state and scope of project. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), composers - some of whom may write jingles - earned a median hourly wage of $21.68 in 2009 (www.bls.gov).

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