Ad Copywriter: Career and Salary Facts

Explore the career requirements for copywriters. Get the facts about salary, degree requirements and job outlook to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Advertising degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Ad Copywriter?

Ad copywriters work on teams to produce content for print, broadcast and new media advertising campaigns. They are generally in charge of producing all written or verbal content that accompanies a TV or print advertisement, but may provide other services, such as writing jingles and slogans or composing emails on behalf of their clients. Ad copywriters need to have strong communication skills, as well as a strong grasp of the English language. They need to be creative, as their job involves coming up with original content, as well as listening and responding to the needs of clients. These positions generally require an undergraduate degree in order to gain employment.

Find out more information about this career by reading the information provided in the table below.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Communications, journalism, English
Key Skills Writing, editing, computer competency, creativity
Job Growth (2014-2024) 2% (all writers and authors)*
Median Salary (2016) $47,286**

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

What Would I Do as an Ad Copywriter?

As an ad copywriter, you would work with designers, artists and other professionals to develop material for a variety of mediums, such as television, radio, print and the Internet. A copywriter writes and edits copy for a variety of published material, including commercial scripts, brochures, new product release information and information printed on packaging.

What Kind of Degree Do I Need?

There are many degree options for ad copywriters. Undergraduate degrees in communications, advertising, English and journalism can provide a foundation in writing and communication techniques. You may also want to consider some newer programs in marketing or corporate communications that include courses in writing for the media in addition to business and marketing.

If you already have a college degree in an unrelated area or want to sharpen your skills, you may want to consider shorter certificate programs in advertising, marketing or communications. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a degree is not always needed for entry-level copywriter assistant jobs, but a degree program may help you develop the skills needed to succeed (www.bls.gov).

What Will I Study?

Advertising programs focus on advertising writing, market research and analysis, along with creative strategies. Some advertising programs can be found as specializations within journalism programs.

Communications programs often include coursework in design concepts and training in desktop publishing and photography. Corporate communications programs also feature coursework in business law and consumer spending. Look for programs that include internships and hands-on project opportunities so you can develop a portfolio to show potential employers.

How is the Pay and the Job Market?

Your pay as an ad copywriter will likely be influenced by your education and experience in the field. PayScale.com reported that the median salary range for a copywriter was $47,286, as of January 2016. The BLS predicted that jobs for all writers and authors will grow by two percent from 2014-2024, which is slower than the average predicted rate of growth for all industries.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you studied advertising or communications, there are a number of different paths you could take aside from becoming an ad copywriter. You could also be a web content writer, fulfilling many of the same job responsibilities as an ad copywriter without necessarily working for advertising companies. You could also become an advertising director and manage all aspects of an advertising campaign, giving you input on the creative and financial aspects of the advertising process. A communications degree is also beneficial if you want to work in public relations, either as a manager or a specialist. PR people manage all aspects of a company or organization's public communications, maintaining a positive public image and potentially fielding issues with the press.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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