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Copywriter Job Description, Career as a Copywriter, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Training/Educational Requirements: Bachelor degree required; preferred majors: communications, journalism, marketing, or advertising

Median Salary: $48,640 per year

Job Prospects: Very good

Basic Job Description

Copywriters at their most fundamental level provide written content for any type of audience. Copywriters provide written content in the form of web copy, literature, articles, or other form a client deems necessary. It is imperative the copywriter have a strong grasp of the language they are writing in and portrays their research and thoughts in an appropriate manner.

Copywriters work for a corporation on an in house basis, or work as part of a team in an advertising agency pitching ideas to clients using their writing skills. Many copywriters with a writing background turn their skills and experience into a freelance writing career. The more versatile the writing an individual does, and the more industries they write for, the more experience they gain.

Many copywriters turn their writing expertise into a focus within interactive media as the need for web content continues to grow. Copywriters are responsible for written content based on provided concepts and ideas, regardless of their environment or client. A strong passion and grasp of writing can turn into a very lucrative copywriting career.

Training/Educational Requirements

Aside from a strong background and talent for writing, there are some requirements that are helpful in becoming a copywriter. Copywriters usually have a college degree, often times within an associated concentration such as journalism, communications, or advertising. It is helpful for a copywriter to have a business background within a discipline such as marketing so they can successfully run their own business, especially if they seek the freelance writing route. A new trend for copywriters is to have a degree within a technical field and turn that education and background into a lucrative technical writing career.

No matter what degree a copywriter gains, there are certain classes that prepare an individual for such a career. Many universities offer classes in technical writing and interactive media to keep up with these growing needs. It is also recommended for copywriters to take an ample amount of classes within advertising, marketing, communications, and journalism even if this is not their direct major. These classes are helpful in looking at various aspects of copywriting and better prepare individuals for copywriting positions.

There are classes and groups to keep a copywriter’s skills sharp. In recent times, freelance writing groups and technical writing forums are ways to learn new skills and keep up with trends. It is recommended a copywriter continue taking classes, either online or at a local college, to keep up with the competition and maintain strong writing skills.

How to Get Hired as a Copywriter

As a copywriter starts out, it is helpful if they have a portfolio of their written material. An internship within copywriting is helpful, however, most employers look for proven writing experience. Prospective copywriters should strive to practice their writing skills by working with clients or seeking ways to get their writing published.

The best way for a copywriter to get their foot in the door is by having experience. Most clients and companies want to see evidence an individual can write in some capacity. Since copywriters are asked to come up with written content on any subject rather quickly, it is important for them to be able to demonstrate what they have done. The more experience a copywriter has and the more mediums they have written for, the easier it will be to get a job.

Many copywriters start out at an entry-level position, often within an advertising agency or related company. At this level, they gain valuable experience writing for a variety of clients, topics, and across many different industries and mediums. This is an excellent foundation for copywriters to build from and gain additional opportunities in the future.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

The job prospects are good as clients and companies always require writing expertise. For copywriters who possess technical writing or interactive media experience, the opportunities are even greater. Most copywriters move around between employers as they look to gain experience.

Copywriters can take a few different career paths. Some use their writing skills and stay within the corporate environment for their entire career, moving from company to company. Others turn their background and experience into a freelance writing career where they end up managing their own business. Most individuals who enter into a copywriting career end up staying within some sort of writing profession. However, those who follow a career path within an advertising agency typically progress within that industry.

Working Environment

Most copywriters work within a typical office environment. As a copywriter starting out in an advertising agency, they work in a noisy environment with others as they work to gain experience. If a copywriter is working for a publication directly, they are required to travel to cover different stories. For a freelance writer, they work from a home office while they manage their own business.

Salary and Benefits

The salary range for copywriters fluctuates based on the types of assignments they accept. A typical copywriter starting out earns about $25,430 per year, on the low end. The median salary for a copywriter is right around $48,640 per year. At the high end, an experienced copywriter may earn up to $97,700 per year. The ranges change based on the environment a copywriter works within as well as the experience they bring to the table. Freelance writers often name their own rate based on their experience and what a client is willing to pay. Any benefits a copywriter earns depends on the company that hires them. They are expected to include a paid vacation, health and dental benefits, and sick days. If a copywriter works on a freelance basis, they are responsible for their own health coverage.

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesCommunication and the Arts