A career as an advertising copywriter is rewarding in many ways, including financially, personally, and professionally. Advertising copywriters enjoy some of the most diverse and sometimes relaxed work environments of any career, although, the competition and stress level can be extremely high in certain markets. While the traditional hubs of the entertainment industry have been the hot spots for high paying advertising jobs, advances in technology and mobile communications have opened up the market on a global scale. Over a third of all freelance writers are now self-employed and all signs point to the numbers rising steadily of the next eight to ten years.
Advertising copywriters can occupy a wide range of fields including fashion, television, radio, internet, films, and even sporting events. Copywriters can always look forward to demand in their field; the outlook for copywriters has steadily risen over several years to meet its average prediction, even during the recent troubling economic times. Unfortunately, with demand so high, the competition is fierce for many of the higher paying opportunities which require skill, creativity, and a great deal of experience.
Entry level advertising copywriters can expect to begin their careers in the twenty-five to thirty-five thousand dollar a year range for their first few years on the job. While this is quite fine for an entry level position, the pay scale does grow quite rapidly commensurate with experience and education level. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS, the average pay for a salaried writer fluctuates between fifty thousand and seventy thousand dollars per year, and the high end of the pay scale is over one hundred thousand dollars per year. When combined with the growth predictions of the BLS, it all adds up to great pay now and well into the future.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Job Description and Outlook
An advertising copywriter’s career usually starts as an internship, assistant copywriter, or as a junior copywriter. As they learn the business, the latest techniques, and prove themselves by researching, editing, proofreading, and performing other tasks assisting the writing staff, they can move on to become a full copywriter. Advertising copywriters typically work with development teams composed of executives, graphic designers, art directors, and writers.
When a client has a product, service, or sale to promote, they present it to the team for development. Once the desired outcome is established, the advertising team sets about the task of creating all of the aspects of the advertising campaign. It is the copywriter’s responsibility to compose original and effective scripts, web documents, newsletters, print advertisements, and more. Modern communication technologies allow many of these positions to be filled remotely from a home, office, or on the road. Trends are pointing to more and more copywriters working from mobile locations, and many job opportunities require extensive travel and research that can turn out to be a very pleasant benefit.
The job outlook for copywriters is expected to grow by at least eight percent through 2018, and with so many new freelance writing opportunities opening up, the actual numbers are sure to exceed this prediction.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Training and Education Requirements
Advertising copywriters are typically required to have a bachelor’s degree in English, journalism, marketing, or communications, although, experience and certifications are accepted credentials in certain situations. Copywriters must have a very strong background in both computer and communication systems, particularly with word processors and mobile media. Advertising copywriters will commonly find themselves tasked with composing advertisements specifically for social websites like FaceBook and Twitter, as well as websites like YouTube. Some of the outlets for advertising copywriters include phone advertisements, web blogs, web video, mobile broadcasts, and more. A strong background in writing, creative writing, and technical writing is also needed to adapt to the changing needs of modern advertising.
Writing certifications come in a variety of forms and cover a range of disciplines, but the most relevant to an advertising copywriter are certifications in communications, creative writing, and technical writing. All of these certifications can help further a copywriter’s career and allow writers to command a much higher salary. Colleges, writers associations, and even writing contests and competitions all offer certifications that can improve qualifications and experience. Even if you are a current degree holder, additional certifications like these can expand your opportunities and improve your pay.
There are dozens of groups dedicated to furthering writer’s careers, and while some of the best known are the high profile associations like the Screen Writers Guild, the Writers Guild of America, and the Screenwriters Federation of America, they are not the only ones. There are several organizations that focus primarily on freelance writers and independent writers like the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors. Membership with these organizations is beneficial to copywriters in several ways, they can provide career opportunities, direct you to experienced representation, and help build credentials.
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