Copywriter Career Snapshot

  • Copywriters create content intended to persuade customers to purchase a product or service. The content can include print ads, web pages, emails, fliers, scripts for radio and television ads, billboards, etc.
  • Copywriters are employed in a wide variety of industries including advertising, retail, and marketing. They may also be employed by companies with their own advertising/marketing departments.
  • Due to the high number of people seeking this type of work, employment opportunities for copywriters are not expected to increase from 2018 to 2028.
  • As of 2018, the median pay for copywriters was $71,920.
  • Many copywriting jobs require a bachelor’s degree in English, Marketing, Advertising, or Communications. A strong portfolio of work is essential for this competitive field.

Job Details

  • Copywriters are often expected to research products/services in order to create content. Research can include interviewing customers or reading customer reviews, studying any available manufacturer documentation about the product/service, and trying the product/service to gain firsthand experience.
  • Once their research is complete, copywriters create content that will resonate with potential customers and persuade them to try the product/service described.
  • Copywriters are highly creative in their approach to the content, i.e., word choice and style, as they work to evoke emotions and sensations around the product/service.
  • Copywriters should be comfortable working in a variety of mediums and platforms, e.g., content for an email blast will differ greatly from a billboard or radio ad.
  • While copywriters must demonstrate creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, they must also ensure that copy they create is truthful and accurate.
  • Copywriting can be a demanding job due to short turnaround times and last-minute changes.
  • While some copywriters are hired as permanent employees, there are growing numbers of freelance copywriters. Freelancers may be hired for individual assignments (an email blast for a new product) or for specific time periods (the duration of an entire advertising campaign).
  • Copywriters may be required to work at the employer’s location, but some freelance copywriters work remotely. Office-based work may be more concentrated near metropolitan areas. Some jobs may require travel in order to meet with the client, conduct interviews, or perform the research required to complete the assignment.
  • Copywriters should pay careful attention to any contracts or NDAs as they add completed work to their portfolios.

Education and Experience

  • Salaried writing positions generally require a college in English, Advertising, Marketing, or Communications.
  • A growing number of copywriting programs are available through colleges, universities, and some writing organizations.
  • Copywriters must possess demonstrable skills and should have both print and online portfolios of their work.
  • Copywriters looking to build a career before they have a strong portfolio can gain experience by working for local businesses and organizations, applying for internships, entering copywriting contests, starting a personal blog, etc. Work in these areas could lead to paid assignments and a more professional collection of copywriting samples.

Career Outlook

  • Employment opportunities for copywriters are not expected to change from 2018 to 2028. This is due to the high number of copywriters competing for work.
  • As of May 2018, the median pay for copywriters was $71, 920.
  • While fulltime copywriting jobs is not likely to increase, opportunities for freelancers may improve. Many companies require the skills of a copywriter, but hiring a freelancer makes better sense financially.

Professional Associations

As you explore copywriting as a career, you can also visit the websites of organizations involved in field for more information:

American Association of Advertising Agencies provides a wealth of information and resources to new, soon to be, and established copywriters. There are tools for career development and information on the latest happenings in the industry. This is an official, recognized trade organization in the United States.

American Marketing Association (AMA) is a trade organization offering opportunities for copywriters. They aid in developing skill sets, provide webcasts, post job openings, and aid members in networking, education, and professional marketing. To learn more about what the organization can offer, visit the member’s benefit page.

American Society of Professional Copywriters is professional association is an organization devoted exclusively to American English copywriters. It offers membership, consultation service to other copywriters, and an annual awards program for excellence in the art and science of copywriting.

Association of National Advertisers (ANA) is a membership association providing a range of resources and tools for advertising-based careers, including copywriters. The organization offers a number of training and career programs for current and future copywriters.

Copywriting.com is an online, free-to-use forum that allows individuals in the copywriting profession to share tips, information and news. Additionally, a section for critiques is available to enable new copywriters to improve their skills before providing a client with a finished product.

Freelancer’s Union is the largest and fast-growing organization representing the 56.7 million independent workers across the country, providing 490,000+ members a powerful voice through policy advocacy, benefits, and community.

Media and Content Marketing Association (MCMA) is devoted to helping members achieve excellence and success in media and content marketing through education and networking opportunities.

National Association of Independent Writers & Editors (NAIWE) is a professional association for writers and editors that provides members with professional support and business development through an ever-increasing array of benefits.

National Writers Union (NWU) is the only labor union that represents freelance writers working in all genres, formats, and mediums.

Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is the nation’s leading professional organization serving the communications community with more than 30,000 professional and student members.