Advertising copywriter Copywriter, creative

Advertising copywriters produce words for print, TV, radio and online adverts.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £20,000 to £80,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements, but you’ll need to be extremely creative, have excellent writing skills and commercial awareness.

An online presence and portfolio of work, paid or unpaid work experience and a network of contacts would be useful.

It may also help if you have a degree in a subject like advertising, communication studies, creative writing, English or journalism, although some employers prefer diverse degree subjects.

You could also get into this job through a higher apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • the ability to express a message clearly and persuasively
  • accuracy and attention to detail
  • the ability to work under pressure and to strict deadlines
  • resilience and the ability to cope with criticism of your work
  • research skills, good general knowledge and an awareness of popular culture

3. What you'll do

You’ll work as a team with an art director, who’ll provide the images to go with your words. 

You’ll work from a brief which will tell you about the client, their product, the target audience and the advertising message they want to get across. 

You’ll then:

  • write clear and persuasive words
  • present your ideas to the agency’s creative director and account team, and later, the client
  • make sure your work meets the codes of advertising practice
  • proofread copy to check spelling, grammar and facts
  • work with photographers, designers, production companies and printers

You’ll often work on several projects at once, usually under the supervision of a creative director.

4. Salary

Starter: £20,000 to £25,000

Experienced: £25,000 to £50,000

Highly Experienced: £80,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. 

Your days will be longer if you have deadlines to meet.

You’ll spend most of your time in an office. 

You may sometimes travel to meet clients.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to senior copywriter and creative director. 

You could also work freelance or set up your own agency.

Last updated: 04 October 2016