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Copywriter

Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

Job Prospects Openings 5 years to 2016-17: 25 000 < 50 000
Salary Range Median weekly earnings: $1151 to 1400 (Source: DEEWR Australian Jobs 2012: www.deewr.gov.au/australian-jobs-publication)
Brief The attention-grabbing advertising slogans behind our favourite products are the work of skilled copywriters.

There are approximately 60 copywriters in South Australia. Employment is mostly full-time with the majority working in the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services industry within the Adelaide metropolitan area. There are equal proportion of males and females in this occupation with the main age group of 35 - 44 years.

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TAFE SA courses that may be relevant for: Copywriter

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Introduction

Writing advertising material in an attention-grabbing manner that makes products, services or events stand out from their competitors, is the essence of what copywriters do. Copywriters are skilled at combining words in clever combinations that make people pay attention. They can even make boring facts sound impressive by using exciting adverbs and adjectives, which make for more entertaining reading. Copywriters usually try to pack the power of what they are trying to say in a few words so that the audience gets the intended idea in a flash. Their written material is designed to motivate audiences to take action to buy or use products or services, or attend events.

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Education Requirements

Short courses in copywriting are offered by the Advertising Federation of Australia.

TAFE SA offers the Certificate IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Advertising which may assist in finding employment in this occupation.

Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have degree qualifications. Relevant degree areas are advertising, marketing, communications, journalism, media studies and English literature.

The University of South Australia offers a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

A Bachelor of Media degree is offered by the University of Adelaide.

Career Path

Entry into this occupation is highly competitive.

Copywriters work in advertising agencies, radio and television stations, advertising departments of retail, wholesale and manufacturing firms, and some government departments. There are opportunities for copywriters to work on a freelance basis.

Industry

Cultural and Recreational Services

Nature of the Job

These wordsmiths work for various mediums; print, television or radio. Depending on a client's request, advertising messages may take shape in advertisements for print, radio or television, brochures, corporate profiles and other corporate communications, Power Point presentations, product packages or inserts, video scripts, press releases or slogans, and in text for Web sites. According to Ben, a local copywriter, a briefing usually takes place between himself and the client. He says that copywriters rely on the client to explain the product, service or event. This also gives the copywriter the time to ask about competitors and market forces. At this stage of the copywriting process the copywriter may ask what the benefits and disadvantages are of using the product and who the intended market is? And why the client considers this product to be the best among its competitors.

Typical Physical Working Environment

Copywriting requires a certain way of thinking. They have to be able to look at things from different angles and to think outside of the box. They also must have effective writing skills. People are usually employed for their ideas alone but good written skills are essential to write long scripts to really succeed. Enthusiasm and passion for creativity are also key to doing this job well,

Typical Occupational Example

Copywriters do not need to know everything about a product. From their point of view, determining a product's selling points so as to give it a competitive edge is the most vital information needed by them. Based on this, copywriters can get to work. They usually first develop a concept or theme which they use throughout the copy for the client. This helps strengthen the continuity of the client's message. Like Ben, copywriters who write specifically for radio need to channel their creative drive into 20 to 30 second radio advertisements. In Ben's case, he usually produces several drafts. A first draft is presented to the client, and this invariably undergoes some fine tuning. Once a draft has been accepted by the client, Ben supervises the voice over(s) who will be used in the advertisement, and ensures the overall production of an advertisement runs smoothly. Ben says that although the time taken to complete an advertisement from first to final draft can vary, on average a radio advertisement will take two or three days. He says that initially some clients are uncertain about what they want the advertisement to be and sound like. However, as the copywriting process progresses, the client often becomes more confident about this. As a result, the completion of an advertisement may take longer as the client offers more input and the advertisement undergoes more changes.

Earning Potential

The starting salary for a recent graduate is approximately $16,000 and this may go as high as $34,000 for someone with a few years' more experience. A senior copywriter could earn approximately $55,000.

Further Information

For further information about all TAFE SA Courses, phone 1800 882 661 or enquire online