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Career profile Writer

Also known as Advertising Associate, Advertising Copy Writer, Advertising Writer, Communications Specialist, Copy Writer, Copywriter, Freelance Copywriter, Web Content Writer


Also known as Advertising Associate, Advertising Copy Writer, Advertising Writer

Interests Profile
  • Enterprising
  • Artistic
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$35,880 - $133,460 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Writing
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Communications and Media
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
Core tasks
  • Write to customers in their terms and on their level so that the script, story, or advertisement message is more readily received.
  • Edit or rewrite existing written material as necessary, and submit written material for approval by supervisor, editor, or publisher.
  • Follow appropriate procedures to get copyrights for completed work.
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What does a Writer do?

Writers originate and prepare written material, such as scripts, stories, advertisements, and other material.

What kind of tasks does a Writer perform regularly?

Writers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Discuss with the client the product, advertising themes and methods, and any changes that should be made in advertising copy.
  • Vary language and tone of messages based on product and medium.
  • Present drafts and ideas to clients.
  • Develop advertising campaigns for a wide range of clients, working with an advertising agency's creative director and art director to determine the best way to present advertising information.
  • Write articles, bulletins, sales letters, speeches, and other related informative, marketing and promotional material.
  • Conduct research and interviews to determine which of a product's selling features should be promoted.
  • Invent names for products and write the slogans that appear on packaging, brochures and other promotional material.
  • Review advertising trends, consumer surveys, and other data regarding marketing of goods and services to determine the best way to promote products.

The above responsibilities are specific to Writers. More generally, Writers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Thinking Creatively
Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Communicating with People Outside the Organization
Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

What is a Writer salary?

The median salary for a Writer is $67,120, and the average salary is $78,680. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Writer salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Writers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Writers earn less than $35,880 per year, 25% earn less than $49,310, 75% earn less than $94,090, and 90% earn less than $133,460.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Writers is expected to change by 8.5%, and there should be roughly 15,400 open positions for Writers every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$35,880 - $133,460
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Writers?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Writer are usually higher in their Enterprising and Artistic interests.

Writers typically have very strong Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Also, Writers typically have very strong Artistic interests. Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Writer tend to value Achievement, Support, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Writers strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Second, Writers moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Lastly, Writers moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Writers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and innovation.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Writers, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

What education and training do Writers need?

Many Writers will have a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Writers usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Educational degrees among Writers

  • 0.7% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 3.3% completed high school or secondary school
  • 8.5% completed some college coursework
  • 3.2% earned a Associate's degree
  • 49.8% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 26.3% earned a Master's degree
  • 8.2% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Writers

Writers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as communications and media, sales and marketing, or customer and personal service knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Writers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Communications and Media
Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Sales and Marketing
Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Important Abilities needed by Writers

Writers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Writers need abilities such as written comprehension, written expression, and oral comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Writers, ranked by their relative importance.

Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Critical Skills needed by Writers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Writers frequently use skills like reading comprehension, writing, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Writers, ranked by their relative importance.

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.