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No Formal Qualifications On The Job Training Aptitude Tests VOC Course Subject Prerequisites University Course Year 12 Preferred Subject Prerequisites

Copywriters interpret how a potential market will react to an advertising proposal, and write material to advertise products or services.

Copywriters may specialise as continuity writers, who write scripts for announcers to provide continuity for radio and television broadcasts (see the separate entry for Writer).

With experience, and sometimes further training, copywriters may become creative directors in advertising agencies where they supervise the work of staff in the design area, or advertising managers in retail or manufacturing firms.


    Copywriters may perform the following tasks:

  • study products or services to decide the main selling features
  • assist art directors to create ideas for advertising and promotion, often thinking up names for products and slogans that appear on packaging and other promotional material
  • plan and write promotional material that will appeal to the people most likely to buy the product, and submit copy for approval
  • write advertisements for newspapers, magazines, radio, television, cinema screens, billboards, catalogues, displays, websites, blogs and social media
  • write brochures, annual reports, documents, speeches and other sales and promotional material
  • discuss theme, style and length of copy with advertisers or management to determine the most suitable approach


  • an observant and inquisitive approach to people, their environment and what motivates them
  • creativity and originality
  • able to analyse a situation quickly
  • able to pick out relevant facts and emphasise them
  • able to write clearly
  • good concentration
  • technical ability when writing for all forms of media
  • good time-management skills and able to work under pressure

Interest Area

Artistic/Creative Clerical/Administrative Literary Influencing/Personal Contact


No Formal Qualifications On The Job Training Aptitude Tests VOC Course Subject Prerequisites University Course Year 12 Preferred Subject Prerequisites

You can work as a copywriter without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. Artistic and creative abilities are essential.

Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications.

You may like to consider a VOC qualification in advertising, marketing or professional writing and editing. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information.

You can also become a copywriter by studying advertising, marketing, communications, media studies, professional and creative writing, journalism or English at university. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your HSC/ACT Year 12. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English and mathematics are normally required. Most universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas.

Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact Open Universities Australia or the universities you are interested in for more information as requirements may change.

Additional Information

    Although there are no formal education requirements, people who want to become a copywriter may be required to provide a portfolio of creative work to demonstrate their creative flair.

    The Australasian Writers and Art Directors Association (AWARD) runs a 12-week course each year that is highly regarded in the advertising industry. Visit their website for more information.


Copywriters are employed by advertising agencies, radio and television stations, advertising departments of retail, wholesale and manufacturing firms, and some government departments. Some are self-employed as freelance copywriters.

Competition for entry-level positions is very strong.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Copywriter Australasian Writers and Art Directors Association The Communications Council Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance

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