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Advertising Copywriter

by Staff Reporter
If you love the hustle and bustle of product promotion and making things sell then a career as an Advertising Copywriter could be for you.

Career Overview

An Advertising Copywriter creates the written content for advertisements. This includes coming up with epic jingles, slogans and other written media that will be used to advertise products on TV, radio or in magazines.

Required School Subjects

You will need to have taken adequate achievement in the following subjects at high school:


  • English (language, writing, creative writing etc.)

Recommended subjects:


  • Geography
  • History
  • Art or Design

Institution and APS

In general you will need an APS of between 30 – 34+, in order to get in at one of these recommended institutions.


  • University of Pretoria (UP) – APS of 30
  • Nelson Mandela University (NMU) – APS of 32
  • University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (UKZN) – APS of 28 – 48
  • University of Witwatersrand (WITS) – APS of 34+
  • City Varsity

Required Qualification/s

A degree in Media, English, Linguistics or anything relating to writing and communications would be ideal if you want to become an Advertising Copywriter. Apply for a general Bachelor of Arts at any of the recommended institutions in South Africa, or you can complete an accredited short course or postgraduate degree if you’d like to hone in on your advertising writing skills.

Required Skills

You will need to have the following skills to succeed as an Advertising Copywriter:


  • an ability to work with people
  • able to receive criticism without taking it personally
  • technical developmental and communication skills
  • problem solving
  • IT proficiency
  • editing & proofreading
  • adaptability
  • attention to detail and accuracy
  • awesome creativity, an ability to inspire and captivate an ideal market
  • time management
  • management of multiple projects and portfolios (discipline)

Where you can work

You will be able to work in one of the following arenas as an Advertising Copywriter:


  • Advertising agencies
  • Media agencies (publications, digital firms, big organisations)
  • Freelance

Working Hours

Regular working hours for work in advertising can be demanding, but generally Advertising Copywriters will work between 40 – 45 hours per week. If you freelance then the more you work, the more you’ll make!

Expected Salary

The average salary per year as an Advertising Copywriter, in South Africa, is around R174 401 with an hourly rate of about R200 per hour.  This is dependant on your experience in the field and the type of position you are able to get. If you’re more experienced and senior, your pay will increase.

What to expect

Here are a few things you can expect from a career as an Advertising Copywriter:


  • Working in advertising can be a highly demanding role, with tight deadlines and the need to be sharp with words and awesome marketing strategy.
  • Expect to write for multiple clients, portfolios and projects at once.
  • A lot of advertising agencies work in teams of creative experts, expect to work well and merge your creative ideas with others.
  • Expect to work under a senior copywriter, or if you are a senior, expect to have juniors working under you.

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