Jingle writers are versatile creative professionals who play an essential role in the advertisement industry — and even people who have never thought about these professionals will certainly have their most successful jingles stuck in their heads. What do jingle writers get paid, on average?
Average Salary for Jingle Writers
Jingle writers find themselves in a rather niche profession, straddling the line between the musical field and the advertising sector. So little reliable data is available about this profession that it is not even clear how many professional jingle writers there are in the United States. Popular salary-tracking platforms such as PayScale and Indeed do not offer average rates for this profession.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that music directors and composers earn a median salary of $52,250, and jingle writers could reasonably fall under the heading of composers. The lowest-earning 10 percent make less than $23,890 per year, while the top music directors and composers can bring home over $124,390 each year.
As many jingle writers do not just compose the tunes of their jingles, but also write the lyrics, they may also, in some ways, be considered to be a specific type of marketing writer. Writers and authors earn, the BLS reports, a median annual wage of $67,120, and this field sees salary ranges of less than $34,000 to more than $133,000 per year.
The platform Comparably estimates that jingle writers earn an average salary of $53,604 on an annual basis, while also reporting that these professionals typically earn anywhere between $21,070 and $101,150 per year.
What Do Jingle Writers Make Per Hour?
Based on the estimation that jingle writers earn, on average, around $54,000, their hourly rate is likely to be close to $27. Here, however, it is important to note that many jingle writers will inevitably work as freelancers, while others may work for advertising agencies.
In the case of freelance, self-employed, jingle writers, the per-project rate they can charge depends on their skill and their portfolio. Those jingle writers who have produced catchy and successful jingles that are widely known will likely be able to charge rates that amount to far more than $27 per hour.
Salary Based on Experience
Surprisingly little data is available about the salaries jingle writers tend to earn, however, when we look at the average earnings as suggested by Comparably, it is very reasonable to expect that those jingle writers who find themselves on the lower end of the salary spectrum, earning up to $24,000 per year, will also typically be the least experienced jingle writers.
Those who have been in the business for years, building up impressive portfolios that prove their jingles can offer an excellent return on investment, are going to be working with high-end employers or clients, perhaps creating jingles that will be aired on national television or radio. As attaining this level of professional success takes time, the jingle writers who earn over $100,000 per year will likely have been in the industry for at least three to four years.
Many jingle writers might previously have worked as songwriters or musicians. While this will offer beneficial experience, jingle writing requires a different perspective. The best jingles are catchy, unforgettable, and pop into consumers’ heads when they least expect it. They are also short. Mastering the formula requires time and experience, and different types of experience in the music industry do not necessarily increase a jingle writer’s earning potential.
Salary Based on Education
The general trend, across all skilled occupations, is that a professional’s salary potential rises with each level of formal education. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates, for instance, that:
- Workers with a high school diploma earn an average of $692 per week.
- Those who have earn an Associate’s degree make a median weekly wage of $819.
- Professionals who hold a Bachelor’s degree have a higher median weekly salary of $1,156.
- Those with a Master’s degree make, on average, $1,380 per week.
This trend does not hold true across all fields, and the creative professions that rely on natural talent and less on technical knowledge are most likely to embrace professionals who have not followed traditional educational paths. Jingle writing is one such occupation; no degrees in jingle writing are currently being offered.
With that in mind, a Bachelor’s degree in a music-related area such as songwriting or composition can help aspiring jingle writers understand the principles on which the success of a jingle might depend.
Top Paying States
The most up to date information from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, managed by the BLS, shows that the top paying states for advertising professionals are currently:
- New York
- New Jersey
While this data does not pertain specifically to the occupation of jingle writer, jingle writers who are employed in these states, or working with clients in these states as freelancers, are also likely to maximize their earning potential.
In addition, it must be noted that jingle writing jobs can very frequently be carried out almost entirely remotely. This offers jingle writers who have an adequate studio setup of their own to take on clients based anywhere within the United States.
The outlook for jingle writers is unclear. Jobs for composers and music directors are projected to grow by six percent in the coming 10 years, which is a slightly lower growth than the national average across all professions. This currently stands at eight percent.
However, opportunities in advertising more generally are growing, and jingle writers also fall under this wider umbrella. As commerce is more and more moving to online spaces, jingle writers will almost certainly continue to enjoy novel opportunities.
In the past, jingle writers created jingles only for TV and radio. That is no longer the case. The many advertisements that are now an integral part of any internet user’s daily experience all depend on entire teams of professionals.
Jingle writers form an important part of this industry. This ultimately means that job opportunities for jingle writers are almost certainly going to rise, as jingle writers for online advertisements will be in demand.
Their opportunities extend beyond advertisements, too. Podcasts and YouTube channels alike depend on recognizable introductory tunes, which are very much like jingles, and seasoned jingle writers could find that a whole new market opens up for them.
What Exactly Does a Jingle Writer Do?
Jingle writers are creative professionals who compose the music for commercials, and who often write the lyrics for this music as well. The jingles they craft help companies become more recognizable to potential and existing customers, building brand loyalty.
In addition to composing, recording, and writing song lyrics, jingle writers will also typically:
- Perform background research to understand the client’s core values and mission, as well as their customer base. An entertainment product marketed to a younger audience will require a significantly different jingle than a financial product that is meant to inspire trust, for instance.
- Cooperate with the commissioning client to understand their desires and needs, and to convey their message in the best way possible through the jingle.
- Stay up to date with the latest trends in advertising.
- Keep engaging in professional training and education to master the latest software innovations that help jingle writers create better jingles.
How to Become a Jingle Writer?
There is no single path toward a career in jingle writing.
Some jingle writers complete a degree in a field related to music and composing, such as songwriting or composition. Others may start off as musicians. Once they discover a talent for creating short and catchy tunes, they may begin working on jingles.
Because jingle writers need to have an in-depth understanding of marketing, some may have pursued a degree in marketing. Advertising professionals with a knack for songwriting could, potentially, become jingle writers.
Qualifications to Be a Jingle Writer
Jingle writers require skill, talent, and the background knowledge to understand the field of marketing deeply. No formal qualifications are needed to become a jingle writer, but fields of study that may benefit aspiring jingle writers include:
- Creative writing
Skills to Be a Jingle Writer
Jingle writers depend on a surprisingly diverse skill set, whether they are employed or self-employed. The skills that will help an aspiring jingle writer become successful in the field include, but are not limited to:
- Rock-solid interpersonal skills. A large part of a jingle writer’s job is about people skills. The ability to connect with future customers buying the products for which jingles are created is a must, and self-employed jingle writers additionally depend on this soft skill to land new clients.
- Insights into the marketing industry. It is essential to understand current trends as well as general principles, as jingle writing is ultimately dedicated to making sales.
- Strong creativity. This innate skill is absolutely required for jingle writers.
It goes without saying that jingle writers need excellent composition and songwriting skills, as well, and a deep understanding of the qualities that make a tune catchy.
Can You Be a Jingle Writer Without a Degree?
Yes. No formal qualifications are required to become a successful jingle writer.