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Entry into the profession is as a junior copywriter. With experience, employees may progress to become senior copywriters. Copywriters that are more interested in management would look to move into a creative director role. This is usually attainable with at least five to ten years of experience working on high-profile campaigns and winning some industry awards.
Depending on the size of the agency, juniors can usually work up to senior copywriting roles in the same agency, but further progression will normally involve a move to another employer.
Many successful copywriters go freelance or set up their own agency, often in partnership with colleagues from the same original agency. This is not viewed as disloyal, but rather as a natural career progression. There may also be some opportunities to work internationally, especially for copywriters skilled in writing for specific industry sectors.
Career development will very much depend on the success of your campaigns. For example, working on an award-winning campaign will give you a higher profile and industry recognition and will make you very much in demand.
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