Write lyrics and catchy phrases to accompany melodies.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$29,000 – $109,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Lyricists do?

The written word is an age-old (and very effective) tool in wooing members of the opposite sex. There’s just something about those mad rhymes that makes the ladies (or gentlemen) go weak at the knees.

As a Lyricist, you put together words to help the less lyrically inclined express their love through song. You don’t just have to write about love though. As a Lyricist can wax poetic about friendship, loss, dancing in clubs, cars—pretty much anything you want.

Oddly, your job when you’re a Lyricist is very public but very private at the same time. People everywhere know your lyrics. They repeat them, write them on backpacks, and butcher them during late night karaoke sessions. But you don’t get any fame.

This is because of the collaborative nature of the work. Composers write the music that you pair your words to, and then Recording Artists buy and sing your songs. For the most part, Lyricists aren’t well-known Singers. The job is more of a background, supporting-type role.

The actual songwriting you do can happen in a number of ways. A Composer might work side by side with you to create a song, or you might be given a tune and asked to write words that match. Ideally, you want to come up with a catchy hook or chorus that will grab the attention of listeners, as well as Artists who’ll be willing to buy the song. Sometimes, an Artist commissions a song, and other times, especially when you’re just starting, you write something and then find a Singer to sell it to.

Should I be a Lyricist?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.

  • Also known as: Lyric Writer, Song Lyricist

    How to become a Lyricist

    We recommend at least a Bachelor's degree. Check out these schools offering Lyricist-related education!
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