Media Planners and Buyers

Media specialists are responsible for placing advertisements that will reach targeted customers and get the best response from the market for the least amount of money. Within the media department, media planners gather information about the sizes and types of audiences that can be reached through each of the various media and about the cost of advertising in each medium. Media buyers, sometimes called advertising sales agents, purchase space in printed publications, time on radio or television stations, and ads on the Internet. Advertising media workers are supervised by a media director, who is accountable for the overall media plan. In addition to advertising agencies, media planners and buyers work for large companies that purchase space or broadcast time. There are approximately 148,770 advertising sales agents employed in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Advertising Sales Agents, Broadcast Time Salespeople, Interactive Media Specialists, Media Specialists, Print Sales Workers, Space Buyers, Time Buyers
Duties Gather information about the sizes and types of audiences that can be reached through each type of media (media planner); purchase space in printed publications, time on radio or television stations, and ads on the Internet (media buyer)
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities exist throughout the country, with high demand in large cities such as Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles
Minimum Education Level
  • Bachelor's Degree
School Subjects
  • Business
  • English
  • Speech
Experience Internship or co-op
Personality Traits
  • Creative
  • Enterprising
  • Organized
Skills
  • Interpersonal
  • Organizational
  • Sales
Certification or Licensing Recommended
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Little Change or More Slowly than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Media Director or Advertising/Marketing Executive
  • Media Planner or Buyer
  • In-House Sales Worker

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