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Media Planner

Education and Training – Bachelor’s Degree
Average Salary – $20,000 – $80,000
Job Outlook – Fair

Media planners work within media and advertising agencies. The role of media planner involves liaising with clients who are seeking to put together a promotional or other media campaign. Depending on the client’s budgets, target audience, and the message they wish to convey, media planners find the most appropriate uses of various forms of media to meet a client’s needs.
The role of media planner requires a mixture of knowledge and creativity. Media planners need knowledge of which media avenues are successful at conveying certain types of message to certain target audiences. They also need to be able to think creatively in order to maximize the advertising opportunities that a client’s budget allows for.

Education and Training Requirements

There is no specific prerequisite level or course of study for someone seeking to become a media planner but there are courses and programs of study that provide a desirable set of skills and experience. At a high school level courses relating to media and other creative concepts are advantageous.

A lot of media planners have a bachelor’s or associate’s degree and desirable subjects include media, advertising, marketing, and communications. A relevant degree is a big advantage in securing a media planner’s role but is by no means essential as some employers are prepared to hire on the basis of experience within the industry.
The main thing employers look for in potential media planners is work experience within the industry. Experience, even unpaid, at an advertising or other media agency is the main thing an employer will look for when seeking to hire a media planner.

Getting the Job

There are various ways to get a job as a media planner and there is no one route that people take. Prospective media planners will need to display a passion for the media as well as in-depth knowledge about the way it works. A relevant degree is a great way to do this but is by no means the only route to take. The most advantageous background for anyone seeking to become a media planner is work experience within an advertising agency. This will allow an employer to see that a candidate has real world experience of the industry and what it entails.

A great way for people seeking to become a media planner is to get started by landing any job role within an advertising agency. Even it is an unpaid internship, it is a foot in the door and gives the potential media planner the chance to get noticed and express their ability and passion for the world of media and advertising.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

The job prospects for media planners are fairly decent. There will always be a need for the role within the world of advertising but it is less essential than in the pre-internet days. The decline of traditional forms of media has lessened the need for media planners working in the traditional ways. A more modern focus to advertising strategy, including knowledge of social media, is now the relevant approach.

Working as a media planner gives people the chance to progress to different roles within the world of media and advertising. Some media planners start their own advertising or consultancy firms while others are happy to take a senior and well-paying role within a company.

Working Conditions and Environment

The media planner typically works within a modern office environment. Meetings with clients are a vital part of the role and this may involve either traveling to clients’ offices or meeting them at a neutral location. The role can be stressful and pressured.

Salary and Benefits

The starting salary for a media planner tends to be around $20,000. This can rise significantly as more experience is gained and some of the most senior media planners earn around $80,000 a year. Many companies offer their employees a full range of benefits but this varies from employer to employer.

Where to Go for More Information

American Advertising Federation
1101 Vermont Ave. NW, Ste. 500
Washington, DC 20005.

American Association of Advertising Agencies
405 Lexington Ave., 18th Fl.
New York, NY 10174

Public Relations Society of America
33 Maiden Lane, 11th Fl.
New York, NY 10038-5150

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesSales & Marketing