Advertising media buyer

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Media buyer

Media buyers book advertising space in newspapers and magazines, and on TV, radio and the internet.

Salary Range: £18,000 to £50,000

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How to become an advertising media buyer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • working towards this role
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University

You could get into advertising with any degree subject, although some employers may prefer a relevant subject like:

  • advertising and marketing
  • statistics or operational research
  • communication and media studies
  • business or management

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More information

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Work

You could start in a junior position like office assistant in a small advertising agency and work your way up through training and promotion.

Volunteering and experience

You’ll find it useful to get experience to help you understand the industry and to meet people who may help you find paid work. You could try:

  • work experience
  • internships
  • temporary employment

You could contact agencies directly to ask about placements, and make industry contacts through social networking sites like Twitter or LinkedIn.

More information

Career tips

Employers will usually be more interested in your personal qualities, like creativity, quick thinking and business sense, as well as your formal qualifications.

Further information

You can find out more about a career in advertising from the IPA and Discover Creative Careers.

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What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • knowledge of media production and communication
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to organise your time and workload
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • identifying the target audience and deciding how to reach them through advertising
  • keeping up with industry research into people’s lifestyles
  • building relationships with clients and media sales companies
  • negotiating for the most suitable advertising spots at the best rates
  • preparing costings for clients
  • managing budgets
  • monitoring audience figures
  • analysing sales data, to judge a campaign’s effectiveness

Working environment

You could work in an office or at a client’s business.

You may need to wear smart business dress.

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Career path and progression

You might choose to specialise in buying radio, online or television advertising.

You could eventually become a media manager of an agency, or move into media planning, account planning or account management.