Advertising media planners decide which media is best suited to advertising their client’s products or services.
Salary Range: £18,000 to £60,000
How to become an advertising media planner
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- specialist courses run by professional bodies
You’ll usually need a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a related subject like:
- advertising and marketing
- statistics or operational research
- communication and media studies
- business or management
You’ll usually need:
- 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You may get into this job through an advertising and media executive advanced apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
In smaller advertising agencies you could start in a more junior position, like an administrator, and work your way up as your experience of the industry develops.
Volunteering and experience
The key to finding work is to get as much work experience as possible. It will help you get a better understanding of the role, and make contacts who may help you to find paid work in advertising. You could try:
- work experience
- temporary employment
Social networking sites like Twitter or LinkedIn can be useful for finding and contacting companies and agencies.
You could study the Foundation Certificate offered by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising if you have less than a year’s experience in an advertising, marketing or communications role.
Any work experience in media, marketing, communications or sales would also be useful.
Professional and industry bodies
You could join the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, for professional development, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.
You can find out more about becoming an advertising media planner from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.
You can also find out more about working in creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of media production and communication
- the ability to use your initiative
- knowledge of English language
- 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
- excellent verbal communication skills
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- meeting with the client and an account executive
- understanding the client’s advertising needs
- researching how the target audience uses different media
- planning the best times and places to show advertisements
- presenting plans and costings to clients
- working closely with creative teams and researchers
- working with a media buyer to work out costs and book advertising space
- building close working relationships with other media organisations
- working on several accounts at the same time
You could work at a client’s business or in an office.
Career path and progression
With experience and a good track-record, you may progress into account management or become a senior planner or manager.
You could also go freelance.