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Advertising media buyer

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

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £18,000 to £50,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements. Employers will be interested in your personal qualities, like creativity, quick thinking and business sense. Sales and marketing experience will also be useful.

It may help to have a qualification in a relevant subject like:

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

You could work your way up from a junior position in an advertising agency, like administrator.

Paid or unpaid work experience in an advertising agency will be useful. The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) has information on work experience. 

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • excellent presentation and negotiation skills
  • a logical and analytical mind
  • competent IT skills
  • accuracy and attention to detail
  • business skills

3. What you'll do

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

4. Salary

Starter: £18,000 to £22,000

Experienced: £24,000 to £40,000

Highly Experienced: £50,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll generally work standard office hours, Monday to Friday, although you may have to work longer hours to meet deadlines.

You’ll be mainly office-based, spending much of your time on the phone. You may also travel to meet clients and media sales representatives.

6. Career path and progression

You could specialise in buying radio, online or television advertising. 

You could eventually progress to media manager of an agency. 

You could move into media planning, account planning or account management.

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Last updated: 08 December 2016