5 Types of Media Careers (With Examples and Salaries)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 12 October 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Media industry jobs create and share content with others using mediums like television, radio, print media and the internet. A wide range of roles form part of the media industry and it can include many roles involved with researching, developing, planning, editing and disseminating content to specific audiences. If working in this industry appeals to you, knowing the diverse jobs available to media professionals can help you make appropriate educational and career choices. In this article, we provide details of five different media career categories with examples of careers and their salary information.

Related: 11 Popular Jobs in the Creative Arts (With Primary Duties)

5 types of media careers

Media careers are typically in one of the following five categories:

1. Writing and editing

Writing and editing careers consist of creating or proofreading written content for audiences. It can include creative fiction writing as a novel author or scriptwriter for movies and television shows. It can also involve writing and editing non-fiction or appearing as a subject expert for specific organisations. Some media roles may require working in the corporate world as a communications specialist or technical writer. They help a business promote its products and services by creating content or re-purposing existing communications materials.

2. Journalism

Media jobs can include those working in journalism. This can involve investigating current or past events or news-related events. Journalists may work for newspapers or online publications or present the news on radio and television. Journalists with experience in a specific area can create documentaries and write books or share their personal opinions as columnists or critics. They can also work as subject experts for publications dedicated to specific topics in the public interest including politics and international conflicts.

Related: A Guide to Multimedia Journalist Skills (With Examples)

3. Production

When someone creates content they can rely on a team to help them physically create and refine their work so that it's suitable for sharing with an audience. A media production team usually includes assistants, coordinators and managers that work on a specific project to ensure other team members follow any budgetary and time requirements. Production media roles can include equipment technicians, animators, producers and photographers. Together, these professionals help create cohesive and attractive content for an audience.

Relevant: What Does a Television Producer Do? (With Skills)

4. Marketing and advertising

These media professionals specialise in creating promotional content that can appeal to other businesses or the public. Media advertising and marketing roles can involve creative and practical aspects of developing and sharing an advert. Art and creative directors can oversee this process and graphic designers, designers and copywriters can add their input. Account managers and media planners can oversee the advert purchasing and placement process to ensure it complies with an outlined budget or meets the client's expectations.

Related: 15 Jobs in Advertising (With Average Salaries and Duties)

5. Digital and e-commerce

Some media professionals specialise in working with the internet and its various networks and systems. They can help protect and manage data and ensure it reaches the right audience at the right place and time. They may also share content on a range of platforms. Roles that fall into this category include IT specialists and technicians and website interface and graphic systems designers and developers. They can often work alongside other media professionals to transform print content into digital.

8 careers in the media industry

Depending on your skill set, educational background and interests, you can pursue many media careers, including the ones listed below:

1. Production assistant

National average salary: $56,473 per year

Primary duties: Production assistants assist producers and directors with their responsibilities, working behind the scenes on administrative tasks or on teams on film or television sets. Their tasks may involve helping to move equipment and assisting with setting up or taking down lighting, cameras or other aspects of a set and printing copies of scripts and distributing them to relevant parties. They can also work in offices to answer phone calls and take messages or perform other secretarial tasks.

2. Graphic designer

National average salary: $72,434 per year

Primary duties: Graphic designers combine artistic skills and specialised computer software and program to create visually appealing media. They combine and balance printed text, images or photos and white space to create cohesive and attractive content. They can produce print adverts, book covers, movie posters or visuals according to a brief's requirements. Graphic designers can work in advertising, publishing or public relations industries or can work for the media and communication department of a business or organisation.

3. News reporter

National average salary: $73,082 per year

Primary duties: News reporters or anchors represent television shows or stations and communicate news to their viewers on local, regional and international issues. They look for and cover stories or events relevant to their audience and can invite thought leaders or experts onto their shows to discuss these occurrences. News reporters can work in a studio and communicate prepared news segments or they can work in the field to broadcast the news live. At other times they represent the public by asking politicians, celebrities and other influential people challenging questions.

4. Social media specialist

National average salary: $80,514 per year

Primary duties: Businesses and individual clients can use social media platforms to connect with customers, engage with the public and communicate information about an upcoming event or new product launch. Social media specialists are experts at understanding different platforms and creating content calendars of appealing images and words to appeal to a specific audience. They can plan, integrate and track the performance of an advert or campaign so that they can communicate its results to their client.

Related: What Does a Social Media Marketer Do? (With Average Salary)

5. Writer

National average salary: $80,633 per year

Primary duties: Writers create content or transform existing messages to make them more compelling and relevant to different audiences. They can do this to promote a specific product or service for a business or create their own content, which they can publish on a blog or publish in print and digital publications under their own name. Writers can research topics and use their insights to communicate a particular point of view or argue for or against something. Writers can also create fictitious writing by writing novels or drafting scripts for television and cinema.

6. Editor

National average salary: $92,112 per year

Primary duties: Editors oversee content to ensure its accuracy flows well and is free of errors. They can oversee written media to check its spelling, grammar and punctuation and ensure it meets clients' style guides. In publishing houses, they can source potential manuscripts and edit them into a final product that's appealing to an audience. Editors can also work with video and audio content by transforming hours of recorded footage or sound into a finished movie, podcast or soundtrack.

7. Media manager

National average salary: $105,468 per year

Primary duties: Media managers oversee a client's or business's communication departments to meet its needs. They remain up to date on media platforms and use them to communicate details on the brand and its imagery. This can involve researching and planning campaigns over multiple platforms and ensuring they meet the expectations of a specific audience. They can also manage the campaign's reporting and oversee whether it's meeting its outlined goals or key performance indicators.

Related: 14 Types of Social Media to Grow a Brand (With Examples)

8. Art director

National average salary: $106,217 per year

Primary duties: Art directors oversee the visual style and form of media which can include a website, advertising campaign or magazine. They plan and oversee layouts to communicate a specific message using fonts, colours and images. Art directors can undertake this design and production work digitally or by hand and ensure it's appropriate for its audience or client. They can oversee teams within an advertising agency or work independently on projects as required.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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