10 media and communications careers (salaries and duties)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 10 July 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.

There are several career options in media and communications across multiple industries, including marketing, publishing and retail. Learning about different media and communications careers can help you find a job suited to your interests. If you're a creative thinker or want to work in television, a media and communications role may be suitable for you. In this article, we outline some jobs in media and communications, including their national average salaries and primary responsibilities.

What are media and communications careers?

Media and communications careers encompass a broad job sector that allows you to work in several environments. While some of these jobs require you to work in an office-based environment, others involve working on sets or out in the field. It's important to note that all these jobs have unique entry requirements and pathways, so be sure to do your research on those you're most interested in. Some different media and communications careers include:

1. Interpreter

National average salary: £22,190 per year

Primary duties: Interpreters listen to audio content in the original source language and translate it into the target language. An interpreter can translate speech as it occurs, otherwise known as simultaneous interpretation (SI), or as the speaker pauses (consecutive interpretation). They assimilate the speaker's words quickly and efficiently, ensuring they capture all jargon and acronyms. Interpreters may conduct their own research to make sure they're informed on the topics they're translating and write notes throughout the translation process to aid memory.

Interpreters can work on behalf of international businesses, news services, governments and other public sector bodies. The main requirement necessary to become a translator is to be fluent in two or more languages. Yet most employers require aspiring translators to have an undergraduate degree in interpreting to demonstrate their skills. Some common degrees include deaf studies, modern languages, interpreting and translation and British Sign Language (BSL).

Related: What does a media strategist do? (And how to become one)

2. Sound engineer

National average salary: £25,675 per year

Primary duties: Sound engineers are technical professionals who manipulate acoustics to produce high-quality, live or recorded sound. They communicate with directors, producers and performers to understand sound requirements before setting up audio equipment appropriately. Sound engineers can work in several media outlets, including radio, television and music. Some responsibilities of the role include liaising with lighting and other departments, resolving audio-related technical problems, conducting sound checks and adding sound effects during live performances. Sound engineers usually have a bachelor's degree in music technology subjects. Work experience is also essential given that sound engineering is a competitive industry.

Related: How to develop a winning social media content strategy

3. Video editor

National average salary: £25,929 per year

Primary duties: Video editors manage the camera footage, graphics, dialogue, sound effects and special effects necessary to produce a final film or video product. They play a key role in the post-production process, helping filmmakers and other professionals create cohesive video products. Some other responsibilities of video editors include assembling raw footage, cutting files and putting them into a sequence, ensuring the video product meets brief requirements and creating a 'rough cut' of a video for producers to view.

To become a video editor, a degree in film and television studies, media production or another related subject is necessary. Aspiring video editors can also complete a college course to get into the industry, such as the Level 3 Diploma in Creative Media Production, Level 4 Higher National Certificate or Diploma in Creative Media Production and the T Level in Media, Broadcast and Production.

4. Graphic designer

National average salary: £26,040 per year

Primary duties: A graphic designer uses images, symbols and text to create a visual representation of a client's ideas. Some products and events that graphic designers create visuals for include websites, posters, computer games, books and magazines, product packaging and exhibitions. Their responsibilities include coming up with creative concepts in line with client requirements, ensuring a design project remains within time, scope and budget and presenting project ideas for client approval.

It's important for graphic designers to stay up to date with design and multimedia trends and the latest developments in software tools so they can offer their clients the best services. A degree in graphic design, art and design, illustration or another related subject is essential to becoming a graphic designer. Many employers prefer job candidates to have some work experience too, which they can earn through internships or apprenticeships.

Related: A guide to 10 different jobs in media (with salary info)

5. Photographer

National average salary: £26,146 per year

Primary duties: Photographers use a variety of photographic equipment and image techniques to capture people, events and other scenes. There are several areas of photography in which a photographer may specialise, such as photojournalism, event photography and medical photography. Some general responsibilities of photographers include reproducing and framing photos, setting up and dismantling photographic equipment, choosing appropriate locations to set up equipment and editing photographs. Most photographers complete an online course or bachelor's degree in photography, art and design or visual arts. Some professionals start as photographer assistants before working their way up.

Related: What can I do with a media studies degree? An overview

6. Broadcaster

National average salary: £33,551 per year

Primary duties: Broadcasters serve as the public face or voice on television, radio and other forms of media. They write and rehearse scripts for shows before presenting them to the public. Broadcasters may also perform research into the topic they're discussing to ensure they appear knowledgeable on the subject. Some other general duties include meeting with producers to discuss programmes, interviewing guests, operating technical equipment and organising meetings or interviews.

Most employers require aspiring broadcasters to complete a degree accredited by the Broadcast Journalism Training Council. There are several graduate schemes available with large broadcasting firms, such as the BBC and ITV. After finishing their studies, some candidates choose to start in an entry-level position, such as a runner, production assistant or media researcher, before progressing into a broadcasting role.

8. Advertising manager

National average salary: £34,531 per year

Primary duties: Advertising managers help companies research and develop advertising and outreach campaigns. These campaigns are brand-specific and help the company communicate their products or services to their target audience. General responsibilities of an advertising manager include overseeing advertising department operations, monitoring project process from planning to execution, directing research efforts and negotiating advertising contracts. They also create pricing strategies for a company's products or services and plan giveaways, contests and other promotional activities.

Advertising managers usually work in marketing agencies or the retail sector. To become an advertising manager, a bachelor's degree in marketing, advertising or another related field is necessary. Most employers also require candidates to have at least two years of experience in the field.

Related: 12 top jobs on social media and their duties and skills

7. Promotions manager

National average salary: £34,856 per year

Primary duties: Promotions managers are responsible for planning and overseeing advertising campaigns that help promote a company's products or services. They liaise with senior marketing managers and other senior management members to understand the company's marketing goals and implement appropriate advertising strategies. Other general responsibilities of the role include maintaining a good relationship between the company, vendors and customers, selecting agencies to partner up with, developing mail and online marketing programmes and assessing potential products and services promotion options.

A bachelor's degree in advertising or journalism is the minimum education requirement for a promotions manager. Many promotions managers gain necessary experience through sales and marketing positions.

Related: 9 different media industry careers (with responsibilities)

9. Public relations officer

National average salary: £34,974 per year

Primary duties: Public relations officers are responsible for managing the image and reputation of their clients. They use all forms of media and communication to develop and maintain a positive reputation for their clients. Public relations officers answer any enquiries about their clients from the media, requiring them to have a close relationship with those who they represent. Their duties involve monitoring newspapers, blogs and other forms of media, preparing the production of publicity materials, updating information on the client's website and writing and distributing press releases.

There are no mandatory qualifications for becoming a public relations officer, yet many employers require candidates to have a relevant bachelor's degree. Common courses include business management, politics, marketing and communications and media studies. Aspiring public relations officers can source relevant work experience through the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

Related: A complete guide to media planning, with tips and advice

10. Art director

National average salary: £44,517 per year

Primary duties: An art director is a creative professional who designs visual materials for films, advertising campaigns, publications and other project types. Some day-to-day duties of the role include creating storyboards or sketches, selecting and booking studios and overseeing the edits of materials as requested by the client.

Art directors also ensure graphic consistency is maintained across all deliverables to increase brand awareness and association. When creating design concepts, they often collaborate with creative directors, writers and marketers. Art directors usually obtain a bachelor's degree in graphic design, art, illustration, fine art or related courses. Experience as a graphic designer, illustrator or photographer is also necessary before progressing into the role.

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.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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