9 different media industry careers (with responsibilities)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 6 June 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 disciplines in the media industry, and they all have different responsibilities and requirements. Some sectors within the media industry include publishing, video and film, advertising and social media. If you're interested in working in a career in the media industry, it's important that you research jobs within these different sectors to determine what career is right for you. In this article, we discuss what the media industry is and outline some media industry careers.

What is the media industry?

The media industry refers to all businesses or mediums that allow for the sharing of information from one group to another. Businesses can distribute information in various ways, including television, newspapers, magazines, video games and social media. Distributed information categories are traditional or digital media. The former refers to any form of mass communication that doesn't involve the use of the Internet. Some examples include billboards, radio and newspapers. Digital media refers to communications that depend on electronic devices for distribution.

Related: What Are Communication and Media Degrees? (Plus Job Info)

Different media industry careers

There are many careers in the media industry that you can choose from, such as a production runner whose average salary is £20,252 per year. These roles all have varying salaries, responsibilities and requirements, so do your research into them first. It's important to note that most of these media jobs don't require you to have a media degree and there are multiple entry routes into them, regardless of whether you have limited experience or qualifications. Some different media industry careers include:

1. Sound engineer

National average salary: £26,237 per year

Primary duties: Sound engineers operate technical equipment and manage sound levels and outputs for various types of recordings and live audiences. They also edit and master tracks per the artist's vision. To ensure media events and broadcasts run smoothly, sound engineers test equipment beforehand to guarantee operational efficiency. Becoming a sound engineer can happen without a degree if there's enough hands-on experience. Most individuals pursue vocational qualifications for this career, such as a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sound Engineering, Level 3 Diploma in Music Technology or a Level 3 Diploma in Creative Media Production and Technology.

2. Photographer

National average salary: £25,175 per year

Primary duties: Photographers can work on behalf of events agencies, newspapers, magazines and public relations companies to take photographs and people and events for publication. They liaise with journalists and other artists in the industry to meet editorial briefs and process and develop films. Photographers set up their own equipment in a way that allows them to capture the best shot or image. To become a photographer, expertise in photo composition, light and focus are essential.

Related: How to become a photographer

3. Art director

National average salary: £43,742 per year

Primary duties: Art directors are creative individuals who decide what photographs or other design elements to use in marketing or promoting products. They determine the visual style of magazines, newspapers, websites or television sets depending on the media sector they work in. They motivate production and design teams to ensure a high standard of visual execution across all media platforms and to inspire better creativity.

Art directors usually gain work experience as graphic designers or illustrators before progressing into this role. They might earn a degree in a related subject, such as advertising, fine arts and graphic design, before seeking employment opportunities. As they build up experience, they create a portfolio that showcases their artistic skills when applying for or enquiring about jobs as an art director.

4. Public relations specialist

National average salary: £33,034 per year

Primary duties: Public relations specialists help to shape and maintain a company's brand and public image. They seek media opportunities to increase brand awareness on behalf of advertising agencies or public relations firms. They work alongside marketing departments and brand executives to design and execute media strategies that keep the brand's products and services relevant and in the news. A career as a public relations specialist is suitable for individuals who have good communication and public speaking skills.

The minimum education requirement is a bachelor's degree in public relations, journalism, communications, English or business. Consume media regularly to stay up to date on current affairs and advancements in the industry. They may earn a professional chartered qualification through the Chartered Institute of Public Relations to gain a competitive advantage over other candidates.

5. Presenter

National average salary: £23,990 per year

Primary duties: Presenters serve as the public face on television and radio programmes and entertain and educate audiences. They do this by sharing information and interviewing guests on a programme. Some day-to-day duties of a presenter include writing and rehearsing scripts, organising meetings and interviews with guests and researching relevant and newsworthy topics for discussion. Most presenters have a background in broadcast journalism before they progress into this career.

Consider earning a degree in broadcast journalism or media production while gaining experience with the university's radio or broadcasting department. Some local agencies may also provide training opportunities for aspiring presenters. Another option presenters take is to complete a higher apprenticeship in journalism and work their way up to TV presenting.

Related: How to get into media (plus 7 careers to consider)

6. Interpreter

National average salary: £28,210 per year

Primary duties: Interpreters or translators communicate a story or news to a specific audience in the same way that a reporter does for mass audiences. They review the original text or speech and convey it as closely as possible, but in another language. Native-level proficiency in two languages is essential to becoming an interpreter.

A good understanding of the written word in both languages is also necessary so that they can deal with and relay information with the same emotion and tone used when communicating it in the primary language. It's also important that they grasp cultural concepts related to the target audience and discern how this affects the message they're relaying.

7. Journalist

National average salary: £25,558 per year

Primary duties: A journalist gathers information on newsworthy stories to present an objective view of the facts to an audience. They interview relevant people surrounding events, such as witnesses or politicians, and take shorthand notes that they can refer to when writing articles or presenting the information. There are several types of journalists, including broadcast journalists, news journalists and column journalists. The former usually relays this information through a television broadcast while column journalists work for newspaper agencies, writing articles.

Some other general journalist responsibilities include reading press releases and attending important events in various locations. To become a journalist requires a National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) Level 5 Diploma in Journalism. This is a necessary prerequisite for becoming a journalist that teaches the fundamental skills and provides aspiring journalists with practical experience. For those who complete a bachelor's degree in journalism instead, they have ensured that the NCTJ accredited their coursework.

Related: How to get into journalism: a step-by-step guide with tips

8. Editor

National average salary: £30,731 per year

Primary duties: Newspaper and magazine editors decide on what content to publish and direct writers and other staff accordingly. They also proofread and restructure stories or articles to increase accuracy and clarity. Working as an editor in the publishing sector mainly includes verifying facts cited in material for publication and working alongside the author to polish up the final manuscript. Aspiring editors may earn an English, media communications or journalism degree. They can gain work experience with a local newspaper or website or volunteer for the student newspaper.

The Society of Editors and the Professional Publishers Association are useful organisations for individuals looking for further training opportunities and professional recognition, training opportunities. Prior to securing employment, editors can also meet industry professionals at organisation events, which also builds their professional network for future contracts or clients.

Related: How to become an editor for a magazine (plus salary)

9. Video editor

National average salary: £24,818 per year

Primary duties: Video editors manage camera footage, sound effects, special effects and dialogue to produce a cohesive film or video product. Some video editors may also be responsible for outline scripts or screenplays. Video editors usually create a 'rough cut' of a programme or film before digitally cutting files and inputting sound. They ensure that programmes or films follow a logical sequence so that viewers understand the story or intent behind the video.

Video editors often earn a degree that allows them to gain experience in film or media production. They develop technical skills in film editing software programmes, such as Final Cut Pro and Avid. Most employers require pre-entry experience in film or video production or post-production to know that their video editors can apply these skills on the job.

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

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