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Sales & marketing

Advertising media planner

Advertising media planners decide which media is best suited to advertising their client's products or services.

Annual Salary

£18,000 to £50,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 39 a week

You could work: evenings; occasionally

4%
Future employment

There will be 4% more Advertising media planner jobs in 2026.
In your local area

Day to day tasks

You could:

  • research and analyse data on the client's target audience and how they use different media
  • create a media plan of how, when and where to advertise
  • present plans and costings to clients
  • work closely with creative teams and researchers
  • work with a media buyer to work out costs and book advertising space
  • build close working relationships with other media organisations
  • monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of campaigns

Working environment

You could work in an office or at a client's business.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • specialist courses run by professional bodies
University

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
  • psychology

With your degree you can apply for graduate roles like junior media planner in advertising agencies. Some employers combine media planning and media buying roles, giving you the opportunity to gain broader experience before specialising in planning.

Entry requirements

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
For more information
Apprenticeship

You could start on an advertising and media executive advanced apprenticeship and with qualifications and experience move into media planning.

This typically takes 18 months to complete as a mix of learning in the workplace and study.

For more information
Work

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 work experience

Getting as much work experience as possible will help you gain a better understanding of the role, and to make contacts who may help you to find paid work in advertising. You could try:

  • work experience
  • internships
  • temporary employment

Social networking sites like Twitter or LinkedIn can be useful for finding and contacting companies and agencies.

Other routes

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.

More information

Career tips

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.

Further information

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.

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With experience, you could move into account management or become a senior planner or strategic manager.

You could work as a freelance media planner.

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.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of media production and communication
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • the ability to sell products and services
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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