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Advertising media buyer

Alternative titles for this job include Media buyer, TV, radio or digital buyer, out of home buyer

Media buyers book advert space on newspapers, magazines, TV, radio and websites.

Average salary (a year)

£21,000 Starter


£36,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

9am to 5pm

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Advertising media buyer

You can get into this job through:

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


You could get into advertising with any degree subject.

However, for this role some employers may prefer subjects like:

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

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More Information


You could do an advertising apprenticeship like an assistant buyer higher apprenticeship or an advertising media executive advanced apprenticeship.

With experience these may give you some of the skills, knowledge and industry contacts you need to move into advertising media buying roles.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

More Information


You could start in a junior position like office assistant in a small advertising agency and work your way up through training and promotion.


You'll find it useful to get experience before you apply for roles. It will help you understand the industry and make contacts.

 You could try:

  • work experience
  • internships
  • temporary employment

You could contact agencies directly to ask about placements or contact companies on sites like Twitter or LinkedIn.

Other Routes

You could study the Foundation Certificate offered by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.

To apply, you must have less than one year of experience in an advertising, marketing or communications role.

More Information

Career tips

Employers will usually be interested in your personal qualities, like creativity, quick thinking and business sense, as well as your formal qualifications.

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 a career in advertising from the IPA and Discover Creative Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

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

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You could:

  • work out who the audience is and where to put adverts so they'll see them
  • build relationships with clients and media sales companies
  • negotiate for the best advert spots at the cheapest rates
  • manage budgets and outline costs to clients
  • monitor campaign audience figures
  • analyse sales data, to judge a campaign's effectiveness

Working environment

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

You may need to wear smart business clothes.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

You can choose to specialise in buying radio, online or TV adverts.

With experience, you could eventually become a: 

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Buying Apprentice

  • Wage: £20,480 a year Annually
  • Location: Bickland Water Road, Falmouth, Cornwall

Merchandising Apprentice

  • Wage: £20,480 a year Annually
  • Location: Bickland Water Road, Falmouth, Cornwall

Courses In England

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Jobs In the United Kingdom

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