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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 advertising space in newspapers and magazines, and on TV, radio and the internet.

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter


£50,000 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 an 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, although 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 a related 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 to help you understand the industry and to meet people who may help you find paid work. You could try:

  • work experience
  • internships
  • temporary employment

You could contact agencies directly to ask about placements, and make industry contacts through social networking sites like Twitter or LinkedIn.

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

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:

  • identify the target audience and decide how to reach them through advertising
  • keep up with industry research into people's lifestyles
  • build relationships with clients and media sales companies
  • negotiate for the most suitable advertising spots at the best rates
  • prepare costings for clients
  • manage budgets
  • 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 might choose to specialise in buying radio, online or television advertising.

You could eventually become a media manager of an agency, or move into media planning, account planning or account management.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Buying & Merchandise Apprentice

  • Wage: £18,000.00 Annually
  • Location: 9 Sunbank Lane, Altrincham

Courses In England

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