How to Become a Media Planner

How to Become a Media Planner

A media planner determines what type and what delivery advertising for their clients takes.

Are you good at figuring out exactly how, where and when to promote an organization? Have you watched children’s advertisements in the wee hours of the morning and wondered why they’d broadcast them with no children awake? If you can answer these questions, you could have an excellent career as a media planner.

Job Overview

A media planner determines what type and what delivery advertising for their clients takes. They study what the best times will be to reach their target audience, they explore new media forms including mobile marketing and they determine the best location to place advertising.

Requirements and Qualifications

In addition to time and educational requirements, there are particular qualities you may want to develop as a media planner. You must have excellent communications and social skills to be successful in this field. Having initiative, persistence and self-confidence will help keep you active in a field that can sometimes be challenging. Organizational skills, dependability, integrity and attention to detail are all qualities a supervisor will appreciate and can help lead to advancement opportunities.

Typical Education

Though some employers do not require a college degree for entry level positions, having an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications or business will give you better opportunities and more advancement potential as a media planner. Taking an internship while in school is also very beneficial as it will provide you with networking contacts, relevant experience and job references.

Steps to Become a Media Planner

After completing your educational program and finding an entry-level job, you will have some months to a year of on the job training, either in a formal or informal setting. By taking on additional responsibilities and volunteering for special projects, you will be able to demonstrate your leadership abilities, helping you advance within this field.

Similar Jobs

Perhaps you’re not sure that you want to work on the purchasing end of media planning, or it could be that you don’t want to work in media at all. It’s okay! Here are some other similar career paths you may find intriguing:

  • Want to help businesses increase their sales? Advertising sales agents sell advertising space in a variety of media forms.
  • Good at increasing the public’s awareness and purchases from a particular organization? Advertising, promotions and marketing managers oversee a company’s efforts in increasing public awareness and interest in their products or services.
  • Want to work in the big leagues? Agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes oversee the financial and promotional side of an individual’s career.
  • Want to help people protect their assets? Insurance sales agents provide information, rates and customer service to their clients as well as providing claims handling when their customer has suffered a loss.
  • Can you keep a sales force moving in the right direction? Sales managers train sales representatives, set sales goals and provide administration to a company’s sales department.
  • Want to deal with large quantities and businesses? Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives provide sales support for business to business transactions, including negotiating contracts.


The average annual income for media planners was $46,290 as of 2013, significantly higher than the average annual income for all careers at $33,840 per year. Media planners typically work full time, with only 9% working part time. You can expect overtime and long hours around holidays and weekends in this career path.

Job Outlook

With growth projected at 13% over the next ten years, it is expected that media planners will see similar growth to the average of all career paths at 14% for the same time period. Individuals who explore and are knowledgeable in new advertising media opportunities will have the best career options available to them.

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