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Media Buyer

Career Overview

Media buyers work for advertising agencies or for corporations that do a lot of advertising and handle the job in-house. They buy advertising space in print outlets including newspapers, direct mail and magazines, purchase advertising time on radio or television, and increasingly handle ad strategy for internet advertising options.

Media buyers are specialists who are acquainted with the costs and demographic reach of media in the markets their employer or clients sell into. They collect information about the kinds of audiences that can be reached by the different media and the approximate size of those audiences. Negotiating the terms of a buy is the media buyer's responsibility; many times those purchases are contracts covering an extended period and include negotiated discounts.


Some media buyers work their way into the job from an entry level position at an ad agency as an account representative. Most develop the experience necessary on the job, but most people who work their way into advertising agencies or departments have a bachelors degree in advertising, business or a liberal arts program.

Current Employment

Media buying is a job niche in the advertising and public relations industry, which employed 458,000 people in 2006, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Job Outlook

The job outlook is excellent for media buyers, particularly those who develop an understanding of internet advertising and track the development of that market.

Salary Range

Lowest 10%  $40,051
Median Salary  $56,279
Highest 10%  $75,639

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