Top 10 Best Jobs in the Media Industry

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College students, want to give your parents a scare? Tell them you’re thinking of going into a career in media. Inundated with stories about the decline of the newspaper and magazine industry, most parents would probably prefer that their kids choose just about any other occupation.

But not all media jobs require a press pass. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, these emerging (or still relevant!) media jobs offer a decent occupational outlook and a living wage.

If you love communicating, whether through the written word or multimedia, you can still find a dream job and a paycheck in one of these fields.

Top 10 Jobs in the Media Industry

1. Interpreter/Translator

Formal education is less important than language skills for this job; interpreters and translators need to have native-level proficiency in both languages, the language of the original text or speech, and the language of the finished product. Translators, who work with the written word, must also have an expert-level knowledge of grammar and style in both languages.

  • Median Pay: $51,830
  • Typical Education: Bachelor's Degree
  • Occupational Outlook, 2018-2028: 19%

2. Film/Video Editor

The explosion of online and mobile video content had led to a corresponding increase in demand for film and video editors, who take raw footage and transform it into a finished product. Editors must be adept at using film editing software programs and generally have a degree related to film or broadcasting.

  • Median Pay: $59,810
  • Typical Education: Bachelor's Degree
  • Occupational Outlook, 2018-2028: 11% (For film/video editors and camera operators.)

3. Technical Writer

Technical writers create everything from instruction manuals to articles to documentation, and tend to work in STEM-related industries. To do this job, you'll need a bachelor's degree and experience with a technical subject, as well as the ability to explain complex concepts to a variety of different audiences and hit deadlines.

  • Median Pay: $72,850
  • Typical Education: Bachelor's Degree
  • Occupational Outlook, 2018-2028: 8%

4. Video Producer

If you spend any time online, you've probably noticed that video is taking over your favorite sites. Someone has to create those eye-catching, meme-inspiring video moments, and that person is a video producer. As the internet video boom continues, expect to see more of these jobs on the horizon.

  • Median Pay: $74,420
  • Typical Education: Bachelor's Degree
  • Occupational Outlook, 2018-2028: 5% (For producers and directors.)
  • Film / TV Producer Skills

5. Public Relations Specialist

If you have fantastic communication skills and are comfortable talking up the merits of your favorite brand or product, a career in PR might be the perfect fit for you. PR specialists typically work for advertising agencies, public relations firms, or large companies with in-house PR teams. They design and execute media strategies to keep their employer's products and services in the news—in a good way.

6. Blogger

Companies often employ bloggers as part of their marketing strategy; an engaging blog provides a friendly public face for the company, while potentially helping the organization's ranking on Google and other search engines. Writers who work primarily on blogs have to be able to turn out attention-grabbing copy that adheres to the organization's voice and style guidelines, while keeping social media and SEO principles in mind.

  • Median Pay: $63,200
  • Typical Education: Bachelor's Degree
  • Occupational Outlook, 2018-2028: Little or no change (For all writers and authors, including bloggers.)

7. Sound Engineer

Sound engineers work in a variety of different environments, from recording studios to stadiums to theaters, recording sound files. They also often maintain recording equipment. Sound engineers have variable schedules, depending on the needs of their clients.

  • Median Pay: $45,510
  • Typical Education: Non-Degree Certificate
  • Occupational Outlook, 2018-2028: 8% (For broadcast and sound engineering technicians.)

8. Art Director

Art directors design visual concepts for promotions and products. They may work in print, online, television, and other media. Depending on their industry, art directors may have previously worked as graphic designers, photographers, or illustrators. To succeed at this job, you must be able to communicate well and manage a team of artists, as well as having proficiency in relevant design software.

  • Median Pay: $94,220
  • Typical Education: Bachelor's Degree
  • Occupational Outlook, 2018-2028: 1%

9. Content Strategist

The occupational outlook for editors might be pretty poor – the profession is expected to decline by 3% over the next few years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics—but that doesn't mean that those skills are out of demand. Tech-savvy editors who don't mind learning how to use Google Analytics and the basics of SEO can transition themselves from editorial management roles into this relatively new occupation, and earn a good living doing it.

  • Median Pay: $135,900 (For advertising and promotions managers.)
  • Typical Education: Bachelor's Degree
  • Occupational Outlook, 2018-2028: 8% (For advertising, promotions, and marketing managers.)

10. Social Media Specialist

If you already spend most of your time on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, etc., the good news is that it doesn't have to be a waste of time. If you're willing to embrace the strategic marketing side of social, you might be able to turn your passion into a career. Just be advised: in addition to a bachelor's degree and plenty of social media know-how, this job requires tact and discretion. The internet never forgets.

  • Median Pay: $61,150 (For public relations specialists.)
  • Typical Education: Bachelor's Degree
  • Occupational Outlook, 2018-2028: 6% (For public relations specialists.)
  • Social Media Job Titles

The Bottom Line

You Can Still Get a Job in Media: While it’s true that newspapers and magazines are cutting staff positions, there are many thriving media jobs outside the newsroom.

Look for Growing Jobs That Use Your Skills: The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook offers insight into which career paths are most viable.

Continuously Upskill Yourself: Success in the current media landscape means always being willing to learn something new.

Article Sources

  1. Pew Research Center. “U.S. Newspapers Have Shed Half of Their Newsroom Employees Since 2008.” Accessed Aug. 25, 2020.

  2. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook. “Interpreters and Translators.” Accessed Aug. 25, 2020.

  3. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook. “Film and Video Editors and Camera Operators.” Accessed Aug. 25, 2020.

  4. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook. “Technical Writers.” Accessed Aug. 25, 2020.

  5. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook. “Producers and Directors.” Accessed Aug. 25, 2020.

  6. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook. “Public Relations Specialists.” Accessed Aug. 25, 2020.

  7. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook. “Writers and Authors.” Accessed Aug. 25, 2020.

  8. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook. “Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians.” Accessed Aug. 25, 2020.

  9. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook. “Art Directors.” Accessed Aug. 25, 2020.

  10. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook. “Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers.” Accessed Aug. 25, 2020.