Top 10 Best Jobs in the Media Industry

Colleagues standing in office behind glass pane with adhesive notes
••• Westend61 / Getty Images

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. These emerging (or still relevant!) media jobs offer a thriving occupational outlook and a decent salary. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

9. Content Strategist
The occupational outlook for editors might be pretty poor – the profession is expected to decline by 1 percent 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: $60,310
  • Typical Education: Bachelor's Degree
  • Occupational Outlook, 2016-2026: (The Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't track this occupation ... yet.)

10. Social Media Specialist
If you already spend most of your time on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, 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: $41,452
  • Typical Education: Bachelor's Degree
  • Occupational Outlook, 2016-2026: (The Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't track this occupation ... yet.)
  • Social Media Job Titles