Media Planner: Job Description, Salary and Career Outlook

Oct 20, 2021

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects strong job growth for market research analysts from 2018 to 2028. They project that jobs for this profession will increase by 20%, which is much faster than average when compared to all occupations. Those preparing to enter this career field should find many opportunities for employment.

Essential Information

Media planners, also referred to as market researchers, analysts, and specialists, study different types of media to determine where, when, and how businesses should advertise their products. They use mathematical formulas to analyze demographic data in order to determine what type of advertising would best suit their goals. Many hold bachelor's degrees in market research, math, business, or a related field, but top positions often call for a master's degree. Although the market research field, which includes the media planning profession, is estimated to grow, competition for jobs is expected to be fierce.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in market research, business or other relevant field; master's often recommended
Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)* 18% for market research analysts
Median Salary (2020)* $65,810 for market research analysts

Source: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Job Description

Media planners advise businesses on how to transmit advertising messages using various types of media, including radio, television, Internet, and billboards. Using data and mathematics, they determine the least expensive and most effective way businesses can get product messages to target audiences.

Job Duties

In order to determine the type of media used by specific consumers and businesses, media planners study the content in print and online newspapers and magazines, television programs, social media websites, billboards, bus advertisements, and other mediums. They evaluate the demographics of specific media users, accumulating data on the times and places consumers typically access particular advertising sources and for how long. Media planners specialize in understanding how people relate to advertising content based on location, setting, and means. Additionally, they gather information about marketing practices of competitors.

Media planners enter aggregated information into mathematical formulas to help them determine a media strategy to present to businesses looking to advertise their products to their target markets. This strategy includes the plan for which avenues have the best chances of reaching a target market most productively and cost effectively. Media planners can also act as media buyers, finding available advertising space and negotiating prices. They make sure the advertisements appear where and when they're supposed to.


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that market research analysts and marketing specialists made a median average salary of $65,810 as of May 2020 ( The majority of them worked for management, scientific, and technical consulting services, though other employers included management of companies and enterprises, computer systems design and related services, and advertising, public relations, and related services. The highest-paid media planners worked in aerospace product and parts manufacturing, with a mean salary of $119,590 per year.

Career Outlook

The BLS stated that the employment of market research analysts, like media planners, was expected to grow at a much higher-than-average rate of 18% percent during the 2019-2029 decade. Those who have graduate education and knowledge of multiple media outlets should experience better job opportunities. Companies were expected to employ media planners and market researchers in order to get the highest return on advertising dollars.

Media planners research various forms of media to determine which types of consumers and businesses use them. They use this information to develop marketing strategies so that their company or client can effectively target the appropriate audience with effective advertising. They may also be responsible for buying advertising space and confirming that the advertisements run.

Next: View Schools
Created with Sketch. Link to this page

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?