Media Buyer

Job Description

Are your strong negotiation skills matched only by your organizational and strategic know-how? A position as a Media Buyer might be the energizing role perfect for you.

A Media Buyer negotiates with media outlets to purchase time slots and ad space at the lowest possible price. These slots and openings may include space on billboards and other out-of-home signage, magazines, television, and radio programming, and websites. Media Buyers negotiate sponsorships and secure product placements, as well.

Media Buyers may work for a company’s in-house ad department or at an advertising agency on behalf of clients. A great Media Buyer builds close working relationships with vendors and media professionals using their excellent communication skills. They are expert salespeople and great listeners, taking each clients’ specific needs — and budgets — into account when negotiating with a seller.

Media Buyers are also long-term strategic thinkers, developing media campaigns that target the desired demographic, grow brand awareness, and increase sales.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities

  • Target key demographics and develop media campaigns
  • Negotiate ad space and airtime rates with vendors
  • Develop media plans and budgets that best fit clients’ needs
  • Create ad schedules and adjust when appropriate
  • Ensure ad quality and placement, as well as relevance to campaign objectives
  • Track ad money spent, and return on investment

Education and Background

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in business, digital marketing, mass communications, or a related field.

Skills and Competencies 

  • Knowledge of traditional and digital advertising trends
  • Strong background in using media analytics tools
  • Superior negotiation and communication skills
  • Ability to multitask and organize multiple projects
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Strong critical-thinking and problem-solving skills


According to Payscale the median annual salary of a Media Buyer with

1 Year of Experience:

  • Orlando, Florida: $50,000
  • Tampa, Florida: $54,000
  • Jacksonville, Florida: $50,000
  • Miami, Florida: $55,000
  • Atlanta, Georgia: $55,000
  • Chicago, Illinois: $50,000
  • Houston, Texas: $52,000
  • Los Angeles, California: $58,000
  • New York City, New York: $55,000
  • Seattle, Washington: $54,000
  • Overall: $54,000

5 Years of Experience:

  • Orlando, Florida: $60,000
  • Tampa, Florida: $62,000
  • Jacksonville, Florida: $59,000
  • Miami, Florida: $65,000
  • Atlanta, Georgia: $65,000
  • Chicago, Illinois: $60,000
  • Houston, Texas: $65,000
  • Los Angeles, California: $67,000
  • New York City, New York: $67,000
  • Seattle, Washington: $67,000
  • Overall: $64,000

Similar Titles

  • Media Planner
  • Media Specialist
  • Internet Advertising Buyer
  • Advertising Sales Agent
  • Advertising Buyer
  • Assistant Buyer

Career Path

The path to becoming a Media Buyer can take a couple of different directions.

Many Media Buyers begin their careers by earning a bachelor’s degree in a business- or marketing-related field. A proven track record in a high-pressure sales environment can get a candidate hired without a college degree, but these candidates are the exception, not the rule. Regardless, Media Buyers must demonstrate a solid command of traditional and digital platforms, as well as the analytics tools used to plan integrated marketing strategies.

Position Trends

The rise of the internet has reshaped the advertising world. Newspaper subscriptions have dwindled, as well as the available ad space in those print publications. Media companies (and Media Buyers) have taken advantage of cheaper ad costs online and shifted their focus from print to advertising on the web.

Programmatic advertising, or the automated buying and selling of online ads, has reduced costs ever further and presented Media Buyers with a unique challenge: how to adopt this new technology without replacing themselves with it. The best Media Buyers understand that nothing can replace the business value in creating lasting working relationships with clients.

Job Outlook

Media buying is a competitive field of work. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment options for Purchasing Agents, Managers, and Buyers are expected to decline six percent through 2028.

Typical Hours

The work hours for a Media Buyer are typically from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in an office setting. However, longer or different hours may, at times, be necessary.

Where You Can Find Jobs

  • 4 Corner Resources
  • Career Builder
  • Glassdoor
  • Indeed
  • LinkedIn
  • Monster
  • Zip Recruiter

Are You Interested in Becoming a Media Buyer?

We will connect you to one of our headhunters or recruiters to see if you are a perfect fit for one of our job openings. If a job opening does not suit you, we will always keep you in mind as new positions open up. We have vast experience connecting professionals with some of the most well-known organizations in the country. Your next job or career path can be right around the corner. Check out our latest job openings and our blog for career advice.

Feel free to contact us at any time.