What Are Some Popular Careers in Media?

While actors, athletes and news presenters are the most visible occupations in media, individuals within the most popular careers work almost entirely behind the scenes. The most common careers include writing, editing, publicity, photography and engineering. Read on to learn about each of these career options. Schools offering Applied Communications degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Options

Arts, design, media, sports and entertainment occupations together employed over 400,000 people in May 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov). The BLS occupational outlook indicates a moderate to high level of competition in these career fields, even as the industry grows. Some media career options you might consider include writer, editor, public relations specialist, photographer and broadcast or sound engineer.

Important Facts About These Occupations

Entry-level Education Bachelor's degree
Key Skills Writing skills, interpersonal skills, communication skills, problem-solving skills
Work Environment Office settings, field work
Similar Occupations Reporters, film and video editors

Writer and Editor

Writing and editing are the most common careers in media. In May 2014, the BLS reported that there were 136,500 writers and authors and 117,200 editors employed across the country. Writers produce all kinds of written material, both fiction and nonfiction, including screenplays and similar material that ends up being presented verbally. Editors select and prepare this material for publication or filming, as well as planning the content and direction for books, magazines, webzines and newspapers. Both of these careers generally require a bachelor's degree in a related field.

The BLS reports that job growth from 2014-2024 will be better for writers and authors than for editors. During this time period, writers will experience slower-than-average job growth of three percent, while editors will experience a decline of five percent. Writers and authors earned a median wage of $58,850 in May 2015, while editors earned a lower median wage of $54,890.


Publicists or public relations (PR) specialists counted for about 240,700 jobs in media in 2014, according to the BLS. They promote individuals, groups and organizations, representing their interests and managing their public image. A bachelor's degree in a field such as English, public relations or journalism is likely needed to enter this career.

PR specialists can expect average job growth of 6 percent over the decade spanning 2014-2024, according to the BLS. Their median wage in May 2014 was $55,680 annually.


Photography is another common occupation in media, accounting for approximately 124,900 jobs in 2014, reported the BLS. While the job of a photographer is to take pictures, the technical and artistic process of doing it well and making a career of photography is complex. These professionals can work in news media or arts, and there are many areas of specialization. A high school diploma is usually enough to become a photographer, although you may complete some classes in photography.

The BLS estimates slower-than-average employment growth of three percent over the 2014-2024 decade for these professionals. Their median earnings in May 2014 were $30,490.

Broadcast or Sound Engineer

The media industry employed an estimated 117,200 broadcast and sound engineering technicians in 2014, according to the BLS. These people set up and run all the electrical equipment for radio and television broadcasts, live performances and events, as well as filmed TV shows and movies. Educational requirements for these positions range from a non-degree award to an associate's degree.

Broadcast and sound engineering technicians can expect to experience average job growth of seven percent over the 2014-2024 decade, although the BLS estimates that broadcast technicians will experience better growth than sound engineering technicians. While sound engineering technicians earned a median wage of $49,870 in May 2014, broadcast technicians earned a lower median salary of $36,560.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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