Media and Communications Careers

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The media/news/communications industry has an array of rewarding careers for dedicated professionals with good communications skills. The increasingly popular online media provides an array of job opportunities.

Technology provides more opportunities for the media/news/communications industry to offer audio and visual messages to the public.

People seeking a media, news or communications career benefit from gaining experience through an internship or through working for a college newspaper. Some of the careers in the media/news/communications industry require a bachelor degree.

TheBestSchools provides important information about media, news and communications careers including employment growth, salary, training, education and much more.

After you explore this page on Media and Communications Careers keep browsing our website's extensive career guide for more information on job options, education requirements and salaries.

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Announcers

Education and Certifications Announcers Need

Education requirements vary with the type of announcer career. A radio or television announcer needs a Bachelor of Journalism, Bachelor of Broadcasting, or Bachelor of Communications degree and relevant work experience. Public address announcers need a high school diploma and on-the-job training.

Announcers don't need specific certifications or licenses.

Find the best school for you:
The 25 Most Affordable Online Bachelor's Degrees in Communications and Public Relations

What They Do

It takes a specific kind of personality to succeed at a career as an announcer, but if you are outgoing, willing to put in long hours, and have a good command of your industry, you just might make an excellent announcer. The broad announcer career category includes announcers who present music, news, sport, interviews, and general commentary. Some announcers may also work as emcees or disc jockeys at events such as weddings and parties.

People with a radio announcer career or a television announcer career become familiar public faces and voices in their communities. They introduce – and may offer commentary on – music, news, sports, weather, time, and other information such as programming information.

Radio announcer careers and television announcer careers may involve interviewing guests and moderating discussions.

Radio and television announcers must also sometimes conduct research or write scripts for their shows or interviews. On certain occasions, radio and television announcers make promotional appearances at public or private events.

A radio announcer career or a television announcer career may include maintaining a presence on social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook.

Other types of announcers include: DJs, talk show hosts, public address system announcers, party DJs, and emcees.

See also: What can I do with a Communications degree?

Career Advancement Opportunities

Radio stations tend to have a small staff, thus career advancement opportunities often are not available. Radio announcers typically advance in their career by moving to a station with a larger listening market and obtaining a higher salary. An announcer's personality must attract people, so working on their on-air personality helps an announcer with career advancement opportunities.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $31,500
2016, Number of Jobs 52,700
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 -9%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $81,410
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $18,330

 

Art Directors

Education and Certifications Art Directors Need

An art director career typically requires a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts and three to five years of previous work experience in a related position, such as graphic designer, illustrator, copyeditor, or photographer.

Some colleges and universities offer a Bachelor of Design, a Bachelor of Visual Communications, a Bachelor in Multimedia Design and Development, a Bachelor in Design Management or a Bachelor in Digital Media degree program.

Some art directors hoping to advance in their career continue their education with a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) or Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.

Art directors don't need a specific license or certification.

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What They Do

Art directors are responsible for the pictures that catch our attention; they tell stories and sell products in our highly visual culture. Art directors determine the images used and overall visual style for everything from magazines and newspapers to product packaging and movie or television productions.

Common industries for art directors for employment include: publishing, advertising, public relations and movie production.

An art director takes a concept and put a believable picture to it, and then accurately convey their concept to a team of artists. Art director careers involve developing the look, style, and feel of advertising campaigns or of a movie, show or theater performance. Art director careers often involve overseeing a design staff and working with photographers, writers, directors, editors and other creative directors. Art directors keep their staff on track with the budget and the timeline.

Art directors working in publishing generally oversee newspaper and magazine page layouts, as well as select cover art for books, magazines or web publications. Art directors focused in advertising or public relations convey their client's message visually through media campaigns. An art director career in movie production involves creating the style of a set.

See also: What can I do with a Communications degree?

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $92,500
2016, Number of Jobs 90,300
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 5%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $170,230
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $51,130

 

Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians

Education and Certifications Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians Need

A broadcast technician career or sound engineering technician career requires a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent, although many have an associate degree, vocational certificate, or a Bachelor degree in Broadcast Technology, Electronics, Computer Networking, or a degree in a related field. Broadcast technicians and sound engineering technicians also receive on-the-job training. They're encouraged to enroll in continuing education courses.

Broadcast technicians and sound engineering technicians don't need certification; however some employers may prefer certification. The Society of Broadcast Engineers and InfoComm International offer a variety of industry-related certifications.

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What They Do

Broadcast technicians and sound engineering technicians are the behind-the-scenes workers who bring the entertainment world to life. A broadcast technician career and a sound engineering technician career includes assembling, operating and maintaining electrical equipment for televisions broadcasts, concerts, sound recordings and movies everywhere from offices to schools.

Broadcast technicians and sound engineering technicians are responsible for properly assembling and adjusting equipment for supreme quality and correct volume during radio and television broadcasts, concerts, and other performances. After performances, technicians also break the equipment down and store it properly.

Whenever equipment breaks or fails, broadcast technicians or sound engineering technicians are called to diagnose and correct the issue.

A broadcast technician career and a sound engineering technician career may include using recording equipment to record speech, music, and sound effects, as well as to ensure sounds are properly synchronized with actions on television or in movies.

Broadcast technician careers and sound engineering technician careers may involve converting video and audio records to digital formats for editing.

Specifically, broadcasting technicians focus on setting up, operating, and maintaining radio and television broadcasting equipment. They regularly use computers when programming equipment and editing recordings.

Sound engineering technicians work with equipment used for a large variety of tasks, such as recording, mixing, or reproducing sounds in recording studios, sporting arenas, theater productions, or movie and video productions. Sound engineering technicians also combine separately recorded tracks, creating a multi-layered result. A sound engineering career may also involve operating transmitters to broadcast radio or television programs.

See also: What can I do with a Communications degree?

Career Advancement Opportunities

Broadcast technicians and sound engineering technicians often advance from small markets or small stations to larger markets and stations for a higher salary. Broadcast technicians and sound engineering technicians must obtain significant work experience to work at a larger station.

Broadcast technicians and sound engineering technicians with significant experience and a college degree in engineering may advance in their career to a chief engineer position.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $42,650
2016, Number of Jobs 134,300
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 8%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $85,340
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $23,160

 

Editors

Education and Certifications Editors Need

An editing career typically begins with a Bachelor of Communications, Bachelor of English, or Bachelor of Journalism degree. Obtaining an editing job in a specific field may require specific field work experience in the field. Many employers seek editors proficient in computer operations such as electronic publishing, graphics, web design, and multimedia publications.

Editors don't need specific certifications or licenses.

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What They Do

Editing is a dream job for perfectionists, as the editor's role is to assure writing intended for publication is flawless. Editors are responsible for planning, reviewing, and revising content prior to publication.

Although most people think of editors as those who double-check work for spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors, they actually do far more than just that. An editing career includes planning and mapping out entire publications.

Editors fact check stories and articles, they consider the voice of an article and rewrite sections if necessary to keep the voice consistent, and they make the sometimes-difficult call of what to publish and what not to publish.

An editing career usually involves managing a team of writers and working closely with them on a regular basis. Editors help writers come up with ideas for stories or articles, they make changes to the text, suggest titles or headlines, and set writers' deadlines. All final versions of stories and articles are read and either approved or rejected by the editor.

Editors on staff may include: Copy editors, publication assistants, executive editors, assistant editors, and managing editors.

See also: What can I do with a Communications degree?

Career Advancement Opportunities

Editors are generally already in management positions, so they may advance in their career through overseeing larger groups of writers or moving up to edit at a larger organization or a more prestigious publication. Copy editors may advance to working on their own original writing or becoming a freelancer and work for themselves.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $58,770
2016, Number of Jobs 127,400
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 -1%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $114,460
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $30,830

 

Film and Video Editors and Camera Operators

Education and Certifications Film and Video Editors and Camera Operators Need

A film editor career or camera operator career begins with a Bachelor of Broadcasting degree, a Bachelor of Film degree, or a degree in a related field.

Camera operators often also receive on-the-job training. Film editors usually have several years of work experience as an assistant film editor.

Camera operators need a strong understanding of digital cameras and computer technology. Film and video editors need experience with a variety of different video editing software programs.

Film editors, video editors and camera operators don't need any specific certifications or licenses.

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What They Do

We all love a good movie or television show, but it takes a lot more than just the actors to make it all look good; namely, the camera operators, film editors, and film and video editors.

Camera operators record images for everything from movies and televisions to music videos, documentaries, the news, and sporting events. A camera operator career includes determining filming angles and techniques based on the director's vision. Camera operators often have an assistant.

There are a few differently types of camera operators: studio camera operators, electronic news gathering operator, cinematographer, and videographer.

A film editor career and a video editor career include making footage cuts based on the director's image as well as what they believe the public will find most entertaining and interesting.

A film editing career and a video editing career include determining which editing software works best for each project, or even different sections of the same project. Film and video editors often have a few assistants.

See also: What can I do with a Communications degree?

Career Advancement Opportunities

Film and video editors and camera operators may sometimes advance in their careers to a producer or director position.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $58,210
2016, Number of Jobs 59,300
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 13%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $102,980
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $25,580

 

Graphic Designers

Education and Certifications Graphic Designers Need

Some people seeking a graphic designer career obtain a Bachelor of Graphic Design degree or a degree in a related field. Individuals with an unrelated bachelor degree may begin a graphic design career after obtaining technical training in graphic design. People interested in a graphic designer career need a professional portfolio of their work in order to apply for a job in the graphic design field.

Typically graphic designers keep up with new and updated computer graphics and design software, either on their own or through formal software training programs.

Graphic designers remain up-to-date on computer graphics and design software either on their own or through attending formal software training programs.

Graphic designers don't need specific licenses or certifications.

Find the best school for you:
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What They Do

Graphic designers are responsible for the logos, websites, and other images which connect people to specific brands or companies and make them easily recognizable. Graphic designers create their work by hand and using computer software, or a combination of the two.

Graphic designer careers include advising clients on ways to reach their target audience through image or visually-based marketing and advertising campaigns. Graphic designers play a major part in determining the message a design should portray, they provide messages through images, color, texts, and layout selected.

A graphic designer career includes presenting ideas and various drafts to the art director, making changes as requested.

Due to the amount of computer technology used in their profession, graphic designers remain up-to-date on developing software and computer technologies in order to remain competitive.

See also: What can I do with a Communications degree?

Career Advancement Opportunities

Graphic designers with work experience may advance in their career to a position such as chief designer, art director or creative director.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $48,700
2016, Number of Jobs 266,300
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 4%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $83,140
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $28,560

 

Interpreters and Translators

Education and Certifications Interpreters and Translators Need

An interpreter career or a translator career may begin with a bachelor's degree in a specific language, as well as the proven ability to speak and writer English fluently. Some interpreters and translators major in fields other than a language, which may provide a natural area of expertise for them to later translate in.

Many interpreters and translators who work in technical areas, such as localization, engineering, or finance, obtain a master's degree.

Interpreters and translators also sometimes complete specific on-the-job training upon starting a new job. Formal programs for interpreting and translating exist at some colleges and universities, as well as through non-university training programs, conferences, and courses.

Work experience is vital for those interested in an interpreter career or a translator career, thus volunteer work or internships are highly recommended.

Although there is no universal certification required for people interested in an interpreter career or a translator career, a variety of tests demonstrating proficiency are available. Some organizations offering certifications for interpreters and translators include the American Translators Association, the National Association of the Deaf, the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID), the U.S. Department of State, the International Association of Conference Interpreters, the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters, and the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters.

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What They Do

The increasingly multicultural business world makes an interpreter or translator's ability to communicate fluently in more than one language an extremely sought-after skill. Interpreters and translators work with spoken and written language, and some also work with sign language.

An Interpreter career and a translator career involve communicating words, ideas, and concepts from one language to another as directly and accurately as possible. Their work can sometimes be quite difficult, due to culture having a large influence on and some cultures have ideas, concepts and words that others do not have equivalents to. Interpreters and translators must also be conscientious about preserving the tone and style of words when conveying them between languages.

An interpreter career involves converting spoken words from one language to another, whereas a translator career involves converting written words from one language to another. A sign language interpreter career involves converting spoken words to a sign language. Many interpreters are also translators.

Interpreters may either interpret simultaneously as someone is speaking or signing, or they may interpret consecutively, meaning they take notes on a speech or writing after it is already done.

Many translators and interpreters have an occupational specialty, such as health or medical interpreters and translators, legal or judiciary interpreters and translators, literary translators, localization translators, sign language interpreters, guide or escort interpreters and conference interpreters.

See also: What can I do with a Communications degree?

Career Advancement Opportunities

Interpreters and translators advance in their career to more difficult or prestigious assignments after obtaining significant work experience. They may also advance in their career through obtaining certification, earning editorial responsibility, or starting their own business.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $47,190
2016, Number of Jobs 68,200
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 18%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $82,290
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $25,620

 

Photographers

Education and Certifications Photographers Need

The education requirements for photographers vary by the type of photographer; portrait photographers generally do not need anything beyond a high school diploma, but photojournalists and industrial and scientific photographers may need a bachelor degree in a field related to the subject they desire to photograph, such as a Bachelor of Biology, Bachelor of Chemistry, or Bachelor of Medicine degree.

Some colleges and universities offer a Bachelor of Arts in Photography degree program.

Photographers don't need specific licenses or certifications.

Find the best school for you:
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What They Do

Photographers tell amazing stories through pictures. A photographer career includes using digital alchemy to make subjects, objects, or places look their best in various innovative poses, lighting scenarios, or scenes.

Due to the fact most photographers use digital cameras, people interested in a photography career need experience in a variety of digital editing software, they also need the skills to adjust lighting, colors, and other measures to improve a photograph.

Self-employed photographers must learn to effectively advertise their business, maintain a website displaying their best work, and communicate well with clients and prospective clients. They also do all of the billing, scheduling, and framing services (if offered). Some photographers hire assistants, which they then also must train.

Some photographers teach photographer classes or workshops.

Photographers commonly specialize in one or more types of areas such as: portraits, commercial or industrial photographs, aerial photographs, scientific photographs, news photographs, fine arts photographs, and university photographs.

See also: What can I do with a Communications degree?

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $32,490
2016, Number of Jobs 147,300
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 -6%
Entry-Level Education Requirements High School Diploma or Equivalent
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $36.09/hour
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $9.33/hour

 

Reporters, Correspondents, and Broadcast News Analysts

Education and Certifications Reporters, Correspondents, and Broadcast News Analysts Need

A correspondent or reporter or broadcast news analyst career typically begins with a Bachelor of Journalism degree or a Bachelor of Communications degree. Sometimes, a Bachelor of English, Bachelor of Political Science, or work experience in a related field satisfies an employer. Employers also prefer candidates with work experience, thus internships and working for the school newspaper are highly recommended to students.

Reporters, correspondents and broadcast news analysts don't need specific licenses or certifications.

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What They Do

Reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts are responsible for keeping us informed. People turn on the television, radio, or read a newspaper with the expectation of receiving the most relevant and recent news, presented accurately and without bias.

Reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts must have a great deal of self-discipline and innovation when researching and gathering information on topics assigned to them by an editor or news director.

Reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts must also be able to make individuals feel comfortable enough around them to open up and share important information in interviews or to agree to be a source for them, providing tips and leads in the future.

Professionals with a reporter, correspondent or broadcast news analyst career must exhibit superior writing, grammar and editing skills, as they write their own articles, blogs, or scripts. Professionals with a reporter, correspondent, or broadcast news analysts career should exercise high moral judgment when reporting stories, fact checking, and determining sources.

Some reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts only report on a specific subject, such as sports or finance, but many report on multiple topics.

See also: What can I do with a Communications degree?

Career Advancement Opportunities

Reporters can advance from small to larger news organization once they have obtained enough work experience. Reporters may also advance in their career to new positions, such as an editor or news director.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $40,910
2016, Number of Jobs 50,400
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 -9%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $90,540
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $39,370

 

Technical Writers

Education and Certifications Technical Writers Need

A technical writing career may begin with a college degree, usually a Bachelor of Journalism, Bachelor of English, or Bachelor of Communications degree. Most employers seek technical writers with work experience in a technical field, such as engineering, computer science, or medicine. Knowledge of, and experience with, web design is also a huge advantage when job seeking.

Technical writers don't need certification or a license, but certification is available on a voluntary basis. Technical writers can earn the title of Certified Professional Technical Communicator through the Society of Technical Communication.

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What They Do

Technical writers guide people through the process of performing or completing something for the very first time. Technical writers create instruction manuals for complex and technical information with in the intention of making it significantly easier to understand. A technical writing career includes gathering technical information from customers, designers, and manufacturers.

In order to properly perform their writing tasks, technical writers must fully understand what the end result should be, which usually includes in-depth conversations with product designers and developers. In their efforts to keep directions as simple as possible, technical writers sometimes find ways to simplify a product or make it easier to use.

A technical writing career includes deciding which pictures, drawing, graphs, diagrams, or charts should accompany their directions to help readers. Technical writers must adjust their text to reflect updates or changes to a product.

Technical writers work with a variety of other occupations, including technical support staff, liability specialists, customer service managers, engineers, scientists, computer specialists, and software developers.

See also: What can I do with a Communications degree?

Career Advancement Opportunities

Technical writers usually have career advancement opportunities in the form receiving more complex projects, training junior staff, or becoming a successful freelancer.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $70,930
2016, Number of Jobs 52,400
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 11%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $113,810
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $42,410

 

Writers and Authors

Education and Certifications Writers and Authors Need

People interested in a writing career typically have a bachelor's degree in English, communications, journalism or a similar degree and years of on-the-job. Depending on the writing topic or field, some employers may require additional formal training or experience. Knowledge of the Internet, graphic design and certain writing software is also helpful, as many jobs require writers to prepare specific material for websites.

Writers can gain helpful experience in other areas such as television and radio stations, magazines and advertising companies, college theatre programs and Internet blogs. Some applicants looking to begin a writer career may not even need the typical education if they already possess a unique perspective and writing style as well as a large following of readers in a particular area.

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What They Do

Becoming a writer is one of the oldest and most influential occupations in history. Persistence, enthusiasm, and patience are just some of the necessary qualities in developing the writing craft. The sky is the limit in terms of where writers and authors can work and what they can write about, especially with the advent of online publications and businesses.

A writer career and an author career involves creating original content for books, advertisement, performances, magazines, movie and television scripts, song lyrics, and online publications.

A writing career includes selecting topics and subjects that engage readers and presenting ideas to clients. Writers choose a genre such as comedy or drama when writing fiction or non-fiction.

A writing career may include conducting research to obtain authentic detail for scripts, novels, and biographies, writing copy for various magazines, online publications and newspapers and working with editors and clients to revise and develop content. A writing career never stops evolving and changing. To become great, an author or writer must continue to learn and grow with each evolution.

See also: What can I do with a Communications degree?

Career Advancement Opportunities

Professionals can advancing in a writer career or author career through taking on multiple assignments, getting published in well-known markets and building a solid reputation for meeting deadlines. Working for smaller companies, local magazines and non-profit institutions also allows novice writers and authors to gain immediate writing credit.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $61,820
2016, Number of Jobs 131,200
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 8%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $118,760
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $30,520

* Salary, number of jobs and employment growth provided by
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