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Question – What should I expect to be paid working in media?

Wondering where your salary expectations should lie when entering a media role? Our career coach gives a little advice on why being specific could help.

Question: What are salaries like in the media industry? Everyone says creative jobs pay badly. – Sabikun, Dhaka

I get a lot of questions like this: What are salaries like in the media industry? What does it take to get a green job? Can I get a job in finance? I want a job in healthcare, etc…

My typical response is to ask students to be more specific. It’s very hard to answer questions about broad, abstract categories like the media industry or the finance sector.

The media industry could include print media, digital media, music, film, TV, radio, podcasts, and more. There are firms of all types working to produce, sell and distribute this media, from tech giants, to disruptive startups, to established organisations that have been around for decades.

There are multiple functions within the industry too. You could be involved in the creative process, you could be involved in the commercial side of the business, you could be involved in the operational side. There will be many sub-functions within these categories.

All of these factors – the type of media, the type of organisation, the function you perform – as well as your level of experience and your location – will inform salary ranges.

So, my questions to you would start with this. Which part of the media industry do you want to work in? What kind of job do you want to do? Which sort of company would you like to work for?

If the student hasn’t thought this through, it can lead to even more questions. How is work different in different functions? What’s different about working for different sorts of companies? What kind of job am I suitable for? Which parts of the media industry are hiring right now?

It can feel frustrating to come away from a career coaching appointment with even more questions, instead of straight answers. But this opens the door to the process of discovery and exploration that means people make more informed career choices, and position themselves as stronger candidates.