What Is Media Production? (With Job Options and Salaries)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 24 November 2022 | Published 6 December 2021

Updated 24 November 2022

Published 6 December 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Media production is an exciting field that focuses on the creation of video, image, text and audio content. Professionals can distribute such content via the internet, television, newspapers, billboards and radio stations. With various forms of media being in high demand, especially because of the growing rate of active internet users, having an in-depth understanding of media production can help you launch your media career.

In this article, we explore what media production is, explain how you can start a career in this field, provide success tips and highlight how much you may earn as a media production professional.

Related: What Is Corporate Communications and Its Primary Functions?

What is media production?

If you're interested in a media or entertainment career, you may wonder, 'What is media production?' It's the creation of different visual and audio elements to convey a message and inspire an expected reaction from the audience. Some examples of media content include music, podcasts, movies, video commercials, blog posts, radio shows and books. You can transmit these contents to the targeted viewers or listeners through social media platforms, email broadcasts, TV shows, movie channels, newsletters and magazines.

Related: What Does a Producer Do? (With Skills, Salary and FAQs)

Media production career opportunities

Here are some jobs in media production:

1. Content producer

National average salary: $3,190 per month

Primary duties: A content producer creates various kinds of content, like articles, taglines and blog posts, including video besides image content for websites and social media handles. They produce content based on their findings from research on a specific topic for a unique audience. Excellent written and verbal communication skills are crucial to this role.

Related: What Does a Content Creator Do? And How to Become One

2. Creative director

National average salary: $10,610 per month

Primary duties: Creative directors coordinate all the aspects of the creative process for every type of media content. They work together with writers, producers, actors and other media professionals to harmonise all the activities in the pre-production, production and post-production stages. Teamwork, attention to detail and outstanding communication skills may be vital to success in this field.

Related: What Is a Creative Director? (Duties, Skills and Salaries)

3. Photographer

National average salary: $2,356 per month

Primary duties: Photographers are skilled in capturing moments with a camera. If you want to launch a career in this field, there are different areas of specialisation. You can focus on either wedding photography, photojournalism, fashion photography, editorial photography or lifestyle photography, amongst others.

Related: What Is a Freelance Photographer? Steps to Become One

4. Copywriter

National average salary: $3,815 per month

Primary duties: Copywriters craft compelling copies that inspire the readers to perform a certain action. Some of these copies are blog posts, articles, emails, social media posts and taglines. As a copywriter, you can get a job in the media department of any industry. They often have flexible job opportunities, such as remote or freelance writing.

5. Social media manager

National average salary: $4,337 per month

Primary duties: A social media manager keeps the social media handles of a client active. They upload visually appealing posts regularly, respond to the viewers promptly and escalate any high-level enquiry to the account owner. Also, they handle the adverts of products on the pages.

Related: 38 Media Planner Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

6. Music executive

National average salary: $2,749 per month

Primary duties: As a music executive, your duties involve making high-level decisions concerning the career of the musicians you manage in the music label. It may also involve scouting for new professional singers. Having a degree in music, business or any other related course may give you a better chance of getting this job.

7. Videographer

National average salary: $2,710 per month

Primary duties: A videographer is a professional who specialises in capturing live moments in a video format. Some of these events are weddings, documentaries, birthday parties, behind-the-scenes videos and short adverts. Having a coach in this field, attending training institutes and attending video exhibitions may help you move forward in this field.

8. Copy editor

National average salary: $5,250 per month

Primary duties: Copy editors specialise in the revision of various kinds of copies, such as articles, blog posts, press releases or emails, to ensure it's error-free. They often check if the grammar, references and voice of the written material align with the specified requirements of the employer. To become one you can get a degree, practise reading, writing and editing in addition to applying for copy editing jobs.

9. Journalist

National average salary: $4,694 per month

Primary duties: Journalists report the news of current events to a set of viewers. They can do this as a live video broadcast, radio show or in writing via newspapers or websites. This job requires excellent communication skills and in-depth knowledge of your target audience's language.

10. Cinematographer

National average salary: $2,294 per month

Primary duties: As a cinematographer, your duties involve handling the camera movements to create visual effects that can move the story of the video forward. Cinematographers usually specialise in producing cinematic movies, music videos, documentaries and video commercials. People also refer to them as the director of photography. Usually, having a degree or relevant work experience in cinematography, film making or any other closely related course is a prerequisite for getting this job.

11. Digital marketer

National average salary: $3,579 per month

Primary duties: A digital marketer specialises in assisting brands to sell their goods or services over the internet. For instance, they can make use of social media business tools to promote the image and video posts of the company. They can also hire social media influencers to record and post a video speaking about their employer's product.

12. Video editor

National average salary: $2,867 per month

Primary duties: Video editors specialise in editing video footage. In the production stage, they choose the video clips that apply to the story and make adjustments to them to enhance the visual aesthetics. This may involve adding visual and audio effects to the video.

13. Graphic designer

National average salary: $2,851 per month

Primary duties: A graphic designer specialises in editing media elements such as text, images and video content. You can find the works of a graphic artist on billboards, video commercials, flyers and other forms of media outlets. Taking graphic design courses may help you fine-tune your design skills.

14. Animator

National average salary: $4,836 per month

Primary duties: An animator is skilled in creating different animations used in cartoons, games and other types of animated content. This role usually involves designing images and capturing them as a sequence of still frames. As an animator, you may work remotely or in person at places like advertising agencies, universities and media production companies.

15. Sound engineer

National average salary: $4,390 per month

Primary duties: People often refer to sound engineers as audio engineers. Sound engineers produce music and the audio of live events, besides editing the sound elements of a media material. To start a career in this field, you can take courses in sound mixing and music production.

Success tips for media professionals

Here are some tips that may help you succeed in media production and design:

Conduct research

Research is essential to every media project. It can help you discover innovative ways to create your media content. Also, it can inspire you on the direction to take for a creative project. For example, if you're working on a movie project focusing on job applicants, you can study real-life job applicants to get an insight into how they feel and behave. This may help you produce a more realistic movie that your viewers can relate to, which may yield a high return on your investments.

Be engaging

The essence of most media content is to get a specific reaction from your audience. Hence, it's vital to ensure your viewers or listeners can emotionally connect with your media content. Your images, audio or videos produced may stand out from the large pool of media contents if it's very engaging. Usually, producers aim to capture the interest of the audience the first few seconds they come in contact with your product.

Related: What Is an Infomercial? (With Pros, Cons and Examples)

Promote your work

One of the most effective ways to succeed in this industry is by promoting your work. You can do this organically through word of mouth or by uploading your work on social media. Still, paid promotion can get your work in front of a larger audience. You can make use of paid adverts on social media platforms, sponsored billboards, influential brand ambassadors, adverts on print media, paid promotion on radio shows and video commercials on popular TV shows.

Related: How To Become an Art Director (With Skills and Tips)

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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