5 jobs in Media

The media sector is vast, employing over 2 million people, but choosing the right career pathway is vital, here are five jobs you can enter in the media industry.


As the world continues to commit to the digital age, the demand for high-quality, engaging video and audio content continues to surge. 

The media industry in the UK has created upwards of 2 million jobs, with a staggering 75% of them now outside of London. As creative industries rapidly develop new jobs faster than any other sector, eclipsing record employment figures across all UK industries, it can be hard to decipher where to start.

Here are our top five jobs within the Media sector: 

Camera Operator 

What is a camera operator?
There are a variety of different areas of media that could suit a camera operator. You’ll work with digital, electronic and film cameras and produce required shots by combining the use of complex technology with your creative visual skills. 

Do I need a degree?
Whilst many camera operators boast a degree-level qualification, most employers will prioritise individuals who have a clear, demonstrative passion for photography and film-making, in the form of a showreel or portfolio of work experience, however it is advised that those seeking higher paid-employment should strive to achieve a degree. 

What will I do?
Day-to-day duties for a typical camera operator include, but are not limited to:

  • Setting up camera equipment
  • Choosing the most suitable lenses for varying camera angles and compositions
  • Plan and rehearse shots
  • Follow and understand a camera script 
  • Work closely with other technical departments
  • Repair and maintain technical equipment

What sort of salary can I earn?
Typical salaries for camera operators can vary and are loosely based on a freelance basis, paying a day rate as opposed to a yearly salary.

A typical starting day rate for a television production, according to the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Communications and Theatre Union (BECTU), the average rate for a television drama production is £418. 

Outside of television broadcasts, day rates can range from £250 – £350. 

Lighting Engineer/Technician

What is a lighting engineer? 

A lighting engineer or technician is responsible for setting up and operating all forms of lighting for a variety of settings, such as concerts, conferences, theatre, or in film and TV productions. 

Do I need a degree? 
There are a variety of routes into employment as a lighting engineer or technician, you can get into this job through a university or college course, apprenticeships, building work experience through voluntary work or applying for broadcaster training schemes. 

Journo Resources offer a fantastic list of graduate schemes or traineeships within the UK, from the BBC to Summer Internships with International Management Group (IMG), a global sports, events and talent management company. For a full list of opportunities available to students and graduates, including a fantastic Broadcast Engineering Graduate Scheme with the BBC, click here

What will I do?
Typical day-to-day duties include:

  • Interpreting lighting designer plans
  • Rigging sets and checking equipment
  • Plan sets, including where the run cables and identify the need for additional lighting
  • Take cues from the stage manager and theatre, or floor manager in TV
  • Programme and operate manual and computer-controlled lighting systems
  • De-rig sets and lighting equipment after shows or filming

What sort of salary can I earn?

Unlike the freelance work associated with a camera operator, those choosing a career pathway as a lighting technician can expect to apply for job roles with yearly salaries. Starting at around £15,000 for graduates and climbing as high as £40,000 for experienced professionals, with scope for private, freelance work in addition. 

Production Manager

What is a production manager?
A TV or film production manager takes care of the business, financial and recruitment side of film and television productions, offering a competitive salary and career pedestal for aspiring media professional. 

Responsible for producing a variety of media forms, duties can include capturing, directing and editing media, as well as operating and maintaining computers and other equipment, they are the lifeblood to any production.

Do I need a degree?
To become a production manager in film or TV, it is preferable that media professionals have degree-level qualifications, before joining a production company. The pathway to University can start as far back as Secondary School, whereby interested media students can pursue A Levels in Media and progress on to college to continue studying towards Higher Education. 

For a full list of Film & Media courses, including Games Design at Oaklands College, click here.

What will I do?
As a production manager, day-to-day tasks could include: 

  • Working with film producers and senior production staff
  • Drawing up production schedules, budgets and management shoots
  • Negotiate costs with suppliers, hire crew, contractors and equipment
  • Ensure productions run to schedule and in-line with budgets and deadlines
  • Deal with any problems during filming
  • Approve booking locations, equipment, supplies and other resources
  • Manage a production office team

What sort of salary can I earn?
The average salary for a media production manager is around £30,500 a year, with experienced industry professionals earning up to £40,000. 

An graduate or individual with 1-4 years limited experience could expect to earn an average total of around £28,000 per year, with a mid-career professional with around 5-9 years of experience earning upwards of £32,000. 

Games Designer/Developer

What is a games designer?
A games designer or developer is responsible for making games that can be played online, and on mobile phones, PCs and games consoles. 

Considered a “dream job” amongst many young teenagers and adults, a games designer is responsible for developing software required for games, implementing architecture, new characters, animations, storylines, levels and much more. 

A successful games developer is expected to stay up-to-date with modern evolution of software and new developments in technology and hardware, and is expected to have a bachelors degree in computer programming or another relevant field of study.

Do I need a degree? 
Most games developers are educated to degree level, adept in computer programming and software development and have extensive knowledge and understanding of game development. 

Some positions may require the developer to create games entirely from scratch, so extensive experience and degree-level education are vital factors towards the perfect candidate for this role. 

At Oaklands College, students interested in this field of work can study Computing and IT, or begin specialising in games design and development through the dedicated course

What will I do? 
No two days are the same as a games developer, with new progressions in technology and games development, every day is an opportunity to learn something new, improve on your developer skills and create the next section of the next global game. Other roles can include: 

  • Deciding what a game will look like and how it can be played
  • Coming up with your own original ideas or working from an existing concept
  • Creating visual characters, objects and scenery
  • Producing concept art, drawings and storyboards to be used in planning meetings and developer discussions
  • Creating the code to make the game work 
  • Testing games – The best part, you will need to play the game as your consumer would in order to identify bugs that need to be resolved before it is released to the public

What sort of salary can I earn? 
A graduate games designer or developer can expect to earn an average salary of around £20,000 per year. A more experienced individual, adept in coding, programming, software development and with vast experience within the industry could expect to earn up to £60,000 on average per year. 


What is a YouTuber?
The role of a YouTuber has evolved throughout the years, having previously been recognised as something of a taboo career pathway. 
Also known as a social media influencer, a ‘YouTuber’ is an individual who creates bite-sized, audience-appropriate videos on the popular media-sharing website, YouTube. 

A YouTuber is often responsible for their own “channel”, which is dedicated towards a particular audience profile. For example, over 50 billion hours of gaming content were watched on YouTube in 2018, a figure which continues to skyrocket. 

Although a popular one, the YouTube industry is difficult to make a successful living from, unless you have built a subscriber audience large enough to monetize your content. 

Do I need a degree?
A successful career as a YouTuber or social media influencer does not require any form of qualifications.

What will I do?
One advantage of becoming a YouTuber is that the individual is able to create content that appeals to them, manage the videos that go out to their audiences and respond to what their viewership request – Popular YouTube accounts cover sectors from food and drink, sport and gaming to travel, beauty tutorials and daily vlogging, the opportunities are limitless, provided there is an engaged audience for it. 

What sort of salary can I earn? 
Whilst there are no studies that provide reliable data of the exact earnings of some of the world’s top YouTube stars, the highest paid YouTube star of 2020 was 9-year-old Ryan Kaji, the star of YouTube channel “Ryan’s World”, who according to Forbes has over 29 million subscribers and made $29.5 million in 2020. 

Despite this, it is important to stress that these are extreme examples of the potential success which can be achieved through YouTube, the real challenge is gaining enough engaged subscribers to create monetized video content for. 

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