Category Archives: Media Specialist

Media Specialist: Duties, Salary, Outlook and Requirements


Media specialists work with all types of audio-visual equipment in schools, libraries and businesses. Depending on the setting, they teach others how to use various multimedia and recording equipment for presentations, classroom lectures or meetings. They are also responsible for setting up equipment. Media specialists also acquire and catalog material and maintain equipment and software.

Duties of a Media Specialist

A media specialist coordinates audio-visual equipment and materials. They inventory and maintain supplies and equipment. They set up and operate requested software and machines, such as Power Point presentations, DVD players and film projectors. They also update and maintain a library of available material including films, tapes, photos, slides and software. Many media specialists work in elementary or secondary schools. Other industries that hire media specialists include high schools, colleges, public and private libraries, government agencies, medical facilities and private companies.

Media specialists also advise users on what types of equipment to use depending on the lesson, presentation or event and how to use that equipment. For example, a media specialists who works in a school orders specific programs or materials requested by teachers to coordinate with lesson plans. They are also responsible for previewing and organizing the available materials into databases.

Salary Information for Media Specialists

According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in May 2009 media specialists made a median annual wage of $43,880. Salaries ranged between $35,630-72,590. The median hourly wage for a media specialist was $21.10. Average salaries for media specialists in state government positions were slightly higher than in other industries (

Job Outlook for Media Specialists

The BLS projects the job growth for a media specialist to be average from 2008-2018. Media specialists who work at libraries may have a higher rate of job growth as library workers reach retirement or leave their jobs for other reasons.

Requirements to Become a Media Specialist

Media specialists need to have extensive knowledge of media equipment such as cameras, computers and recorders. They also need to have excellent communication skills, as they must coordinate with other staff to plan and execute presentations and lessons.

Most employers require a bachelor’s degree for this position. Degrees in education include coursework focusing on incorporating media into lessons. Degrees in library sciences also include current media specialist technologies in the coursework. Some schools offer media specialist degree programs at the graduate level. Vocational schools offer courses that cover the job skills of a media specialist.

An Example of a Multi-Media Specialist

A Multi-Media specialistĀ  can beĀ  a key member of a Communications and Public Relations team who collaborates on communications projects that require audio, photographic and audio-visual media components.

S/he manages all aspects of a audio-visual production, including web-interface, from pre-production, planning, logistics, shooting, editing video and audio, to posting the final product online.

A Multi-media Specialist helps in the development, improvement, and/or maintenance of video projects, multimedia presentations, and other efforts of the Communications and Public Relations department as well as provide expert support, training and guidance to the staff and faculty in other departments, programs, and research institutes and centers as required.

A multi-talented communicator, with creative storytelling capabilities as well as strong editing and technical skills, this individual will also support writing projects for web, print and social media as required.

Where to find Digital Media Specialist Jobs

Digital media specialist jobs are found anywhere in the private and public sectors where a message or idea needs to be conveyed to the public quickly. The Internet offers more immediacy than print does, so many companies are increasing their web presence, particularly newspapers and other news outlets. Now that anyone can have a blog, there has also been an increased presence of profitable and nonprofitable blogs, with the most popular bloggers paid well for their web updates.

A Day in the life of a Media Specialist

If you were about to give a talk to a class or present something at a meeting, to whom would you turn? The best option would be a media specialist. Media specialists get to work with multimedia equipment (such as television and video equipment), cameras, film projectors, slides, and recording equipment, usually on behalf of a school, library, or business.

Media specialists largely work for schools and institutions of learning, but some of them work in libraries, government agencies, private industries, and other businesses. Media specialists working in school systems help teachers by finding relevant material to be used as teaching aids. They work closely with teachers in ordering course materials, determining what training aids are best suited for particular grade levels, and instructing teachers and students in the operation of audiovisual equipment.

Government agencies, medical and industrial corporations, international humanitarian organizations, and other nongovernmental organizations that need to train workers and distribute information to the public require the services of media specialists. Some media specialists will find work researching and developing public service announcements run by health, welfare, and social services; community action groups; and radio and television stations.

Even though most media specialists have heavy schedules, their reward comes with the knowledge and enlightenment they help bring to students and other audiences.

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Career Information for Multimedia Specialists

Multimedia artists in all industries earned a median hourly wage of $28.01, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in May 2009. The movie and TV industry was the most common employment sector, and among the highest-paying one, for multimedia specialists, but more than half were self-employed or freelance, the BLS reported. Advertisers and software manufacturers, including video game companies, also reported high employment of multimedia specialists. The BLS projected a 14% increase in multimedia artists during 2008-2018, driven by entertainment software. Expansion of multimedia is anticipated to lead employment growth among artists over that decade.