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Career Profile: Producers and Directors

Produce or direct stage, television, radio, video, or film productions for entertainment, information, or instruction. Responsible for creative decisions, such as interpretation of script, choice of actors or guests, set design, sound, special effects, and choreography.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 131,000 people employed as producers and directors in the United States. The median annual salary is $76,400. Entry level employees earn approximately $36,070 per year and senior employees earn approximately $184,660 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Cut and edit film or tape to integrate component parts into desired sequences.
  • Choose settings and locations for films and determine how scenes will be shot in these settings.
  • Review film daily to check on work in progress and to plan for future filming.
  • Obtain rights to scripts or to such items as existing video footage.
  • Write and submit proposals to bid on contracts for projects.
  • Develop marketing plans for finished products, collaborating with sales associates to supervise product distribution.
  • Write and edit news stories from information collected by reporters and other sources.
  • Plan details such as framing, composition, camera movement, sound, and actor movement for each shot or scene.
  • Communicate to actors the approach, characterization, and movement needed for each scene in such a way that rehearsals and takes are minimized.
  • Direct live broadcasts, films and recordings, or non-broadcast programming for public entertainment or education.
  • Coordinate the activities of writers, directors, managers, and other personnel throughout the production process.
  • Study and research scripts to determine how they should be directed.
  • Supervise and coordinate the work of camera, lighting, design, and sound crew members.
  • Confer with technical directors, managers, crew members, and writers to discuss details of production, such as photography, script, music, sets, and costumes.
  • Research production topics using the internet, video archives, and other informational sources.
  • Review film, recordings, or rehearsals to ensure conformance to production and broadcast standards.
  • Consult with writers, producers, or actors about script changes or "workshop" scripts, through rehearsal with writers and actors to create final drafts.
  • Identify and approve equipment and elements required for productions, such as scenery, lights, props, costumes, choreography, and music.
  • Establish pace of programs and sequences of scenes according to time requirements and cast and set accessibility.
  • Conduct meetings with staff to discuss production progress and to ensure production objectives are attained.
  • Compile scripts, program notes, and other material related to productions.
  • Perform administrative duties, such as preparing operational reports, distributing rehearsal call sheets and script copies, and arranging for rehearsal quarters.
  • Resolve personnel problems that arise during the production process by acting as liaisons between dissenting parties when necessary.
  • Arrange financing for productions.
  • Perform management activities, such as budgeting, scheduling, planning, and marketing.
  • Compose and edit scripts or provide screenwriters with story outlines from which scripts can be written.
  • Negotiate with parties, including independent producers and the distributors and broadcasters who will be handling completed productions.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
131,000
Annual Openings:
15,600
Increase in Openings by 2030:
24%
Annual Salary Range:
$36,070 - $184,660
Education Requirements:
Bachelor's degree