Executive Producer: Career and Salary Facts

Research what it takes to become an executive producer. Learn about the duties of this job, the education requirements and salary to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Digital Filmmaking & Production degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Executive Producer?

Executive producers administer the financial portion of a variety of productions. They may produce movies, plays, television shows or even commercials. They are responsible for raising the funding for the production, as well as making most, if not all, of the business decisions. Executive producers create and manage the budget, and must approve all changes and expenses. They also typically hire the director and most of the crew. These professionals work closely with the director to make sure the project is finished on time. They also help market and promote the finished product. The following chart provides an overview of the education, job outlook and average salary in this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree at minimum
Education Field of Study Business administration, finance, film studies
Key Responsibilities Supervise the business and financial aspects of productions, create or oversee budgets and purchases, obtain financial backing
Job Growth (2014-24) 9% (for producers and directors)*
Median Salary (2017) $89,799**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

What Education is Required to Become an Executive Producer?

Executive producers oversee the financing and business-related decisions behind feature films, television films, plays and other forms of entertainment. There are no specific educational requirements to become an executive producer. You could be an actor, writer or film editor before advancing to the position of a producer. You may choose to start with a service organization or a performing arts union. You could also work for a business manager, press agent or managing director before moving up to the producer level.

While some executive producers may go to film school, that may not be the standard path to entry in this field. A bachelor's degree in business administration or a related field could be helpful, as it could provide you with an understanding of business trends, economics and management. Some schools also offer graduate certificate programs in film and television producing that are designed to teach you how to develop and oversee a project's budget, translate scripts to the screen, pitch projects to financial backers and studios, and track the details of a production.

What Would My Duties Be?

Movie producers are executives who make the financial and business decisions for a film. This may involve arranging financing, developing ideas, purchasing a script or determining the scope of a planned film. A film may have one or more producers, including assistant, line and associate producers, but they all answer to you, the executive producer.

As an executive producer, you'll supervise one or more producers in the performance of their duties on one or multiple movie productions. You may work on your own or answer to others. Although a film's director may be a powerful figure, he or she may ultimately defer to the executive producer, who usually has the final word on film production-related matters.

What About Salary Potential and Job Outlook?

The salary range for most executive producers was between $39,665 and $174,321 as of January 2017, according to PayScale.com. In 2015, the average salary for producers and directors in general was $89,670, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A 9% job growth rate is predicted for the period of 2014-2024, which is faster than average. Some of this growth will likely be due to an increased appetite for U.S. movies overseas. Like many aspects of Hollywood, fate and talent will usually play a role in the success of your executive producing career.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Those interested in pursuing a related career may wish to consider top executives, writers and authors and multimedia artists and animators, all of which require at least a bachelor's degree. Top executives also make many of the decisions concerning the budget and operations of a particular organization. They implement various policies to help the organization succeed. Writers and authors create an array of written works, such as scripts, songs, books, articles and more. Multimedia artists and animators may also work on movies, tv shows or even video games. They create special effects and animations for these productions.

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