Film Producer: Career and Salary Facts

Explore the career requirements for film producers. Get the facts about education and certification requirements, job duties, and average salary to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Digital Cinematography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Film Producer?

Film producers help to create motion pictures by overseeing the entire production of the film. They often work closely with a film's director, but are primarily responsible for the financial aspect of the movie. They make the financial decisions and raise money for the project. Film producers are the ones who hire the director, as well as most of the crew. They also manage the budget and ensure that the film is completed within the budget and desired timeline. These professionals must approve any significant changes to the movie, and are responsible for the end product. Film producers often play a role in the marketing and promotion of the film too. The following chart gives you an overview about entering this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's or master's degree
Education Field of Study Cinema, film production, film studies
Job Duties Obtain film rights, hire staff, determine finances and budgets, collaborate with directors
Job Growth (2014-2024) 9% (for all producers and directors in all industries)*
Mean Salary (2015) $105,550 (for all producers and directors in the motion picture and video industries)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Do I Need a Degree to Work as a Film Producer?

Earning a degree is optional for this career. However, to learn more about the foundational aspects of this position, you may consider enrolling in a certificate or degree program. Relevant certificate programs you may pursue include cinema or film production.

If you would like to gain more in-depth understanding of this career, you may consider pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Film Production or a Master of Arts in Film Production. Bachelor's degree courses will expand your knowledge of film production and allow you to work on sets and gain an understanding of the movie-making process. Courses offered through a master's program can equip you with strategies for raising capital to fund a production and mass media marketing.

What Experience Do I Need?

There are no specific set of work experiences needed to become a film producer. Many producers enter the business from acting, creative writing and directing careers. To gain some experience in the industry, you may consider obtaining an entry-level job with a film production company and work behind-the-scenes on a production. Since film producers often solicit financing for a production, you may gain applicable skills by working on fundraising projects.

What Jobs Duties Would I Have?

As a film producer, your primary responsibility would be to oversee the entire production of a film. This may include pre-production duties such as obtaining the rights to create a film, getting financing, and hiring casting and film directors. You may also determine the budget for a film and would be responsible for all financial transactions.

In this position, you would collaborate with the film director on selecting a script, casting acting roles and choosing filming locations. Typically, for large productions, you would interact frequently with production managers to oversee functions such as casting, crew management and travel arrangements.

How Much Could I Make?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that producers and directors in the motion picture and video industries earned a mean annual salary of $105,550 as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov). Salaries for this position can vary greatly depending on geographic location. For example, the BLS reported that producers and directors working in California earned a mean annual wage of $124,910, while those working in Texas earned a mean annual salary of $63,650 as of May 2015.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Some related careers include art directors, multimedia artists and animators, and writers and authors. These positions typically require at least a bachelor's degree. Art directors may work on movie productions, as well as television shows, magazines and more. They are responsible for creating and maintaining a particular visual style throughout the production or publication. Multimedia artists and animators may also work on films, but develop the visual effects or animations. They can also create work for video games, television and other media. Writers and authors create various kinds of written works, such as scripts, books, articles, songs and more.

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