Film Producer: Job Duties, Career Outlook and Educational Requirements

A film producer is responsible for a movie's production from start to finish. Learn about this career, including the educational requirements, job duties, career outlook and skills that are helpful. Schools offering Digital Cinematography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Film producers are responsible for the commercial success of a film. While there are no education requirements to become a film producer, many obtain bachelor's degrees and have experience working in the film industry. Job growth is projected to be faster than average for this career.

Education and Training Bachelor's degree recommended (usually in film, cinema or other related subjects); typically several years of work experience
Job Duties Set budgets and timelines; hire crew and help with casting
Average Salary (2017) $107,450 (producers and directors in motion picture and video industries) / $90,770 (all producers and directors)
Projected Job Growth (2016-2026) 12% (all producers and directors)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Job Duties Can I Expect?

Motion picture and film producers often look for projects that will be major successes at the box office. They read scripts, contact writers, talk to agents and touch base with on- and off-screen talent. Producers may help directors select the cast of actors and film locations. The producer is also responsible for coordinating the financial needs of the movie project and ensuring the project is on time and on budget. Producers may work independently or with a team of producers. Here are some of the skills that are good to have in this profession:

  • Leadership
  • Time management
  • Communication
  • Creativity

What is the Growth Outlook for this Career?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 134,700 producers and directors employed in the United States in 2016, and about 30% of them worked in the motion picture and video industries. The BLS projects that employment of producers and directors in all industries will grow by 12% from 2016-2026. In 2017, employment of producers and directors was concentrated in California and New York. Producers and directors in the motion picture and video industries had an average annual salary of $107,450 as of May 2017, according to the BLS.

What are the Educational Requirements?

While many producers and directors have a bachelor's degree in film or cinema, others earn a degree in journalism, business, nonprofit management or arts management. In film-related programs, common subjects studied can include:

  • Television and film production
  • Acting
  • Writing
  • Finance
  • Business administration
  • Communications
  • History of cinema

Industry experience is an important part of developing a career in this area. Producers and directors sometimes start their careers working as an assistant in a studio. Others gain experience working in theater production, motion picture TV, cinematography, video editing or as an actor.

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