Media Production Careers

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue in media production. Read on to learn more about career options along with salary and job outlook information. Schools offering Digital Cinematography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Kind of Careers Require Media Production?

Some people know Hollywood is calling. However, if you are serious about working in the entertainment world, you need the training and education to work in media production. Producers and directors are at the top of the food chain. They are in charge of talent, set workers, screenwriters, budgets and everything else you might think of. You may want to break into the field at a lower level as a film and video editor or cameraman. You would work under the supervision of a director and producer, but you'd be the pulse of the total media production.

To work in media production, you must have a keen eye and a talent for working with cameras, computers, or film. Consider the following table to determine if a career in media production is right for you.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree common
Key Skills Communication, computer, creativity, and visual skills
Job Growth (2014-2024) 11% for all film and video editors and camera operators*
9% for all producers and directors*
Median Salary (2015) $49,080 for all camera operators, television, video, and motion picture*
$68,440 for all producers and directors*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What Jobs Are Available in Media Production?

Media production careers might include camera operators, video editors and producers, although there are other careers that may qualify as media production not mentioned here. Producers are business people, often entrepreneurs, who make financial and business decisions involved in television programs or movies. This might include casting, money allocation, script selection, financial arrangements and budgeting. Producers may also be in charge of hiring and casting.

Camera operators use special equipment to film television shows, movies, documentaries or music videos. After camera operators gather material on film, video editors compile, organize and edit it. Editors may also work with time constraints, public rating systems or work toward a particular mood or message.

What Education Do I Need?

Because producers are often independent entrepreneurs, no degree is required. However, many successful producers have earned business degrees at either the bachelor's or master's level. Business degree programs with an emphasis on finance or the media industries may be particularly helpful. Additionally, degrees specifically in media production and media business are available, although they are typically offered at the bachelor's level.

Camera operators and video editors could earn technical or vocational degrees at the associate's level, and those who already have some experience may be able to seek employment with an undergraduate certificate. However, bachelor's degrees in digital media, film or media studies often include courses in business and other general education, which can be helpful and make you more competitive in the job market. Programs for camera operators may be available at photography schools or film schools.

What Is the Work Environment Like?

Producers typically work in high stress environments and often have to meet deadlines and manage budgets. Locations and times might change as assignments change, and assignments are typically short, sometimes as short as one day. Because many producers work on a freelance or entrepreneurial basis, work can be inconsistent and hours can be irregular. Producers may also organize and attend a lot of meetings with actors, directors or business personnel.

Camera operators may travel a lot, and those covering natural disasters, military conflicts or civil unrest may work in dangerous conditions. Those working in television may have more regular hours and may work on a set. Camera operators could also work for film production companies and travel to different locations.

Video editors typically work in an office or studio. They may work closely with directors to achieve a particular vision for a given piece. They often work with industry-current editing technology, and part of their job is to stay current on video editing technology.

What Can I Expect from the Job Market?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that the employment rate for camera operators and video editors will rise by 11% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). This rate of growth is faster than the national average predicted for all occupations during this time period. The median annual salary for all camera operators was $49,080 in May, 2015.

The BLS predicted that the employment rate for producers will grow about 9% from 2014-2024. Producers earned a median annual salary of $68,440 in May, 2015.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Related career fields without a degree but some college might be work as an actor, dancer or singer. You'd take your media skills in front of the camera working on stage, television or in feature films. You will need a bachelor degrees to find employment as an art director working in various media outlets like magazines, newspapers, on top of film and television and digital video. Multimedia artists and animators could have their projects created through digital art and animation. You'd need the skills which come from a bachelor's degree for this work.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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