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Production Careers

Career Description

A Producer is an entrepreneur who makes the business and financial decisions involving a motion picture, made-for-television feature, or stage production. They select scripts, approve the development of ideas,  arrange financing, and determine the size and cost of the endeavor.

Common Work Tasks

  • Hire or approve directors, principal cast members, and key production staff members
  • Negotiate contracts with artistic and design personnel in accordance with collective bargaining agreements
  • Guarantee payment of salaries, rent, and other expenses
  • Determine which programs, episodes, or news segments get aired
  • Research material, write scripts, and oversee the production of individual pieces
  • Coordinate the activities of writers, directors,  managers, and agents to ensure that each project stays on schedule and within budget
  • Conduct meetings with staff to discuss production progress and to ensure production objectives are attained
  • Resolve personnel problems that arise during the production process by acting as liaisons between dissenting parties when necessary
  • Produce shows for special occasions, such as holidays or testimonials
  • Review film, recordings, or rehearsals to ensure conformance to production and broadcast standards

Other Job Titles

Producers are also known by other titles, including:

  • Directors
  • Executive Producers
  • Program Directors
  • Technical Managers

Education,  Training, and Experience

Education and Training
  There are no specific training requirements for producers. They come from many different backgrounds. Actors, writers, film editors, and business managers commonly enter the field. Producers often start in a theatrical management office,  working for a press agent, managing director, or business manager. Some start in a performing arts union or service organization. Others work behind the scenes with successful directors, serve on the boards of art companies, or promote their own projects. Although there are no formal training programs for producers, a number of colleges and universities offer degree programs in arts management and in managing nonprofit organizations.

  Producers need talent and creativity. They also need business acumen.


The median annual salary for a Producer is $61,000. The top 10 percent earn more than $145,000, and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $29,000.  Median earnings in the industries employing the largest number of producers are:

  • Motion Picture and Video Industries- $92,920
  • Radio and Television Broadcasting - $65,850
  • Cable and Other Subscription Programming - $76,360
  • Performing Arts Companies - $54,010
  • Advertising and Related Services- $108,220

Job Outlook

  • 2006-2016 Employment growth:  11%
  • Number of new jobs created 2006-2016: 10,000
  • Employment 2006 : 93,000
  • Employment 2016:  103,000
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