Although a bachelor's degree is recommended to prepare for a career as an associate producer, many of these professionals move into this role with experience as editors, writers or actors. Internships and trade organizations also provide opportunities for gaining experience in this field.
Producers work in television, film, theater, radio, and other production settings. Depending on the size and budget of a performance or production, there may be several different producers working on the production team. One of these professionals is the associate producer whose main function is to assist more senior producers, such as executive producers, in completing a show, video, broadcast, or performance.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree in business management, arts management or communications|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||9% for all producers and directors|
|Median Annual Salary (2015)*||$68,440 for all producers and directors|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Associate producer responsibilities will vary from project to project. Duties may include organizing production personnel, coordinating set construction, operating a teleprompter, supervising lighting or sound plans, editing scripts, or writing news items. Associate producers may also select video segments or find sound effects. They can also be responsible for making sure video or audio segments are in the correct order for a broadcast. Associate producers might also be tasked with operational duties such as generating financial reports or status updates.
Earnings for associate producers vary depending on the type and size of the production. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that producers and directors earned a median annual income of $68,440 in 2015 (www.bls.gov). However, PayScale.com indicated that associate producers in film and television earn between $30,174 and $63,320 a year, as of January 2016, with 392 professionals reporting.
Associate producers may begin their careers with or without previous experience, but a degree might be necessary to get someone's foot in the door. Professionals in the industry can improve their careers by joining trade organizations such as the Producers Guild of America (PGA) or the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET). Some associate producers started in a different occupation within the industry, such as an editor, writer, or actor.
Degrees that are related to working as an associate producer include arts management, communications, or business management. Some colleges and universities offer communications degree programs that specialize in film or broadcasting. Courses that will help prepare you for a career include television studio production, digital editing, advertising, Internet media, audio production, and broadcast history. Also, participating in an internship with a broadcasting station or working on student films may also provide students with valuable experience.
Associate producers perform many vital roles in the production of movies, television shows, broadcasts or performances. A management or communications degree can prepare an associate producer to do everything from overseeing the lighting and sound production to editing scripts and working with set designers. Job opportunities for producers and directors are expected to grow faster than average over the 2014-2024 decade.