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Executive Television Director: Job Description and Information

The fast-paced world of television production is both creative and technical. The executive television director must have the knowledge and organizational skills to steer a diverse group of individuals toward the ultimate goal of a successful television or film production. Read on to learn about the requirements and benefits of this profession.

Career Definition for an Executive Television Director

An executive television director is one of the most important and influential positions in the television industry. Whether recorded on videotape or film, the executive television director decides what the viewer will see and hear in the final production. He or she must handle on-air talent and all technical and creative personnel. While in production, all of these departments must answer directly to the executive television director.

Education Bachelor's degree in communications; management skills can be helpful
Job Duties Decides what the viewer will see and hear in the final production; handles on-air talent, technical staff and creative personnel
Median Salary (2015)* $68,440 (directors and producers)
Job Outlook (2014-2024)* 9% (directors and producers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Requirements

A Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications is essential for anyone with aspirations to become an executive television director. Studies in management and theater would also be helpful. An entry-level position, such production assistant, is a good place to start, but the best place to learn about how to become an executive television director is in the control room of a television or film studio.

In the control room, the camera operators, floor manager, sound director, technical director and assistant director all answer to the executive television director. Many use the experience as a stepping stone to becoming an executive television director.

Skills Required

An executive television director must have a working knowledge of the creative and technical aspects of television and film production. He or she must have skills in floor management, camera placement, storyboarding, sound and technical production and time management. They must also have skills in presentation, negotiating, writing, production, directing and communication. An executive television director needs to have the management skills to direct the action in the studio and behind the cameras.

Economic and Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), earnings can be very high for executive television directors who work for national broadcasting companies. The median income for directors and producers overall was $68,440 as of May 2015. The job outlook for producers and directors between 2014 and 2024 is 9%, which is faster than the average for all occupations (www.bls.gov).

Alternate Career Options

Similar career choices within this field include:

Top Executive

Helping organizations meet their goals through effective coordination of operational activities and planning, top executives normally have a bachelor's degree, at the very least, in addition to wide work experience. In May 2015, the BLS reported an annual median salary of $102,690 for top executives, whose employment is projected to grow by 6% from 2014 to 2024 (www.bls.gov).

Art Director

Art directors often have a bachelor's degree in a field related to art and design, along with work experience. Their job duties include creating the basic designs for newspaper, product packaging and magazine projects, and then directing workers who develop the layouts and artwork. BLS projected a slower-than-average employment growth of 2% from 2014 to 2024 for art directors. As of May 2015, the median annual wage for art directors was $89,760.

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