Field Producer: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a field producer. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and job growth projections to find out if this is the career for you.

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Often working in the broadcasting industry, a field producer locates sources, researches leads and develops content for a story. They work alongside other professionals on a production team, such as cameramen and reporters, to showcase an event or story, while at the same time ensuring time constraints and project guidelines are met. Securing work as a field producer often requires previous industry experience and a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as journalism.

Essential Information

Field producers are in charge of every aspect of a television or radio broadcast or film or commercial project, usually working on projects outside a studio. Their duties can include writing, managing teams of professionals, including camera personnel and on-air talent, and editing the final product. The job can require travel and long hours. Most field producers hold a bachelor's degree in journalism or a related field and have experience in various aspects of production.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in journalism or related field
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 9% for producers and directors
Median Salary (2015)* $68,440 for producers and directors

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Field Producer Job Description

Producers are generally responsible for the overall content and quality of a television broadcast, film, commercial or other finished media product. They plan and coordinate the activities of production staff and on-air talent in consultation with other management personnel. Field producers complete many of these tasks outside of the studio by arranging and monitoring video production activities at remote locations. They work for television and other media broadcasting services to provide live feeds and event coverage.

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  • Cinematography and Film Production
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Job Duties of a Field Producer

Field producers are often responsible for researching, writing and editing content. Those professionals working in the broadcast news and television industry generally cooperate with a variety of newsroom staff members such as reporters and associate producers to gather information and follow leads. Field producers manage production teams including camera operators, reporters and broadcast technicians to provide live satellite feeds or shoot video for later editing into news packages. They arrange interviews and location shots, and produce content under strict deadlines. Additionally, field producers may be required to time segments, edit video and review broadcasts to monitor quality against established broadcast and production standards.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expected employment for all producers and directors to increase between 2014 and 2024 by about 9%. Producers and directors earned a median annual salary of $68,440, the BLS noted in May 2015.

Requirements to Become a Field Producer

According to O*Net OnLine, 53% of producers hold a bachelor's degree (www.onetonline.org). November 2014 job postings from CareerBuilder.com typically specified that candidates should have production experience ranging from one to five years. Employers expect field producers to have production and post-production experience in shooting video, setting up lighting equipment and using editing and graphics software.

Other essential skills include time management, since productions are often deadline-driven, and highly developed communication and writing skills. Event coverage and location-based production frequently require evening or weekend work, and employers listed a valid driver's license and the ability to travel as necessary for being hired for this position.

Aspiring field producers must be able to meet strict deadlines, and they should also be prepared to work unconventional hours and willing to travel to remote locations to cover a story. In addition to a bachelor's degree, they should have previous industry experience that includes knowledge of filming, editing and equipment setup. It is up to a field producer to make sure that a production, whether live or prerecorded, meets an employer's quality standards.

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