How to Become a TV Show Producer: Education and Career Roadmap

Find out how to become a TV show producer. Research the education and training requirements, and learn about the experience you need to advance your career in TV show production. View article »

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Video Transcript

Should I Become a TV Show Producer?

Television show producers help select the cast and crew for television productions, oversee creative concepts, and deal with financing. They supervise the search for distribution, guide marketing plans, and direct the business decisions necessary to make the show a financial success. TV producers might get to travel in order to film a show outside of the studio. However, this may mean irregular hours and working in inclement weather.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Bachelor's degree
Degree Field No specific major required; students might enroll in business, arts management, or non-profit management programs
Training Internships and apprenticeships available
Experience 1-5 years of practical experience may be necessary
Key Skills Critical thinking, monitoring, management, coordination, communication, and writing skills
Salary $63,782 (2016 median for all film and TV producers)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*NET OnLine, *PayScale.com

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Steps to Become a TV Show Producer

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that a TV show producer should hold at least a bachelor's degree. While a specific degree is not required, aspiring TV show producers may choose to pursue business or arts management degree programs. Business programs are especially beneficial since producers are responsible for the financial and budgeting aspects of a TV show production. Potential TV show producers may also select degree programs in writing, acting, journalism, and communications. Some business programs offer the opportunity for students to complete internships. Internships are one way for aspiring TV show producers to gain vital experience with real-life business and financial situations.

Step 2: Gain Work Experience

The BLS indicates that one to five years of experience is the typical requirement for TV show producers. Potential TV show producers may accrue experience by working in low-profile jobs in the TV industry or completing a program assistant apprenticeship from a registered sponsor. These paid apprenticeship programs generally last about four years. Prospective producers can also seek employment as business managers for TV studios, which can help sharpen the financial skills needed for this role.

Step 3: Consider Joining a Trade Organization

Many TV show producers supplement their careers with involvement in trade organizations, such as the Producers Guild of America (PGA). The PGA seeks to enhance job opportunities and improve working conditions for producers in television, film, and other media. Working with such an organization can assist TV show producers with finding work, receiving proper credit and compensation for their work, and gaining access to additional training.

To summarize, film and TV producers need a bachelor's degree with popular programs of study in business, arts management, and communication, as well as one to five years experience.

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