Television Producer: Job Duties & Career Info

Television producers oversee the business, budgetary and hiring aspects of cable and network shows. Read on for more information about education requirements, skill sets, job outlook and salary for television producers.

Career Definition

Television producers have a number of financial and operational responsibilities, which can include choosing directors and crew members, establishing budgets and raising production funds. They also establish production budgets and make sure that projects are completed according to schedule. Some television producers may make casting and script decisions. The quality of the final show ultimately rests with the television producer, who oversees any critical changes that occur during the process.

How to Become a Television Producer

Required Education

A bachelor's degree in communications, television and film or journalism, as well as significant experience in the industry, is the usual requirement for obtaining a job as a television producer. A master's degree may also be preferred by some employers, especially those associated with news shows. Additional coursework in a particular area, such as finance, science or health may be helpful. Employers may also request writing samples or a reel of production clips.

Skills Required

Television producers must have good communication, financial and managerial skills. The ability to interact with and lead other people, as well as an understanding of the latest camera and editing technology, are also required. Television producers must also be flexible, organized, willing to work long hours and thrive under the pressures of deadlines. Producers who are bilingual may have an edge in the job market.

Career and Salary Outlook

While a career as a television producing may be exciting and financially rewarding, job security is directly tied to a show's success or failure. Evolving viewer habits are also a factor, as the Internet has replaced the nightly news broadcasts for many Americans. Future opportunities for television producers may be found in a variety of multimedia formats, including digital production and Internet programming.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has projected a 3%, or slower-than-average, growth in jobs for producers and directors nationwide between 2012 and 2022. In May 2012, producers and directors earned median annual salaries of $71,350, also according to the BLS (www.bls.gov).

Alternate Career Options

Actors

Actors and actresses develop roles and portray characters for movie and television productions, on the stage or at other performing arts events. While not necessarily required to secure a part, many actors and actresses pursue classes or obtain a degree in the dramatic arts. According to the BLS, employment opportunities for actors are expected to increase by just 4%, or slower than average, nationwide from 2012-2022. Those who employed in the field in May 2012 were paid median hourly wages of $20.26 (www.bls.gov).

Announcers

Announcers who work for radio or television stations may have a variety of on-air responsibilities, including conducting interviews and newscasts or playing music. In preparation for this position, many announcers pursue 4-year undergraduate programs in broadcasting, communication studies or television journalism and work at campus-based radio or TV stations. As of May 2012, radio and television announcers earned median annual wages of $28,020, with minimal to no change in jobs projected between 2012 and 2022, according to the BLS (www.bls.gov).

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