Job Description of a Production Director

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a production director. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and experience to find out if this is the career for you.

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A production director might work in either the industrial manufacturing sector or the entertainment industry. Although requirements pertaining to specific on-the-job tasks and education can vary depending on the industry, production directors are generally responsible for ensuring deadlines are met and orders are properly carried out.

Essential Information

The title of 'production director' can refer to two very different professions. The first relates to industrial production, while the second deals with film and video production. As such, education and training requirements differ from field to field, but most professionals have received some form of training either through colleges or vocational schools.

Career Industrial Production Manager Producers & Directors
Required Education Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Projected Job Outlook (2014-2024)* -4% 9%
Median Salary (2015)* $93,940 $68,440

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Job Description

The job description of a production director differs depending on the type of product that is being produced. There are production directors for manufacturing processes, print production and theatrical and broadcasting programs. While different types of production directors do different tasks, all professionals are responsible for fulfilling orders and meeting deadlines.

Production directors who work in manufacturing plants and for various print operations ensure that staff members meet the production needs set by management while producing a high-quality product for the customer. These professionals may liaison with other departments such as maintenance, since production equipment must be kept functioning smoothly, and human resources, as production directors often supervise a number of workers. Theatrical and performing arts production directors maintain communication with actors, actresses and stagehands and are responsible to the producer and director for the financial status of a production and that the proper post-production processes are in place.

Industrial Production Managers

For production directors of print products and other manufactured goods, many jobs require professionals to earn the minimum of a bachelor's degree in management or a related field. Though it isn't always required, formal training may help production directors land a job. Among the different degree programs that employers generally prefer candidates to have are business management, industrial technology, engineering and business administration. Common core courses for these programs include:

  • Management of human resources
  • Organizational analysis of behavior
  • Accounting principles
  • Macro and microeconomics
  • Management of productions
  • Safety and quality control

Film & Stage Producers

To ensure that these professionals understand how the production process works, many employers require production directors to have experienced each step of the production process and thus have worked their way through the ranks to the position of director. A common entry-level position is production technician.

Careers in the entertainment industry may value talent and experience more than a college degree. Many producers start out working as managers and press agents and advance into producing positions. While there are not any specific degree requirements to become a producer, some universities offer specific degree programs like management of performing arts. There are also professional certifications that may help a production direct demonstrate skill level to potential employers.

Production directors in the entertainment industry can take on a number of roles, such as managing the finances for a theatrical show or communicating with performers and stage crew. A production director in the industrial manufacturing sector often oversees a plant's staff and makes sure production quotas are met. Both positions typically requires a bachelor's degree in a field related to the specific role.

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