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Media Production Specialist: Job Description and Career Information

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a media production specialist. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about key skills, job duties and the employment outlook to find out if this is the career for you.

Media production specialists are involved in many aspects of producing audio and video content that is used in commercials, movies, online or in other realms. They need to have computer software, video editing and video equipment skills.

Essential Information

Media production work consists of creating audio-visual products. An aspiring media production specialist may need specialized computer and video equipment knowledge for this career, as well as appropriate technical skills. This training can be gained through a bachelor's degree program in a relevant field.

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 18% for film and video editors
Median Annual Salary (2015)* $61,750 for film and video editors

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

Media production specialists produce items such as commercials, films, short documentaries, audio messages and videos in various TV and Internet formats. This career may involve working with others to select a video topic, script writing, set building and casting in addition to coordinating studio time and other scheduling concerns. Media production specialists might choose titles, music, animation and narration; edit and arrange video; and develop program material. They may need expertise with computer software editing programs and video equipment such as cameras, microphones and lighting. Software to master may include Final Cut Pro, AVID, AfterEffects and Photoshop.

Digital and online media jobs have become more prevalent in recent years as Internet and Web-based media work has increased. Media production specialists should follow developments in the media production industry and may be called upon to make recommendations for purchasing new equipment.

Career Information

Media production work includes entry-level and supervisory levels. Audio and video production work and activities are conducted with a production crew and directors, sound engineers, videographers and producers.

Aspiring media production specialists may study advanced audio and video production skills, mass communication practices, film history, Internet programming, documentary production and motion picture production. A portfolio of work may help aspiring media production specialists land jobs. Students may work at college television and radio stations to gain experience.

Competition is intense, since many wish to work in motion pictures and broadcasting-related fields. A bachelor's degree is typically the minimum educational requirement, according to the BLS, or U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. Courses might include film analysis, video production and new media theory.

According to the BLS, film and video editors, who are similar to media production specialists, made a median wage of $61,750 per year in May 2015. The average hourly wage was $38.61. Those in the bottom 10% earned $26,270 or less, while film and video editors in the top-paid 10% made $155,840 or more, the BLS said. There were about 27,660 people working as film and video editors nationally, although this estimate did not include self-employed and freelance workers in this field. Employment for film and video editors was expected to grow by about eighteen percent from 2014 until 2024, the BLS noted.

Media production specialists have roles similar to film and video editors--they may be involved in choosing a topic for a video, choosing or writing scripts and titles, choosing a cast or music, editing footage and other concerns related to production. They produce audio and video content that could be used for commercials or motion pictures. These professionals must have the skills to use computer software and video equipment. A bachelor's degree program provides the opportunity to study relevant topics.


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