Media

TV or film producer

TV and film producers look after the business side of productions.

Annual Salary

Variable

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

Variable

3%
Future employment

There will be 3% more TV or film producer jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

You'll manage the production process from start to finish, organising people and resources. 

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • deciding which projects to produce, or creating programme ideas yourself
  • reading scripts
  • securing the rights for books or screenplays, or negotiating with writers to produce new screenplays
  • identifying sources of funding and raising finances
  • working out what resources are needed
  • checking and approving locations
  • pitching to television broadcasters to commission your programme
  • planning filming schedules
  • hiring staff, cast and crew
  • managing cash flow
  • making sure the production stays on schedule and within budget
  • working with marketing companies and distributors 

University

You could do a degree in film or media production before applying for work with a production company.

You'll find it helpful to take a course that includes practical skills, work placements and the chance to make industry contacts.

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

College

You could start by doing a college course, which may help you to get a job as a production assistant or runner. With experience, you could then move on to become a producer. Courses include:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Creative Media Production
  • Level 3 Diploma in Film and Television Production

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

Apprenticeship

You could start by doing a broadcast production assistant advanced apprenticeship and work your way up to a producer role.

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), usually including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

Other Routes

A common way to get into this job is to start as a runner and work your way up. Producers of factual programmes often start as programme researchers or journalists.

You may also be able to start in a production office role like an administrator and learn on the job.

In film, you'll usually start as a runner then move on to become a production co-ordinator, line producer and production manager.

A different route is to work your way through 3rd, 2nd and 1st assistant director roles with a media production company.

You'll be expected to get as much practical industry experience as you can through activities like:

  • student film and TV
  • work experience placements
  • hospital or community radio

You can search for film and TV companies to approach for experience through media business listing services like PACT and The Knowledge.

You may be able to get training through one of the new entrant training schemes that broadcasters like the BBC and Channel 4 offer. Other opportunities may be available through regional film agencies. You can find out more from:

You could also take short courses in production skills run by film schools, regional screen agencies and private training providers.

You'll need a lot of experience in both the creative and business sides of film or programme making. You'll also need an in-depth understanding of the production process, and a good network of contacts in the industry.

You can join The Production Guild, for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Variable

You’ll usually be paid a fee for each project. Rates can vary widely. The Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU) has information on current pay guidelines.

Depending on your contract, you may also receive a percentage of the profits from a feature film.

Variable

Hours can be long and irregular.

Freelance contract work is very common.

The work is mainly office-based, but you’ll visit studios or locations for meetings. Location work could be anywhere in the UK or overseas, so you’ll travel and be away from home for long periods.

With experience, you could become an executive producer, or set up your own production company.

You can find out more about becoming a TV or film producer from ScreenSkills and ProductionBase.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • creativity and vision
  • presentation and negotiation skills
  • leadership and management ability
  • planning and organisational skills
  • financial skills and the ability to work to a budget
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