TV or film producer
TV and film producers look after the business side of productions.
Salary range: Variable
How to become a TV or film producer
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- a broadcaster training scheme
- specialist courses run by private training providers
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, or equivalent, for a degree
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
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), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
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), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
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.
Volunteering and experience
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 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.
Professional and industry bodies
You can join The Production Guild, for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.
You can find out more about creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of media production and communication
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- knowledge of English language
- leadership skills
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to use your initiative
- to be flexible and open to change
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
What you’ll do
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
You could work at a TV studio, in an office, at a film studio or on a film set.
Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time and you may spend nights away from home.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could become an executive producer, or set up your own production company.
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