Movie, television and radio stations would have difficulty producing successful movies, shows and programs without associate producers. They assist producers in establishing settings, selecting scripts and choosing the right choreographers and costume designers for films. If you have creativity and aspire to work behind the scenes on movies or television shows, a job as an associate producer might be the perfect starting point. But, you will need some formal education and experience to get hired in the field.
Many associate producers have bachelor's degrees in business, arts or nonprofit management. Associate producer is often the entry-level position into television or movie production. You take one of these jobs with the goal of becoming a producer. And, producers are usually required to have bachelor's degrees. If you come from a writing and acting background, your communications or theater degree can also help you in this field.
Training and Experience
No set path exists for becoming an associate producer. If your goal is producing movies or television programs, working as a play or theater director might get you on the right path. You might also try working for film editors or sound crews. One way to gain industry experience is by working as an assistant director on films or news programs. Work with an independent film company for a while, as the experience requirements might not be as rigid as larger production companies.
Associate producers must have excellent communication skills to work on movies, shows or news programs. In this role, you might serve as the communication link between the director and producer, deciding how best to adapt a script for production. You might also instruct actors, costume designers and camera workers if your producer is serving the dual role of director and producer. Whatever your role, you must be able to communicate with employees on many levels, including corporate executives.
Since producers make business decisions for movie, stage and television productions, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, associate producers must have management skills to assist them in these endeavors. As an associate producer, you use management skills to assist the producer in keeping costs within budget. You also hire the most qualified directors, actors and crew workers and ensure that they complete the movie or show on time.
2016 Salary Information for Producers and Directors
Producers and directors earned a median annual salary of $70,950 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, producers and directors earned a 25th percentile salary of $46,660, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $112,820, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 134,700 people were employed in the U.S. as producers and directors.