How to become a TV or film production assistant
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- applying directly
- specialist courses run by private training providers
You could do a degree in:
- creative media production
- film and television production
- film and TV studies
You might find it helpful to choose 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
You could take a course at college, for example:
- Level 3 Diploma in Media Techniques
- Level 3 Diploma in Creative Media 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 may be able to do an advanced apprenticeship in creative and digital media or as a broadcast production assistant.
The BBC, ITV and Channel 4 also offer apprenticeship opportunities.
To get onto an apprenticeship, you'll find it useful to have:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
Your first paid job will usually be as a runner or junior assistant in the production office. You'll then work your way up as you get experience.
Get as much practical experience as you can. This will show employers that you're committed to learning more about the industry. You can build useful experience through activities like:
- student or community film/TV projects
- community or student radio
You'll also get the opportunity to meet people already working in TV and film. Building a network of contacts could help you when you start looking for work.
The BBC, ITV and Channel 4 offer work experience placements, and 'insight' and 'talent days'. Competition can be tough, but if you're successful, it will help you get a better understanding of the industry.
ScreenSkills also has information on finding work experience.
Many production assistants are graduates, although a degree is not essential. A lot of employers will be more interested in your skills and experience.
You'll also find it useful to have experience of working in TV, advertising or office management.
You could also take short courses in production skills run by film schools, regional screen agencies and private training providers.
You'll need to develop experience in both the creative and business sides of film or programme making. You'll also need to develop an understanding of the production process, and a good network of contacts in the industry.
Professional and industry bodies
You could join the The Production Guild for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.
You can find out more about entry level opportunities in television from the Royal Television Society
You can find out more about creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.