How to become a TV or film production manager
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- a broadcaster's training scheme
You could do a degree in media production before joining a production company.
You'll find it helpful to take a course that includes the technical side of production, work placements and the chance to make industry contacts.
You'll also need a strong knowledge of business and finance management.
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
You could do a college course which may help you to get a job with a media company. With experience, you could then move on to work in production management. Courses include:
- Level 3 Diploma in Creative Media Production
- Level 3 Diploma in Film and Television Production
- T Level in Media, Broadcast and Production
You'll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level
You may be able to do a media production coordinator higher apprenticeship, or a creative industries production management degree apprenticeship. You'll usually need experience in production management or production accounting to do the degree apprenticeship.
You could also start out by doing a broadcast production assistant advanced apprenticeship and then work your way up to management level as your experience grows.
To get onto an apprenticeship, you'll find it useful to have:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
You could start as a runner or an assistant in the production office, then move on to become a production co-ordinator or assistant production manager. You could also start as a trainee production accountant.
Another option is to go from a job as a runner to 3rd, 2nd and 1st assistant director, or from assistant TV floor manager, then to floor manager or location manager.
You'll need a lot of experience in TV or film, and an in-depth understanding of the production process to get into this job. Your experience and track record will often be more important than formal qualifications.
You can search for film and TV companies to approach for experience through media business listing services like PACT and The Knowledge.
Having a network of contacts in the industry will help you to find work.
You may be able to get training through one of the new entrant training schemes that broadcasters and film bodies offer. For example:
You could also take short courses in production skills run by film schools, regional screen agencies and private training providers.
You may find it helpful to have accounting skills and qualifications because of the budget management work involved with this job.
Professional and industry bodies
You could join The Production Guild for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.
You can find out more about working in production management from ScreenSkills and ProductionBase.
You can find out more about creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.