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TV or film production manager

Alternative titles for this job include

Production managers take care of the business, financial and recruitment side of film and television productions.

Average salary (a year)

Variable

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 variable

You could work

freelance / self-employed away from home

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

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

University

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.

Entry requirements

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More Information

College

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

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More Information

Apprenticeship

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.

Entry requirements

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

More Information

Work

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.

Volunteering

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.

Other Routes

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.

More Information

Career tips

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.

Further information

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.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of media production and communication
  • the ability to organise your time and workload
  • excellent written communication skills
  • 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 use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

  • have a first aid certificate

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

During the planning stages of a production, you may:

  • work with the producer and senior production staff 
  • draw up a production schedule and budget
  • negotiate costs with suppliers
  • hire crew and contractors
  • approve bookings of resources, locations, equipment and supplies
  • arrange permissions and risk assessments
  • manage a production office team

During filming, you could:

  • make sure the production runs to schedule
  • control and monitor production spending
  • report on progress to the producers
  • deal with any problems during filming
  • make any necessary changes to the schedule or budget, like rescheduling filming in bad weather
  • make sure that health and safety rules, insurance terms, copyright laws and union agreements are followed

Working environment

You could work at a film studio, on a film set, in an office or at a TV studio.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time and you may spend nights away from home.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

You could work on freelance contracts for television broadcasters or independent production companies and negotiate better fees based on your experience and reputation.

You could open your own studio or move into working as an executive producer, where you'll be responsible for several productions at once.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Broadcast Operator Apprentice 2022

  • Wage: £19,500.00 Annually
  • Location: London

Broadcast Production Apprentice

  • Wage: £22,000.00 Annually
  • Location: London

Courses In England

Film & Media Production

  • Provider: BRIT SCHOOL FOR PERFORMING ARTS AND TECHNOLOGY
  • Start date: 01 September 2022
  • Location: CROYDON

Creative Media Production & Technology - Film & TV Production

  • Provider: HAVANT AND SOUTH DOWNS COLLEGE
  • Start date: 05 September 2022
  • Location: Alton

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