Though often joked about, jobs in the entertainment industry aren’t easy to come by. In fact, with so many applicants eager to work within the world of entertainment, they are typically among the hardest jobs to secure. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
If we listed and described even just half of the numerous jobs within the entertainment industry, this article would look more like a thesis paper. Many of the jobs that exist in other industries exist here too — business analysts and computer programmers for instance. There are also plenty of jobs unique to the entertainment industry. Here’s just a sampling of the types of jobs within the entertainment industry.
Hundreds of new movies come out every year. Likewise, hundreds of television shows continue to air year in and year out. As their title implies, film and television critics critique all of these works, writing articles for various platforms in order to help consumers decide what to spend their time viewing.
Median Pay: $82,000 per year (Chron, 2013)
Screenwriters write the stories we see on screen. As such, screenwriters have arguably the most important job in the film and television and one of the more important positions within the entertainment industry as a whole. The reason for this is simple: no movie or television show can exist without them.
Median Pay: $78,119 per year (PayScale)
This is typically the best and easiest place to start for anyone trying to break into the film industry. Production assistants (PAs) are at the bottom of the totem pole, but they are extremely vital to the entirety of each film and television production. Their job is to make everyone else’s job as easy as possible, and thus they help in any and every capacity they are asked to. This may be doing lockups — “locking up” pedestrians to ensure that they don’t enter the shot when the cameras are rolling — to a multitude of odd jobs that need completing.
Median Pay: $41.500 (Glassdoor)
Just as literary editors ensure the quality of their authors' writing, film and video editors edit what we see on screen. This includes cutting and splicing various shots and scenes together, altering the colors in each frame, incorporating the right sound effects with the proper images and more. These editors work alongside the director to transform what was shot in production into what we see on our screens.
Median Pay: $62,760 (Fairygodboss)
Camera operation may fall under the purview of the cinematographer or some working for her. Camera operators do exactly as their title implies — operate the cameras. Be it a film set, studio television show or otherwise, there are numerous settings in which cameras are being used at the same time, all for a unique and specific purpose. And these cameras don't operate themselves.
Median Pay: $55,080 (Fairygodboss)
Producers have one of if not the most powerful role in film and its production. They are the maestros behind the scenes, making sure everything is taken care of and runs smoothly.
Median Pay: $65,763 (PayScale)
Stay up to date with the industry and what trends mean for the position you're applying for. The entertainment industry is constantly evolving. If you want to get into the game, you need to understand it. If you don’t, you’ll quickly be left behind.
This may seem simple, but far too often, people fail to do this. Some feel unqualified, others fear getting rejected and still others simply keep putting it off. But you can’t get the job you want if you never even apply. And if you don’t get the job, that’s fine! You don’t lose anything by applying and getting rejected. Yet you can’t gain anything without first applying.
Don’t simply walk into an interview without preparing beforehand. That’s a quick and easy way to look less than your best. And if you even want a chance at landing the job, you need to bring your a-game to the interview.
There’s a reason you’ve been called in for an interview, and it’s not so that they can reject you. Your prospective employer is in need of an employee, and they’d prefer to find that perfect employee sooner than later. They’re hoping that you are that employee! They are on your side and want you to do well, so try not to be too nervous.
The job-hunting process is a tough, not at all enviable one. There are likely going to be many bumps in the road, and it will be difficult to not get discouraged. Whatever you do, though, keep at it. Don’t give up. Keep up to date with the industry, keep applying for jobs, keep going to interviews and keep a smile on your face. Sooner or later, you’ll land a job. But only if you keep trying to.
As noted earlier, jobs in the entertainment industry aren’t easy to come by. Rather, they are some of the toughest jobs to secure. Hard as they are to get, however, it is more than possible to land one. Now equipped with knowledge of a few entertainment industry positions and tips for landing a job, you just have to put in the work.
J.P. Pressley is a writer, entrepreneur, filmmaker, and an asthmatic former two-sport college athlete (basketball and track). Is he a jockey-nerd or a nerdy-jock? The world may never know. You can learn more about him at his personal website.