15 Filmmaking Jobs in the Entertainment Industry

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated February 22, 2021 | Published February 25, 2020

Updated February 22, 2021

Published February 25, 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Filmmaking positions are some of the most competitive in the job market. These careers take a great deal of training and dedication to attain. If you're interested in working in the film industry, there are many approaches you can take. In this article, we explore some of the potential filmmaking jobs you could pursue.

What are filmmaking jobs?

Filmmaking jobs are positions that allow you to work with some aspect of the movie or television industry. These careers can involve anything from producing the movie to creating the marketing materials. The filmmaking industry is very competitive. To earn a position in film, you may need to hone your skills in other areas first. For example, a makeup artist may spend years perfecting their craft before working with well-known actresses and actors. Filmmaking jobs can present many exciting opportunities for those who attain these positions.

15 types of filmmaking jobs

There are many careers you can find in the filmmaking industry, whether you're behind the camera, in front of it or in the editing room. Here are some of the most common career options in film. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the salary link for each job title below:

1. Film crew

National average salary: $10.40 per hour

Primary duties: Members of the film crew are responsible for taking camera footage for a movie, television show or live event. They set up the cameras, follow the director's instructions and capture the shot. The film crew is also responsible for equipment maintenance and repair. Some employees on the film crew may assist with pre-production for a project as well.

2. Actor

National average salary: $11.00 per hour

Primary duties: An actor portrays a character for film, television or other forms of media. Beginning their careers, actors often work in local theater productions or television commercials. They must audition for each individual part, competing against others in the industry. Those who reach A-list celebrity status enjoy a different type of career entirely, selecting from prime film and television parts that are offered to them.

3. Camera operator

National average salary: $13.46 per hour

Primary duties: A camera operator evaluates the lighting, filters, focus and staging to find the best way to capture a scene for film or television. The camera operator works with a variety of technical equipment, including multiple cameras, cranes and mobile mountings. Major films have several camera operators working at once to catch a scene from different angles.

4. Production assistant

National Average Salary: $13.66 per hour

Primary Duties: Production assistants handle the clerical work that's associated with the filmmaking industry. They file paperwork, take phone calls, perform data entry and distribute production paperwork. A production assistant will also handle travel and dining arrangements for the cast and crew, ensuring that everyone's needs are met and the operations run smoothly in a studio or on the set.

Read more: Learn About Being a Production Assistant

5. Photographer

National average salary: $14.33 per hour

Primary duties: Photographers in the film industry capture the still photos that are necessary for promotional purposes. These professionals utilize their artistic skills to frame and take shots. They may also handle the staging of these photos.

6. Sound engineer

National average salary: $15.83 per hour

Primary duties: Sound engineers assemble and operate the equipment that's used to capture sound. They're responsible for recording, amplifying, mixing and enhancing audio. In the filmmaking industry, a sound engineer may capture vocal audio, instrumentation, sound effects and other noises. They will also mix these to produce the natural audio that's heard by audiences watching television or movies.

7. Production artist

National average salary: $17.80 per hour

Primary duties: Production artists produce the creative designs that are used for promotional purposes. Within the film industry, a production artist will handle film posters, advertising and other graphics. They collect images that are captured by professional photographers and work these into their graphic designs. The production artist follows the image through to production, making sure that the print quality is maintained in the final product.

8. Location manager

National average salary: $46,093 per year

Primary duties: A location manager scouts for filming locations that are appropriate for television or movies. They will secure these locations with the proper permits and coordinate the necessary logistics for production. This includes handling trash removal, arranging for parking, negotiating the appropriate fees for use of the space and making arrangements for any cosmetic alterations that need to be done.

9. Associate producer

National average salary: $50,161 per year

Primary duties: The associate producer works closely with the film producer to coordinate the various activities involved in putting a movie or TV show together. This includes scriptwriting, editing, research, financial management and crew scheduling. The associate producer helps the many departments that contribute to the production operate smoothly together.

10. Producer

National average salary: $52,039 per year

Primary duties: Producers are responsible for planning and coordinating the different aspects of film production. They select the script, oversee the editing process, secure financing and schedule production. The producer oversees the general progress of the film but is not involved in the day-to-day production, which is left to directors, managers and production assistants.

11. Junior art director

National average salary: $57,385 per year

Primary duties: A junior art director assists the art director with the planning and execution of set design. The junior art director may add color and texture to sets, handle decorative details and evaluate locations at different times of day to determine the best filming schedule. Several junior art directors may work on a large project.

12. Makeup artist

National average salary: $31.54 per hour

Primary duties: In the film industry, a makeup artist may handle everything from standard stage makeup to elaborate prosthetics. Makeup artists at the top of their fields create elaborate looks that may transform characters into fantasy creatures or dramatically change their age. Makeup artists are also employed to apply and maintain makeup for a natural look. Those who work with film production are mindful of the distinct challenges on the set, which may include heat, sweat and long hours in front of the camera.

Read more: Learn About Being a Cosmetologist

13. Art director

National average salary: $71,332 per year

Primary duties: The art director works closely with the production designer to give a film its distinctive visual quality. This includes preparing sets, overseeing construction and decorating scenes. The art director also commissions work for special effects, hires vehicles and casts animals that are used in film production. The art director and location manager work closely together to create the ideal environment for the project.

Read more: Learn About Being an Art Director

14. Production manager

National average salary: $72,307 per year

Primary duties: The production manager coordinates schedules, meets with staff members, evaluates the budget, negotiates pay rates, selects suppliers and oversees location selection and bookings for films. While a movie is being filmed, the production manager oversees the production team, maintains the proper permits and insurance and handles any issues that may arise.

15. Senior art director

National average salary: $89,426 per year

Primary duties: The senior art director working on a film oversees all aspects of the design. This may include set design, location selection, costumes, props and marketing materials. The senior art director approves concepts presented by the art director and evaluates the work at various stages to ensure that production is taking place on schedule and that all sets and scenes have the appropriate visual elements in place.

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