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Helping you find a career in the Television industry

All TV programmes require a team of people spanning from researchers in the pre-production planning stage, the directors and stage hands during filming, as well as the producers post-production. Have a look at the credits of the next TV programme that you watch to get an idea of just how many people were needed to bring it together.

All of these people require different skill sets, which means there is room for a range of people within this industry. Each person in a team is important for a successful production.

Experience is everything within television, so you will have to prepare yourself for starting at the bottom and working your way up. The pay is notoriously low for these initial roles, but with determination you will be able to climb the ladder.

Many TV roles are on a freelance basis, so the income may not be very stable and this lack of security can deter people. However, large projects can be very well paid and help to bridge any gaps between work.

TV work can be very demanding and involve long hours to meet project deadlines. However, the buzz that comes from a sharing a successful production that many people enjoy makes it worth all of the hard work.


Skills & interests required for a career in Television
Working in TV will require a lot of problem-solving. Unexpected issues crop up all of the time and at every stage during a production - you may be faced with problems such as cast members getting sick, or delays beyond your control, which will require quick-thinking and creative problem-solving.

The different areas of TV work rely on slightly different skills. Producers, for example, will need a head for numbers in order to make sure a product is remaining in budget. Lighting and sound technicians will need to be savvy on technical equipment and pay attention to detail during filming to ensure no mistakes are being made.

Networking will be a large part of a successful career in television. Producers and directors often choose to work with the same teams and you will likely hear about other projects through word-of-mouth, rather than it being advertised online. Try to make a positive impression on those who you work with.

Communication skills are crucial when working in television. As a producer and director, you’ll have to communicate between the different teams in the project to ensure that the end result will work. As a technician, you will have to be comfortable being vocal about issues that you encounter that may affect the quality of the production. A team that communicates openly will have the best final results.

Other skills that you may find useful in television are:
-Confidence
-Organisation
-Writing skills
-Multi-tasking
- Ability to Work Under Pressure
- Adaptability
- Attention to detail
- Collaboration
- Commercial Awareness
- Communication
- Computer Programming
- Creativity
- Design
- Information Technology
- Initiative
- Media Relations
- Multi-tasking
- Networking
- Organisation
- Planning
- Presentation Skills
- Resourceful
- Self-Confidence
- Telecommunications
- Time Management
- Video
- Video Editing
- Video Production
- Writing
Television apprenticeships & other career progress routes for school leavers
TV is a very creative industry and there is no predefined career progression route. As you gain more experience and become recognised within the industry, you will begin to work on larger projects with a much higher budget.

However, many decide to pursue projects that they are interested in rather than simply ones that increase budget which may mean more sideways steps in terms of salary.

The working day in television can be quite long, especially during filming as deadlines need to be met. There also could be some challenging working conditions – the crew that filmed Planet Earth, for example, would have had to deal with quite a few difficult environments.

As an editor or a producer, you will likely progress from an assistant to an executive and finally a senior. With each stage, you will have more responsibilities and potentially will be in charge of your own team.
Tips for getting into the field
Some of the largest broadcasters, such as the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, offer apprenticeships and trainee schemes in broadcasting that can be an excellent first step into the field.
Work on projects in your own time wherever possible. Pursue your passions and make sure you keep documentation of your work!
What do Television professionals get paid?
The earning potentials within television can vary widely, but here are some average salaries for some typical roles in the field:

Trainee producers can earn between £17,000-£23,000

Junior television production coordinators start on around £140 a day. As the work is usually contract based, salaried jobs can be difficult to source.

Senior TV editors can earn in excess of £50,000.
What qualifications do I need for a career in Television?
Television does not have any formal qualification requirements. A degree may be useful to give you the practical skills for production, but merit and experience get you much further in this field.

Subjects such as media, film, design and photography may help you in this industry by providing you with a structured space to explore your creative interests and work on independent projects. These will be a strong start to a portfolio.

There are also a selection of apprenticeships available within this industry covering areas like broadcast production, broadcast technology, craft and technical roles for film and TV, and creative digital media. What’s most important is to seek out opportunities that interest you and then apply for the ones that excite you the most!
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