Executive Television Director: Job Description and Information

The fast-paced world of television production is both creative and technical. The executive television director must have the knowledge and organizational skills to steer a diverse group of individuals toward the ultimate goal of a successful television or film production. Read on to learn about the requirements and benefits of this profession.

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Career Definition

An executive television director is one of the most important and influential positions in the television industry. Whether recorded on videotape or film, the executive television director decides what the viewer will see and hear in the final production. He or she must handle on air talent and all technical and creative personnel. While in production, all of these departments must answer directly to the executive television director.

How to Become an Executive Television Director

A Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications is essential for anyone with aspirations to become an executive television director. Studies in management and theater would also be helpful. An entry-level position, such production assistant, is a good place to start, but the best place to learn about how to become an executive television director is in the control room of a television or film studio.

In the control room, the camera operators, floor manager, sound director, technical director and assistant director all answer to the executive television director. Many use the experience as a stepping stone to becoming an executive television director.

Skills Required

An executive television director must have a working knowledge of the creative and technical aspects of television and film production. He or she must have skills in floor management, camera placement, storyboarding, sound and technical production and time management. They must also have skills in presentation, negotiating, writing, production, directing and communication. An executive television director needs to have the management skills to direct the action in the studio and behind the cameras.

Economic and Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), earnings can be very high for executive television directors who work for national broadcasting companies. However, the median income for directors and producers in television broadcasting was $67,110 as of May 2012. The outlook in general for producers and directors is a slower than average 3% projected employment increase between 2012 and 2022.

Alternate Career Options

Top Executive

Helping organizations meet their goals through effective coordination of operational activities and planning, top executives normally have a bachelor's degree, at the very least, in addition to wide work experience. In May 2012, the BLS reported an annual median salary of $101,650 for these professionals and predicted average employment growth of 11% for these top executive positions during the 2012-2022 decade.

Art Director

Art directors often have a bachelor's degree in a field related to art and design, along with work experience. Their job duties include creating the basic designs for newspaper, product packaging and magazine projects, and then directing workers who develop the layouts and artwork. Slower than average increases in available positions was projected by the BLS, with just 3% growth expected from 2012-2022. Per that same source, the median annual wage for art directors in 2012 was $80,880.

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