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How Much Does Television Production and Recording School Cost?

Television Production and Recording School Prices

A television show that takes 30 minutes to air can take hundreds of hours to make. In the hectic run-up to air time television produces must make sure that every last detail—from the script to the props to the onscreen credit names—are spot on. Such a large amount of responsibility can be stressful, but television producers also report being excited and satisfied by their job. You may find a career as a television producer rewarding as well if you enjoy working hard, solving problems, thinking on your feet, and meeting deadlines.

Television Producer Career Considerations

Despite there being no formal education requirements for television producers, one must pay his or her dues before becoming a full-fledged producer. This means, among other things, working as a production assistant and performing such unglamorous tasks as proofreading and grabbing coffee.

Not that being a producer is particularly glamorous. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), produces are primarily concerned with the business and financial decisions of a TV show. They raise money for a show, hire the director and crew, set the budget, and make sure filming is completed according to budget and schedule. When a broadcast goes smoothly, producers get the credit, but they also get the blame when things go wrong.

Salary

BLS groups together employment and wage information for producers and directors and estimates that individuals working in these professions earn a median annual salary of $71,350. BLS, however, doesn't distinguish between stage, television, radio, video, or motion picture producers and directors. Narrowing down the job criteria to film and TV producers, payscale.com reports a median income of $58,846, with a range of $32,250 - $147,000. Producers of TV's most popular shows can have very high earnings, although this isn't the norm.

Education

According to BLS, most producers have a bachelor's degree. The agency additionally notes that there are no formal training programs for producers, although a track (or specialization) in television production is possible at the associate's, bachelor's, and master's degree levels, typically through a school's cinematic arts or film and television department.

Prospective producers might also consider studying writing, acting, journalism, business, communications, or arts management. Actual college coursework should depend, in part, on the type of production a student wants to work in. Those interested in TV news production, for example, should study history, journalism, and political science.

The best learning opportunities for would-be producers, however, often lie beyond the classroom. For instance, working on a student film can help students understand the inner-workings of a production. College internships that allow students to work as production assistants can provide an enormous advantage. Good old fashioned networking, too, can open up PA opportunities. If unable to secure work as a PA, try gaining any work experience that demonstrates your ability to multitask in a high-pressure environment.

Television Production and Recording School Costs

Please note that the following tuition information is based on national averages; actual costs can vary significantly. Contact individual schools for the most up-to-date tuition and fee costs.

  • The average cost of earning an associate's degree is $3,000 - $4,000 per year.
  • Four-year institutions cost, on average, $8,600 - $29,000 per year.
  • Source: Trends in College Pricing 2012 report
  • Master degree program costs vary widely. This CBS News report puts the average cost of a master's degree program at $5,000 to nearly $40,000 per year.
  • The numbers don't lie: school can be expensive. Financial aid, however, and scholarships in particular, can reduce students' debt burdens. Learn more at studentaid.ed.gov.

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