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Film Industry Jobs in California

If you're looking for film industry jobs, there might be no better place than California. The state is home to all the major feature film studios, and hundreds of mainstream and independent feature film production companies. The majority of film jobs in the state remain concentrated in the Los Angeles area.

According to Glassdoor, some of the highest-rated film industry companies in California include 20th Century Fox (Century City), Sony (Culver City), NBCUniversal (Studio City), Disney (Burbank), Warner Brothers (Burbank), and Paramount (Hollywood).

In California, the most popular film industry jobs are Editors, Writers, Cinematographers, Directors, Art Directors, Set Designers, and Producers.

If you're looking to start a career in the film industry, there are a couple paths you can take. Some start out as production assistants on film projects. This is the entry-level job in film production, but it will give you the opportunity to network with other crew members, who might hire you on their future film projects. Some start out as assistants to film executives at studios or production companies. This position gives you the opportunity to experience the life of a film executive and learn what to do, and what not to do, when running a film company. Others start out working as assistants at a film talent agency or management company. These companies serve as the brokers of the film industry, and the assistants at these companies learn how major entertainment deals are constructed and negotiated. And still others start their careers making independent films, hoping to get noticed by a major festival, and then, a major distributor.

The top states for finding jobs in the film industry tend to be California and New York, but of the two, California consistently has the highest supply of jobs and highest average wages.

The top ranked schools in California with programs and degrees in film industry are University of Southern California (USC, $49,464 per year, out-of-state), American Film Institute (AFI, $47,030 per year, out-of-state), University of California Los Angeles (UCLA, $51,990 per year, out-of-state), and California Institute of the Arts ($43,400 per year, out-of-state), according to rankings published by the Hollywood Reporter and Hack College in 2016.

The following are estimates of salaries and wages for film industry jobs in California, which were compiled from, Glassdoor, and the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Cinematographers and Photographers - $71,000 per year, or $34.13 per hour

Art Directors - $121,000 per year, or $58.17 per hour

Actor - $35,000 per year, or $16.83 per hour

Producer and Directors - $125,000 per year, or $60.10 per hour

Set Designers - $75,000 per year, or $36.06 per hour

Editors - $109,000 per year, or $52.40 per hour

Sound Engineers - $45,000 per year, or $21.63 per hour

Writers and Authors - $83,000 per year, or $39.90 per hour

Professionals working in the film industry in California also tend to work in the following industries, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics: Design, Advertising/Marketing, Online and New Media, Technology, Blog or Vlog Production, Feature Films, Scripted Television.

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