Television Jobs in California
California provides budding television professionals with all the companies they would need to start a successful TV career. The vast majority of television production activity in the US, on scripted and unscripted TV shows, is still done in Los Angeles. According to FilmL.A. president Paul Audley, "California's film incentive is now helping to sustain local TV production after seven straight quarters of growth."
The top states for finding jobs in television tend to be California and New York, but of the two, California consistently has the highest supply of jobs and highest average wages.
If you are starting a career in television, there are a couple routes you can take. If you're interested in television production, your best bet is to start as a production assistant, where you'll gain experience working on set and the opportunity to network with other more established crew members. If you're interested in being a studio executive, then your best bet is to go work as an assistant to a studio executive. You will be working as a secretary, but you'll get to experience the life of a studio executive first-hand, and you'll learn some helpful tips about how to effectively run a TV studio. If you want to be a TV agent or manager, then you should go work as an assistant at an agency or management company. Many of these companies have trainee programs, where they'll train assistants to one day become agents or managers.
In California, the most popular television jobs are Set Designers, Art Directors, Editors, Writers, Production Assistants, Directors, and Cinematographers.
According to Glassdoor, some of the highest-rated television companies in California include CBS (Los Angeles), Disney ABC Television (Burbank), FOX (Century City), Netflix (Los Gatos, Beverly Hills), NBC (Studio City), and HBO (Santa Monica).
The top ranked schools in California with programs and degrees in television 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 television jobs in California, which were compiled from Salary.com, Glassdoor, and the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Multimedia Artists, Animators, and CGI Artists - $83,000 per year, or $39.90 per hour
Creative Directors - $133,000 per year, or $63.94 per hour
Broadcast Technicians - $53,000 per year, or $25.48 per hour
Sound Engineers - $45,000 per year, or $21.63 per hour
Art Director Assistants - $91,000 per year, or $43.75 per hour
Editors - $109,000 per year, or $52.40 per hour
Media Production Managers - $90,000 per year, or $43.27 per hour
Senior Videographers - $70,000 per year, or $33.65 per hour
Cinematographers and Photographers - $71,000 per year, or $34.13 per hour
Set Designers - $75,000 per year, or $36.06 per hour
Producer and Directors - $125,000 per year, or $60.10 per hour
Media Production Directors - $163,000 per year, or $78.37 per hour
Actor - $35,000 per year, or $16.83 per hour
Production Assistants - $34,000 per year, or $16.35 per hour
Art Directors - $121,000 per year, or $58.17 per hour
Writers and Authors - $83,000 per year, or $39.90 per hour
Graphic Designers - $61,000 per year, or $29.33 per hour
Animators - $74,000 per year, or $35.58 per hour
Professionals working in television in California also tend to work in the following industries, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics: Design, Marketing, Feature Films, Independent Film, Online and New Media, Corporate Videos/Presentations, Blog or Vlog Production, Advertising.
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