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Become An Assistant Director

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Working As An Assistant Director

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $73,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Assistant Director Do

Producers and directors create motion pictures, television shows, live theater, commercials, and other performing arts productions. They interpret a writer’s script to entertain or inform an audience.

Duties

Producers and directors typically do the following:

  • Select scripts or topics for a film, show, commercial, or play
  • Audition and select cast members and the film or stage crew
  • Approve the design and financial aspects of a production
  • Oversee the production process, including performances, lighting, and choreography
  • Oversee the postproduction process, including editing, special effects, music selection, and a performance’s overall tone
  • Ensure that a project stays on schedule and within budget
  • Promote finished works or productions through interviews, advertisements, and film festivals

Large productions often have associate, assistant, and line producers who share responsibilities. For example, on a large movie set an executive producer is in charge of the entire production, and a line producer runs the day-to-day operations. A TV show may employ several assistant producers to whom the head or executive producer gives certain duties, such as supervising the costume and makeup team.

Similarly, large productions usually employ several assistant directors, who help the director with tasks such as making set changes or notifying the performers when it is their time to go onstage. The specific responsibilities of assistant producers or directors vary with the size and type of production they work on.

Producers make the business and financial decisions for a motion picture, TV show, commercial, or stage production. They raise money for the project and hire the director and crew. The crew may include set and costume designers, film and video editors, a musical director, a choreographer, and other workers. Some producers may assist in the selection of cast members. Producers set the budget and approve any major changes to the project. They make sure that the production is completed on time, and they are ultimately responsible for the final product.

Directors are responsible for the creative decisions of a production. They select cast members, conduct rehearsals, and direct the work of the cast and crew. During rehearsals, they work with the actors to help them more accurately portray their characters. For nonfiction video, such as documentaries or live broadcasts, directors choose topics or subjects to film. They investigate the topic and may interview relevant participants or experts on camera. Directors also work with cinematographers and other crew members to ensure the final product matches the overall vision.

Directors work with set designers, costume designers, location scouts, and art directors to build a project’s set. During a film’s postproduction phase, they work closely with film editors and music supervisors to make sure that the final product comes out the way the producer and director envisioned. Stage directors, unlike television or film directors who document their product with cameras, make sure the cast and crew give a consistently strong live performance. For more information, see the profiles on actors, writers and authors, film and video editors and camera operators, dancers and choreographers, and multimedia artists and animators.

Although directors are in charge of the creative aspects of a show, they ultimately answer to producers. Some directors also share producing duties for their own films.

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How To Become An Assistant Director

Most producers and directors have a bachelor’s degree and several years of work experience in an occupation related to motion picture, TV, or theater production, such as an actor, film and video editor, or cinematographer.

Education

Producers and directors usually have a bachelor’s degree. Many students study film or cinema at colleges and universities. In these programs, students learn about film history, editing, screenwriting, cinematography, and the filmmaking process. Others major in writing, acting, journalism, or communication. Some producers earn a degree in business, arts management, or nonprofit management.

Many stage directors complete a degree in theater and some go on to receive a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree. Classes may include directing, playwriting, set design, and acting. As of May 2015, the National Association of Schools of Theatre accredited more than 180 programs in theater arts.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Producers and directors might start out working in a theatrical management office as a business or company manager. In television or film, they might start out as an assistant or another low-profile studio job.

Advancement

As a producer’s or director’s reputation grows, he or she may work on larger projects that attract more attention or publicity.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Producers and directors must coordinate the work of many different people to finish a production on time and within budget.

Creativity. Because a script can be interpreted in different ways, directors must decide how they want to interpret it and then how to represent the script’s ideas on the screen or stage.

Leadership skills. A director instructs actors and helps them portray their characters in a believable manner. They also supervise the crew, who are responsible for the behind the scenes work.

Time-management skills. Producers must find and hire the best director and crew for the production. They make sure that all involved do their jobs effectively, keeping within a production schedule and a budget.

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Assistant Director Career Paths

Assistant Director
Center Director
7 Yearsyrs
Director
Regional Director
9 Yearsyrs
Vice President
Executive Vice President
11 Yearsyrs
Operations Director
Regional Director Of Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Director Of Food And Beverage
9 Yearsyrs
Interim Director
10 Yearsyrs
President
President & Chief Operating Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Director Of Human Resources
Human Resources Vice President
12 Yearsyrs
Development Director
Development Vice President
10 Yearsyrs
Food Service Director
Director Of Food And Nutrition Services
9 Yearsyrs
Food Service Director
9 Yearsyrs
Program Director
Education Director
7 Yearsyrs
Environmental Services Director
9 Yearsyrs
Executive Director
Regional Vice President
11 Yearsyrs
Director Of Admissions
7 Yearsyrs
Acting Director
8 Yearsyrs
Director Of Facilities
11 Yearsyrs
Director Of Pharmacist
10 Yearsyrs
Nursing Director
Clinical Services Director
11 Yearsyrs
Nursing Director
9 Yearsyrs
Director Of Training
7 Yearsyrs
Deputy Director
9 Yearsyrs
Marketing Director
Senior Director Of Marketing
12 Yearsyrs
Administrative Director
8 Yearsyrs
Director Of Admissions
Campus Director
7 Yearsyrs
Regional Director
National Director
10 Yearsyrs
Communications Director
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Assistant Vice President
Vice President And Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Chief Finance Officer
Chief Finance And Operating Officer
14 Yearsyrs
Finance Director
Finance Vice President
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Director
Vice President & General Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Director Of Sales
Senior Vice President, Sales
14 Yearsyrs
School Director
6 Yearsyrs
Service Director
Chief Nursing Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Assistant Director Of Operations
5 Yearsyrs
Clinical Director
Director Of Clinical Operations
12 Yearsyrs
Project Director
8 Yearsyrs
Director Of Alumni Relations
5 Yearsyrs
Deputy Director
Chief Of Staff
7 Yearsyrs
Managed Care Director
9 Yearsyrs
Managing Director
Client Services Director
9 Yearsyrs
Director Of Facilities
Director Of Support Services
9 Yearsyrs
Site Director
Area Director
8 Yearsyrs
Technical Director
Quality Assurance Director
11 Yearsyrs
Chief Operating Officer
Chairperson, Board Of Directors
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant Director Of Operations
Chief Of Operations
7 Yearsyrs
Director Of Alumni Relations
Director Of Advancement
11 Yearsyrs
Director Of Pharmacist
Systems Director
11 Yearsyrs
Center Director
Division Director
9 Yearsyrs
Camp Director
Child Care Director
5 Yearsyrs
Education Director
Unit Director
5 Yearsyrs
Administrative Director
Director Of Business Operations
10 Yearsyrs
Project Director
Group Director
9 Yearsyrs
Interim Director
Director Of Quality Management
13 Yearsyrs
Assistant Director Of Development
Community Development Director
9 Yearsyrs
Managed Care Director
Health Director
9 Yearsyrs
Chief Executive Officer
Senior Director Of Business Development
13 Yearsyrs
Director Of Food And Beverage
Executive Director Of Operations
7 Yearsyrs
President/Chief Executive Officer
Director Of Talent Acquisition
11 Yearsyrs
Director Of Training
Compliance Director
12 Yearsyrs
Environmental Services Director
Director Of Service And Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Co-Owner
Athletic Director
5 Yearsyrs
Acting Director
Director Of Public Affairs
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Assistant Director?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Owner/Director 6.7 years
Service Director 4.0 years
Director 3.8 years
Center Director 3.7 years
Assistant Director 3.0 years
Site Director 2.6 years
Acting Director 2.2 years
Top Careers Before Assistant Director
Internship 10.5%
Teacher 10.4%
Director 7.2%
Manager 5.9%
Cashier 5.1%
Supervisor 3.9%
Volunteer 3.3%
Instructor 3.2%
Assistant 3.0%
Top Careers After Assistant Director
Director 18.2%
Teacher 8.2%
Internship 5.8%
Manager 4.7%
Consultant 4.1%
Cashier 3.2%
Owner 3.1%
Instructor 3.1%
Volunteer 3.1%

Do you work as an Assistant Director?

Assistant Director Demographics

Gender

Female

56.2%

Male

34.2%

Unknown

9.6%
Ethnicity

White

62.0%

Hispanic or Latino

14.8%

Black or African American

12.3%

Asian

7.2%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

52.9%

French

12.4%

German

4.9%

Italian

3.6%

Chinese

3.5%

Japanese

3.1%

Portuguese

3.1%

Mandarin

2.8%

Russian

2.7%

Arabic

2.3%

Korean

2.2%

Greek

1.3%

Hindi

1.0%

Hebrew

1.0%

Cantonese

0.9%

Swedish

0.6%

Urdu

0.5%

Vietnamese

0.4%

Turkish

0.4%

Tagalog

0.4%
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Assistant Director Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

18.9%

New York University

7.5%

Ashford University

6.9%

Liberty University

6.2%

University of Florida

4.7%

Florida State University

4.5%

Temple University

4.2%

Capella University

4.2%

Grand Canyon University

4.2%

Walden University

4.1%

Pennsylvania State University

4.1%

Michigan State University

3.8%

Kaplan University

3.7%

Arizona State University

3.6%

George Washington University

3.5%

Ohio State University

3.3%

Strayer University

3.3%

Florida International University

3.2%

University of Houston

3.1%

University of Connecticut

3.0%
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Majors

Business

21.8%

Psychology

7.2%

Education

6.1%

Early Childhood Education

6.0%

Communication

5.9%

Elementary Education

4.8%

Management

4.7%

Nursing

4.5%

Social Work

3.8%

Photography

3.7%

Health Care Administration

3.6%

Educational Leadership

3.5%

Criminal Justice

3.4%

Kinesiology

3.3%

Human Development

3.3%

English

3.1%

Accounting

3.0%

Political Science

2.9%

Human Resources Management

2.7%

Marketing

2.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

39.6%

Masters

27.6%

Other

16.3%

Associate

7.9%

Doctorate

3.9%

Certificate

3.5%

Diploma

0.8%

License

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$73,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$37,000
Min 10%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$143,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Brown University
Highest Paying City
San Jose, CA
Highest Paying State
Hawaii
Avg Experience Level
3.0 years
How much does an Assistant Director make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Assistant Director in the United States is $73,412 per year or $35 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $37,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $143,000.

Real Assistant Director Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Assistant Director, Regulatory Reporting-Policy and Govern AIG Employee Services, Inc. New York, NY Nov 23, 2016 $204,500
General Assistant Director GFR Media, LLC Guaynabo, PR Feb 22, 2016 $200,000
Assistant Director AIG Employee Services, Inc. New York, NY May 18, 2016 $200,000
Assistant Director American International Group, Inc. New York, NY Sep 03, 2015 $200,000
Assistant Director American International Group, Inc. New York, NY Nov 19, 2015 $200,000
Assistant Director American General Life Insurance Company New York, NY Apr 11, 2015 $200,000
Assistant Director American General Life Insurance Company New York, NY Jan 10, 2016 $200,000
Assistant Director, Risk American General Life Insurance Company Los Angeles, CA Feb 15, 2016 $192,000
Assistant Director, Statistics-Biometrics Abbvie Inc. North Chicago, IL Oct 24, 2016 $165,000
Assurance Assistant Director Ernst & Young U.S. LLP Secaucus, NJ Apr 17, 2016 $163,439
Assistant Director American International Group, Inc. New York, NY Apr 13, 2015 $160,000
Assistant Director Ernst & Young U.S. LLP New York, NY Feb 08, 2016 $150,871
Assistant Director, (STP), Advanced Analytics Liberty Mutual Group, Inc. Boston, MA Apr 02, 2016 $92,900 -
$157,700
Assistant Director, Product Analysis Liberty Mutual Group, Inc. Seattle, WA Jun 03, 2016 $92,900 -
$157,000
Assistant Director (FOR Research Facility Support) The University of Texas at El Paso El Paso, TX Mar 01, 2015 $92,073
Assistant Director of Genetics Laboratory EGL Genetic Diagnostics LLC Decatur, GA Jun 09, 2016 $92,000
Assistant Director, Breast Cancer &Lymphedema Physical Rehab Cynthia J. Shechter, O.T., P.C. New York, NY Jun 09, 2015 $91,000
Assistant Director, Breast Cancer &Lymphedema Physical Rehab Cynthia J. Shechter, O.T., P.C. New York, NY Sep 06, 2015 $91,000
Assistant Director of Breast Cancer & Lymphedema Physical Rehabilitation Cyntha J. Shechter OT PC New York, NY May 10, 2015 $91,000
Assistant Director-Office of Research The Ohio State University Columbus, OH Jan 04, 2016 $90,792
Assistant Director, Recruiting Pepperdine University Los Angeles, CA Jan 09, 2015 $66,300
Assistant Director B'NAI Brith Hillel Foundation of Connecticut, Inc. Storrs, CT Sep 19, 2015 $65,000
Assistant Director The University of Connecticut Hillel Storrs, CT Sep 17, 2015 $65,000
Assistant Director Hennepin Elementary School Minneapolis, MN Aug 01, 2015 $65,000
Assistant Director University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA May 04, 2015 $65,000
Assistant Director of Rehabilitation Now Pain Clinic PC Clifton, NJ Oct 01, 2015 $64,968
Recruitment Placement Assistant Director Michigan State University East Lansing, MI Sep 11, 2015 $64,293
Assistant Director for China Relations Temple University--A Commonwealth University Philadelphia, PA Jan 05, 2015 $63,674

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Top Skills for An Assistant Director

  1. Staff Members
  2. Procedures
  3. Direct Supervision
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Investigated complaints of employee misconduct, discrimination and harassment involving staff members.
  • Developed detailed work procedures which rewarded high motivation, genuine ideas and their implementation, taking initiative and being productive.
  • Provide direct supervision to the Licensing and Training Department, Behaviorists, Recruitment Specialists, Supervisors and Placement Administrators.
  • Provide facility management services to all properties owned by New Mexico Military Institute.
  • Job functions included all administrative/clerical responsibilities; finance reporting, payroll and HR.

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Top 10 Best States for Assistant Directors

  1. Connecticut
  2. New York
  3. Maryland
  4. California
  5. Massachusetts
  6. New Jersey
  7. Georgia
  8. Illinois
  9. Pennsylvania
  10. Rhode Island
  • (159 jobs)
  • (909 jobs)
  • (265 jobs)
  • (1,421 jobs)
  • (603 jobs)
  • (290 jobs)
  • (310 jobs)
  • (532 jobs)
  • (477 jobs)
  • (49 jobs)

Top Assistant Director Employers

Jobs From Top Assistant Director Employers

Assistant Director Videos

Career Advice on becoming an Assistant Director by Alistair B (Full Version)

Career Advice on becoming a 2nd Assistant Director - Television by Peter H (Full Version)

Career Advice on becoming a 3rd Assistant Director - Television by Antonia C (Full Version)

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