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Working As a Program Director/Music 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

  • $52,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Program Director/Music 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 A Program Director/Music 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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Average Yearly Salary
$52,000
Show Salaries
$39,000
Min 10%
$52,000
Median 50%
$52,000
Median 50%
$52,000
Median 50%
$52,000
Median 50%
$52,000
Median 50%
$52,000
Median 50%
$52,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Purdue University
Highest Paying City
New York, NY
Highest Paying State
Oklahoma
Avg Experience Level
4.7 years
How much does a Program Director/Music Director make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Program Director/Music Director in the United States is $52,450 per year or $25 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $39,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $70,000.

Real Program Director/Music Director Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Music Program Director L'Atelier, Inc. South Miami, FL Sep 04, 2014 $72,000
Music Program Director Prescriptive Music, LLC Los Angeles, CA Oct 01, 2012 $62,500
Program Director of Music Korean Cable TV of Washington, Inc. Fairfax, VA Sep 18, 2014 $54,930
Director/Conductor of B Sharp Youth Music Program The Goff Family Foundation Fort Worth, TX Sep 01, 2013 $52,000
Music Program Director L'Atelier, Inc. Miami, FL Feb 28, 2011 $51,132
Music Program Director L'Atelier, Inc. Miami, FL Sep 22, 2011 $51,132
Music Program Director Heart of Los Angeles Youth, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Jan 12, 2015 $50,500
Music Program Director IHCC.Inc. Northport, NY Feb 22, 2008 $43,701

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Top Skills for A Program Director/Music Director

  1. Radio Station
  2. Music Program
  3. Music Director
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Program Director for one of east central Indiana s largest and highest rated radio stations.
  • Participated in all school music programs simultaneously.
  • Program Director/Music Director/On-Air Radio Personality (Afternoons)
  • Created and presented on-air programming in midday and afternoon drive dayparts.
  • Coached and mentored on-air talent, encouraging their continual professional development.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Program Director/Music Directors

  1. Iowa
  2. New York
  3. Minnesota
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Illinois
  6. District of Columbia
  7. North Dakota
  8. Washington
  9. Connecticut
  10. New Jersey
  • (50 jobs)
  • (167 jobs)
  • (74 jobs)
  • (12 jobs)
  • (94 jobs)
  • (35 jobs)
  • (4 jobs)
  • (42 jobs)
  • (28 jobs)
  • (67 jobs)

Program Director/Music Director Demographics

Gender

Male

62.1%

Female

28.6%

Unknown

9.3%
Ethnicity

White

62.3%

Hispanic or Latino

15.2%

Black or African American

11.8%

Asian

6.6%

Unknown

4.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

43.3%

French

26.7%

Italian

10.0%

German

6.7%

Greek

3.3%

Albanian

3.3%

Dakota

3.3%

Russian

3.3%
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Program Director/Music Director Education

Schools

New York University

11.1%

University of Akron

8.3%

University of North Texas

6.9%

Emerson College

5.6%

Columbia College Chicago

5.6%

Youngstown State University

5.6%

Northwestern University

5.6%

Syracuse University

4.2%

Montclair State University

4.2%

Ithaca College

4.2%

Jacksonville State University

4.2%

Indiana State University

4.2%

Winston-Salem State University

4.2%

University of Massachusetts Amherst

4.2%

Indiana University Bloomington

4.2%

Old Dominion University

4.2%

University of Oregon

4.2%

University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh

4.2%

Texas Southern University

2.8%

Washington State University

2.8%
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Majors

Communication

19.5%

Music

15.8%

Journalism

8.6%

Business

7.3%

General Education, Specific Areas

6.6%

Audiovisual Communications Technologies

4.6%

Marketing

4.3%

Entertainment Business

3.6%

Psychology

3.3%

Education

3.0%

English

3.0%

Rehabilitation Science

2.6%

Photography

2.3%

Digital Media

2.3%

Liberal Arts

2.3%

Elementary Education

2.3%

Writing

2.3%

Management

2.3%

Theatre

2.0%

History

2.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.8%

Other

23.5%

Masters

19.5%

Associate

6.5%

Doctorate

3.4%

Certificate

2.0%

Diploma

1.6%

License

0.7%
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Updated May 19, 2020