Production assistants support producers in making film or TV programmes. You’ll work as part of a wider production team, including producers, researchers, and technical staff like camera crew and editors.
You can get into this job through:
You could take a course at college, for example Level 3 Diploma in Media Techniques or Level 3 Diploma in Creative Media Production.
You'll usually need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course.
The following local colleges offer courses in Media:
- City College Norwich
- East Coast College
- One Sixth Form College
- Suffolk New College
- The College of West Anglia
- West Suffolk College
Or your local 6th form may offer a relevant course.
You may be able to do an advanced apprenticeship in creative and digital media or as a broadcast production assistant.
The BBC, ITV and Channel 4 also offer apprenticeship opportunities.
To get onto an apprenticeship, you'll find it useful to have 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship.
Click here to search for an apprenticeship.
You could do a degree in:
- creative media production
- film and television production
- film and TV studies
You might find it helpful to choose a course that includes practical skills, work placements and the chance to make industry contacts.
You'll usually need 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree.
Click here to search for a suitable course.
Your first paid job will usually be as a runner or junior assistant in the production office. You'll then work your way up as you get experience.
Many production assistants are graduates, although a degree is not essential. A lot of employers will be more interested in your skills and experience.
You'll also find it useful to have experience of working in TV, advertising or office management.
You could also take short courses in production skills run by film schools, regional screen agencies and private training providers.
Get as much practical experience as you can. This will show employers that you're committed to learning more about the industry. You can build useful experience through activities like:
- student or community film/TV projects
- community or student radio
You'll also get the opportunity to meet people already working in TV and film. Building a network of contacts could help you when you start looking for work.
The BBC, ITV and Channel 4 offer work experience placements, and 'insight' and 'talent days'. Competition can be tough, but if you're successful, it will help you get a better understanding of the industry.
ScreenSkills also has information on finding work experience.
Career Path and Progression
With experience, you could progress to production coordinator and production manager, or become a researcher or producer.
Related careers you may be interested in:
- Broadcast journalist
- Media researcher
- Radio broadcast assistant
- TV or film assistant director
- organisational skills
- excellent attention to detail
- admin skills
- maths skills for handling budgets
- creativity when dealing with problems
- stamina and determination
£15,000 to £30,000