Although there is no formal education for television and film production, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that many producers typically work in the film and television industry as actors or writers for several years before assuming production responsibilities. While the BLS does not keep separate statistics for producers, it estimates that approximately 82,880 were working as producers and directors as of May 2011.
National Income Estimates:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that producers and directors earned an average annual salary of $92,220 as of May 2011, or approximately $44.34 an hour. The 25 percent of producers and directors who earned the least reported annual incomes of $45,400 or less. The highest quartile of those working in the industry reported annual incomes of $116,020 or higher. The median income for all producers and directors throughout the United States was $70,660.
Salary Figures by Industry:
The BLS reports that as of May 2011, more producers and directors worked in the motion picture and video industries, where they earned an average annual salary of $115,920 and an average hourly wage of $55.73. Those employed in the radio and television broadcasting industry reported an average annual income of $69,540 and average wages of $33.43 per hour. Those working in cable and other subscription services earned an average annual salary of $89,930. Producers and directors in the performing arts made an average of $59,550 per year.
Employment and Pay by State:
As of May 2011, the BLS reports that more producers and directors worked in California than in any other state and made an average of $128,790 per year, the highest average salary reported. Nearly one-fifth of of all jobs for this occupation were located in New York and paid an average of $112,000 per year, which was the second-highest average income reported. Hawaii and the District of Columbia were also high-paying states, with reported average annual incomes of $91,540 and $90,990, respectively. The lowest average salary for producers and directors, $38,680, was reported by Montana.
Pay by Geographical Area:
Approximately one-fifth of all producers and directors working in the United States were employed in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale metropolitan area of California, and received the highest average wage of any metropolitan area, $139,770 per year. Those working in Salinas, California reported average annual earnings of $131,300. Tthose working in the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville metropolitan area of South Carolina reported earnings averaging $120,190 per year. Of those working in nonmetropolitan areas, producers and directors working on the islands of Hawaii, Maui and Kauai earned the highest average annual salary, $105,610.