Your research will guide you as to which positions require initial training and which are best learned on the job. An Internet search can provide a lot of valuable information, but if you have a particular television station in mind, you can phone their human resources department and ask what qualifications or experience they want. However, it is important to be aware that training won’t walk you straight into the job you want; it will just get you through the door. For example, you may have completed a make-up artist course that is valued by an employer, but rarely will you be able to walk straight into a job as a make-up artist. You will most likely be given an assistant role and then continue your training on the job. Over time, you will develop the skills, experience, and reputation necessary to be offered the role of an official make-up artist. TV assistant jobs are commonly entry-level positions for many television crew roles.
If your goal, on the other hand, is to become a property master, you’ll soon discover that there is no relevant training course that you can undertake. This is one of those positions that you simply must grow into over time. If you aspire to it, you need to start in any position in the art department and become skilled in as many property-related jobs as possible. Most property masters will be willing to teach you the skills you need if you are diligent, work hard, and are genuinely interested.
Camera operation is another crewmember job which is often highly sought after. If you opt for training, it’s important to choose a film and television school which uses top-notch equipment and provides genuine practical opportunities. For the most part, camera operators begin as non-paid apprentices. From there they are able to move into the position of loader (loads and unloads the camera), or fourth cameraman. You will commonly need to work for one to two years before being promoted to the position of focus puller, or third cameraman. After one or two years in this position, you can expect to be promoted to the position of camera operator, or second cameraman. The highest position you can attain in this career path is director of photography, or first cameraman, and there is no guarantee, of course, that you will attain it. Consistent excellence, leadership skills, and a cooperative personality will enhance your opportunities, but at the end of the day a producer or director will decide on whether or not to give you this role.
The television business is a tough one to break into, and it can help if you have contacts in the industry. This means that your ability to build relationships and put yourself in good positions to network will be important to your ability to get your first job and continue to get work in the future. If you can financially afford to give your time for nothing, apprenticeships, internships, or volunteer opportunities can open the doors to future employment. TV summer jobs while you are still in high school or college can also improve your employment chances. These opportunities do not necessarily need to be at a television station for them to help you get a television crewmember job at a later date. Film production companies of all sizes and types regularly experience staff shortages. You can walk in and offer your services. Often if you sign a waiver, you will be allowed on the lot or in the studio, where you can get to know people in the business and gain necessary experience.
Temporary employment agencies which provide staff to the entertainment industry, in particular television and film companies, can also provide a way into the industry. If you have a skill that is needed, irrespective of whether you are seeking a permanent job in the area, you can often find yourself working within television stations and film production companies. Once there, you can get to know people, get advice, and find opportunities to build your new career.
If you already have a certain amount of training and experience, you can find job vacancies directly on television station job boards. Just go to their websites and click on the employment link. You can also find a range of job opportunities for television advertised on specialist media job boards. These entertainment-related employment sites are excellent sources of jobs in television and film. You can find them by simply doing an Internet search. General online job sites can also be good sources of employment opportunities. Make sure you choose the larger sites that offer thousands of jobs over a broad range of categories. You can search by category, location, and salary range, and can also request email alerts to let you know when a suitable job is available.
It may be difficult to break into a television career, but it’s certainly not impossible. Do your research into the many employment possibilities within a television crew and make plans to put yourself in the best position to learn the ropes. If you are willing to lay the foundation with an entry-level production job, a TV assistant job, or even volunteer work, you will be able to get the necessary skills and experience to move towards and eventually into your ideal position.