Finding the right career can be daunting for the high school student considering college, or the working adult looking to make a career change. So, any opportunity to learn about the myriad careers available is a welcome one.
Many of us look forward to award season: the red carpet, the speeches, and basking in the brilliance of so much creative talent. It takes hundreds, if not thousands, of people to bring a story to the screen. As you can imagine, a movie production can quickly take on the characteristics of a village or a small town. But it's also a showcase of some pretty amazing jobs. Many of us are thinking as we watch, "I had no idea that was a career," or "how do I get that job?"
There are many "regular" or well-known careers associated with a movie or show's production. Think of jobs like accounting and project management to logistics, contracts to security, and teachers or tutors to animal trainers. But there are also many careers you might not know about—yet.
Keep an Open Mind as You Research Careers
If you're a high school student who is active in theater, you might aspire to be an award-winning actor. But you might also be really good at math, problem-solving, and history. Just in case you don't "make it" as an actor, you might also consider architecture, accounting, engineering, logistics, or economics.
Perhaps accounting is a great fit for you, but you can't imagine leaving the theater. What if you were the accountant for a Broadway theater in New York City? If you have a passion for extreme sports, what if you were the head of logistics for the X Games?
The type of work you do is just part of the equation. It's also important to consider where and how you do the work, as well as how many people you'll work with.
I Can't Believe I Get Paid to Do This!
Jan Pascale, winner of 2021 Oscar for Production Design for MANK, said in her acceptance speech, "when I was young, I never realized that this was a career that was even a possibility." You don't have to rely on luck to find the perfect career. And you don't have to wait to figure it out later, after you've started another career.
If you have no idea what career you'd like but you love movies, watch the credits. It's literally a list of possible careers! Start by thinking about the things you enjoy, and then research careers online. The best way to do this research is in a guided process, like the PATH2 Online Career Discovery Program. You can also find information about the jobs listed in the credits on a site like CareersinFilm.com.
When you find the career that combines your passion, what you're really good at, working in an environment that energizes you, and with people you enjoy, everything will "click."
Where are The Best Opportunities—and Why
Oscar-winner Jan Pascale's job for MANK was Production Design. While this is a great job for her, it's definitely not for everyone. It's also a good job in California and a few other states, but not in every state. What does this mean? And how do you find out more details?
Looking closely at the PATH2 program, you would see that there are more Production Design jobs in states like New York, New Jersey, California, or Georgia. Why? Most likely because this is where many entertainment productions happen. These are also places that have more opportunities with theaters, advertising, musical entertainment, and other types of performances.
The pay range and median salary are significantly higher in these states. If you're interested in this as a career, you'll have a greater chance of finding a good job with growth opportunities if you're willing to live in one of these states.
Like Production Design, any career can offer better opportunities in certain zones or areas. There's a difference between careers that are not growing at all or shrinking and careers that are specific to a localized or specialized industry. It's important to know the difference. You'll want to choose a career that will have enough jobs and opportunities available when you graduate with your degree.
PATH2 is here to guide you through all the steps to help you discover the career you'll love and be great at.