Career Paths

Careers in Film

The film industry is one of the largest industries in the entire world that employs hundreds of thousands of people with well-paying jobs. It is a constantly evolving and exciting place to work, with countless careers and opportunities to explore.

Career Information

Learn how to get started and what to expect as you work your way up the career ladder with our in-depth guides.

Degrees & Majors

What degree is best for a career in the film industry? Find college degree options here.

Salary & Job Outlook

How much do artists in the film industry make? Explore salary and employment info by job title and location.

Film is an art, but it’s also a complex industry. Everyone from the actors and producers to the writers of a screenplay is essential, and different people work in different departments. For example, an audio engineer specializes in recording dialogue or sound effects. A production assistant organizes props or equipment for shoots. Cinematographers take care of camera angles while directors coordinate the entire production team to bring together a film — which can be a difficult and time-consuming process. Our guides will give you all you need to know about what a person in the film industry does. We’ll discuss their job description, what they’re responsible for, and some of this profession’s most notable figures.

Career Profiles

Careers in Film and TV

The film industry has a lot to offer – if you’re willing to put the hard work in. While there are a variety of jobs in the industry, some of which require little to no education or experience, others might require a college degree or years of on-the-job training. If you plan on pursuing one of these positions, it is worthwhile to do your research before beginning your film career journey.

Film Director

A film director 's role is one of the most highly coveted positions in Hollywood. These are the creative minds that come up with scripts, frame shots, orchestrate music, oversee editing, and put everything together into acohesive story. Directors report to the producer and serve as head of production for the film.

Video Editor

A video editor is responsible for manipulating video footage to create the final version of a video. They work with numerous visual elements to construct the final product and work in conjunction with the director, actors, voice artists, and sound technicians. Video editors also work with sound & visual effects during post-production.



A cinematographer is a person who shoots, frames shots, and operates cameras during the shooting of motion pictures. They work with photographers, directors, producers, and crew members to capture actor's performances through lighting techniques and camera movement.

Film Editor

A film editor assembles, organizes, and pieces together footage from different sources so that the story can be told smoothly and coherently. Theyare responsible for creating creative sequences by blending different shots into complete scenes. Film editors work in every medium that has an equivalent such as TV series or video games.

Degrees & Majors

Best Degrees for Careers in Film

The study of film and media production can be a great way to prepare for your desired career in film. There are many degrees available, all of which are designed to teach you how to work with the latest technology and compete in the constantly changing industry. From writing scripts and screenplays to directing, producing, and editing, there are many ways to make this career your own.

Salary & Job Outlook

Film Industry Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that in 2020 there were more than 559,000 workers employed in the film industry nationwide, with Film and Video Editors, Camera Operators, Producers, Directors, and Actors filling over 206,000 of these jobs. According to 2021 statistics from, the median annual salary for all positions in the film industry is approximately $80,168, with a salary range that typically falls between $69,062 (25th percentile) and $90,872 (75th percentile). Listed below are several of the highest paying professions within the film industry.

Film Actor$161,923$13,494$77.85
Film Production$109,190$9,099$52.50
Film Streaming$77,979$6,498$37.49
Film Engineering$74,873$6,239$36.00
Film Acquisitions$72,816$6,068$35.01, Film Industry Salary, August 2021

Frequently Asked Questions

Film Careers FAQ

If you’re interested in pursuing filmmaking as a career, then you’ll be interested to know that there are hundreds of different types of work in this industry, from cinematographers and production designers to editors and music directors. The best thing about being a filmmaker is that the options are endless! It doesn’t matter if your goal is making commercials, documentaries, or movies — there are many different ways to make and distribute films.

A career in the film industry is a dream often desired by many—but is it a realistic option for you? The film industry is a competitive one that requires an in-depth understanding of your subject, the ability to work with a team, and a strong creative flair. There is also the question of whether or not you would enjoy the life of being on set for long hours each day. If you’re considering a film career, it’s important to understand the effort, training, and commitment required to break into the film industry successfully.

According to statistics published by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), the median income for member actors in the US is $52,000 per year, while the vast majority earn less than $1,000 per year from acting jobs. This makes actors one of the lowest-paid professions in the country. If you are a superstar, however, it’s realistic to rake in huge sums of money. Leonardo DiCaprio, for example, was paid $25 million for his role in The Wolf of Wall Street and Robert Downey Jr. earned $75 million for his percentage of Iron Man 3.

The film industry is an extraordinarily competitive and difficult field to break into, but don’t let that deter you. Whether you want to create your own short films, work on a professional film set, or learn your craft as an editor, a writer, or a director; there are multiple paths to success. Whatever your goal is, you need to start by learning how to be a part of the film industry. If you want to be taken seriously by major film producers and directors, you’ll have to put in a lot of hard work and study behind the scenes first.