Production Assistants cover a wide range of duties within television and radio production. They provide administrative support, organise team meetings and help with recording.
Also known as
- Production Assistant - Broadcasting
- Radio Production Assistant
- Television Production Assistant
- Production Assistant
- Broadcast Assistant
As a Production Runner, you will have many duties, including:
- making drinks for the crew and Actors
- administrative duties such as replying to emails and answering phone calls
- taking notes at meetings
This career has a varied amount of duties so each day is going to be different. One day you could be booking sets and studios for the company and the next you will be communicating with Actors and celebrities! As a result, this career is a great step into the film and TV industry.
If you work at quiz shows, you could be conducting interviews with contestants and arranging their travel to and from the studio.
After the show has finished, you might also be dealing with finance, organising the expenses of the contestants, production team and the hosts.
You could also be sorting out the accommodation of the crew if the show is away from the original set, as well as the equipment needed to record the show.
If you work in the studio, then you will be in the control room helping the Producers and Directors. This could include performing the countdown for the show and helping the Floor Managers during the broadcast.
When the show has finished, you will be with the Editors and Producers helping them in the cutting room and editing the show.
This job does however involve spending a lot of time away from home and travelling overseas - so make sure you love to travel!
Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.
Personal Qualities and Skills
To become a Production Runner, you need:
- to be well organised
- good IT skills
- to be energetic and versatile, as you will have a wide variety of tasks to do
- the ability to remain calm under pressure and to react quickly when things go wrong
- the ability to find creative solutions to problems
- a friendly personality and good communication skills
- an interest in broadcasting
- to like travelling away from home a lot
Pay and Opportunities
The pay rates given below are approximate:
- Starting: £25,500 - £28,500
- With experience: £31,500 - £39,000
- Senior Production Runners earn £42,500
Pay rates for Production Runners depends on the type of production you work on, duration of the project and whether you are employed or self-employed.
Hours of work
As a Production Runner, you will be working evenings and weekends. Sometimes you would be expected to work long, irregular hours, especially as deadlines approach.
Where could I work?
Employers include the BBC in national and regional television and radio. ITV and independent production companies, cable and satellite television programme makers and independent radio also recruit Broadcasting Production Assistants.
It is possible to transfer between jobs in radio and television and also between companies.
Opportunities for Broadcasting Production Runners occur regionally in towns and cities throughout the UK, and in major broadcasting production centres such as London, Birmingham, Manchester/Salford and Leeds.
Opportunities occur for Production Runners to work as self-employed, freelance Production Runners, usually on short, fixed-term contracts.
Where are vacancies advertised?
Vacancies are advertised:
- on employers' websites such as <U>http://www.bbc.co.uk/careers/</U> http://www.itvjobs.com/<U> </U> and http://4talent.channel4.com/
Entry Routes and Training
Having a career as a Production Runner does not need specific requirements.
You do need at least 5 GCSE’s graded A* - C or 9 – 4 including English, maths and media especially.
A levels are also useful and could be took in a relevant subject such as media as this will be helpful for this career.
Another route is taking a course as a BTEC, HNC or HND in a relevant subject such as theatre or television / film / media / radio production.
Previous experience within an broadcasting or media position will be really helpful for this career and help you to stand out from the crowd.
Training for Production Runners is mostly on-the-job. Employers may also organise short off-the-job courses for trainees.
If you would like some training, you could complete the National Runner Training course at the Production Guild. By the end of the course, you would have learnt about:
- the process of film production
- departments on film and television production
- the hierarchy and chain of command
- set and office etiquette
- glossary of film terms
- health and safety
- production running
- floor running
Check the website for dates and availability.
Other courses could be available in your area.
You may be able to enter this career from an Advanced or Higher Level Apprenticeship. Take a look at our information article
This type of role is often seen as a route into other broadcasting and media positions. With experience and further training, it is possible to move into other production roles, such as Researcher and Producer.
As an Production Runner, you might have administration/secretarial qualifications and have a good typing speed. Shorthand skills can be useful.
Most Production Runners have GCSEs, including English (A* - C or 9 - 4), A levels or equivalent qualifications, or a higher qualification, such as a HND or degree.
To get onto an Advanced or Higher Level Apprenticeship, you will usually need at least five GCSEs at A*- C or 9 - 4, including English and maths, and possibly two A Levels.
Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.
Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far
National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)
Tel: 0800 015 0400
Skills Development Scotland - Modern Apprenticeships
Tel: 0800 9178000
British Film Institute (BFI)
National Film and Television School (NFTS)
Tel: 01494 671234
Skills for the creative industries
Publisher: Creative & Cultural Skills
Tel: 020 7010 0600
Entertainment and performing arts news
Northern Ireland Screen
Northern Ireland Enquiries
Edinburgh International Television Festival (MGEITF)
Tel: 0207 278 9515
Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships
Tel: 0800 028 4844
S4C (Welsh Enquiries)
Address: Parc Ty Glas, Llanishen, Cardiff, UK, CF14 5DU
Tel: 029 2046 5533
The Production Guild