Average Production Assistant Hourly Pay
Avg. Base Hourly Rate (USD)
The average hourly pay for a Production Assistant is $15.28
$102 - $900
What is the Pay by Experience Level for Production Assistants?
An entry-level Production Assistant with less than 1 year experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of $14.45 based on 128 salaries. An early career Production Assistant with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $15.14 based on 638 salaries. A …Read more
What Do Production Assistants Do?
A production assistant performs many of the behind-the-scenes tasks essential in the creation and editing of content and footage. A production assistant handles the necessary administrative duties of the production process. First and foremost, they aid producers and directors in developing the nature of the content to be created. Next, they procure any personnel or equipment that would be necessary for production.
In many ongoing television productions, a production assistant is responsible …Read more
Production Assistant Tasks
- Manage digital images, video and metadata for production team, including archiving and syncing.
- Answer phones and other communication, update files and enter data.
- Edit files when production teams cannot.
Job Satisfaction for Production Assistant
Based on 213 responses, the job of Production Assistant has received a job satisfaction rating of 3.63 out of 5. On average, Production Assistants are highly satisfied with their job.
Prefer to self-define
This data is based on 520 survey responses. Learn more about the gender pay gap.
Common Health Benefits
Production Assistant salary in United States
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How much does a Production Assistant make in the United States?
Most common benefits for Production Assistants
Based on 3,434 ratings
42% of Production assistants in the United States think their salaries are enough for the cost of living in their area
How much does a Production Assistant make in the United States? The average Production Assistant salary in the United States is $32,797 as of September 27, 2021, but the range typically falls between $31,432 and $34,220. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession. With more online, real-time compensation data than any other website, Salary.com helps you determine your exact pay target.
SalarySalary + BonusBenefitsHow To Become
Production Assistant Salaries by Percentile
|10th Percentile Production Assistant Salary||$30,189||US||September 27, 2021|
|25th Percentile Production Assistant Salary||$31,432||US||September 27, 2021|
|50th Percentile Production Assistant Salary||$32,797||US||September 27, 2021|
|75th Percentile Production Assistant Salary||$34,220||US||September 27, 2021|
|90th Percentile Production Assistant Salary||$35,517||US||September 27, 2021|
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Job Description for Production Assistant
Production Assistant is responsible for ensuring the production quality of all promotionals, commercials, and public service announcements. Coordinates and schedules all aspects of production to meet deadlines. Being a Production Assistant assists with set-up of equipment on production shoots and other control room duties. May operate equipment and peripheral systems used in video production including audio console and teleprompter. Additionally, Production Assistant may require an associate degree or its equivalent. Typically reports to a supervisor or manager. The Production Assistant works under moderate supervision. Gains or has attained full proficiency in a specific area of discipline. To be a Production Assistant typically requires 1-3 years of related experience, or may need 0 years of experience with additional specialized training and/or certification. (Copyright 2021 Salary.com)... View full job description
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Fiscal Year Ended in 2019
What does a Production Assistant do?
Production Assistant in Addison, IL
Supports a culture of safe production and operations.
February 25, 2021
Maintains appropriate files for tracking batch and lot records.
March 05, 2021
Designing, developing and implementing strategies, processes and systems to improve product and process quality.
May 15, 2021
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Production Assistant Pay Difference by Location
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|City, StateSan Francisco, CA||Compared to national average|
|City, StateWashington, DC||Compared to national average|
|City, StateMiami, FL||Compared to national average|
|City, StateChicago, IL||Compared to national average|
|City, StateBoston, MA||Compared to national average|
|City, StateNew York, NY||Compared to national average|
|City, StateDallas, TX||Compared to national average|
Production Assistant Salary by State
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Average Base Salary
Average Total Cash Compensation
Includes base and annual incentives
These charts show the average base salary (core compensation), as well as the average total cash compensation for the job of Production Assistant in the United States. The base salary for Production Assistant ranges from $31,432 to $34,220 with the average base salary of $32,797. The total cash compensation, which includes base, and annual incentives, can vary anywhere from $31,432 to $34,220 with the average total cash compensation of $32,797.
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Skills associated with Production Assistant: Media Production, Audio Mixing, Video Production, Audio Production...More
Recently searched related titles: Media Assistant, Multimedia Specialist, Assistant Production Manager
Salary estimation for Production Assistant at companies like : ARAMARK, HILTON WORLDWIDE HOLDINGS, POTBELLY CORP
Jobs with a similar salary range to Production Assistant : Part-Time Assembly, Production Associate, Photography Assistant, Assistant Deli Manager
TV or film production assistant
How to become a TV or film production assistant
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- applying directly
- specialist courses run by private training providers
You could do a degree in:
- creative media production
- film and television production
- film and TV studies
You might find it helpful to choose a course that includes practical skills, work placements and the chance to make industry contacts.
You'll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
You could take a course at college, for example:
- Level 3 Diploma in Media Techniques
- Level 3 Diploma in Creative Media Production
You'll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
You may be able to do an advanced apprenticeship in creative and digital media or as a broadcast production assistant.
The BBC, ITV and Channel 4 also offer apprenticeship opportunities.
To get onto an apprenticeship, you'll find it useful to have:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
Your first paid job will usually be as a runner or junior assistant in the production office. You'll then work your way up as you get experience.
Get as much practical experience as you can. This will show employers that you're committed to learning more about the industry. You can build useful experience through activities like:
- student or community film/TV projects
- community or student radio
You'll also get the opportunity to meet people already working in TV and film. Building a network of contacts could help you when you start looking for work.
The BBC, ITV and Channel 4 offer work experience placements, and 'insight' and 'talent days'. Competition can be tough, but if you're successful, it will help you get a better understanding of the industry.
You can search for film and TV companies to approach for experience through media business listing services like PACT and The Knowledge.
ScreenSkills also has information on finding work experience.
Many production assistants are graduates, although a degree is not essential. A lot of employers will be more interested in your skills and experience.
You'll also find it useful to have experience of working in TV, advertising or office management.
You could also take short courses in production skills run by film schools, regional screen agencies and private training providers.
You'll need to develop experience in both the creative and business sides of film or programme making. You'll also need to develop an understanding of the production process, and a good network of contacts in the industry.
Professional and industry bodies
You could join the The Production Guild for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.
You can find out more about entry level opportunities in television from the Royal Television Society
You can find out more about becoming a TV or film production assistant from ScreenSkills and ProductionBase.
You can find out more about creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.
Job salary assistant production
Production Assistant Resume
Create your film crew resume
You need to find PA jobs, like now. And you don't have a big contact book full of production coordinators champing at the bit to hire you, right?
So, how do you become a production assistant?
The first thing you need to do is build a film production assistant resume and quite possibly a very brief and straightforward cover letter. Film resumes, in general, are a little weird. Most people work a couple jobs for years and stretch every duty into a line item on their resume. In film production, your jobs and job titles are the bulk of the resume.
Anyone hiring a PA knows what the job is, so writing, "tactful disposal of refuse in appropriately labeled receptacles" is not going to get you employed.
Here's a simple example of a production assistant resume below. I've used pink to make it stand out, but you should probably avoid using ostentatious font colors.
Production Assistant Resume Example:
Example of a Production Assistant Resume - Don't Use Pink Font
What this shows is the title of the production, the production company, and the year you worked on the production. If Ridley Scott directed something you've worked on, go ahead and include that. The director can also be added to help people find the production on IMDB. If you've worked as a 2nd AD on student projects, add that as well.
I would suggest placing the most professional work at the top, and I would omit anything that is too personal and skews creative. You may have directed a short film, but that won't help you get hired as a PA unless you've sent the actual short film to a producer. Your PA resume will be stronger if you show you're able to be a team player, so a 'PA' credit is far more valuable than a 'Director' credit.
What if you've got nothing to put on a production assistant resume other than the summer you worked at the GAP?
Well… put that on there for sure, because there is probably more crossover than you might think, but this is where you can write a very brief and straightforward cover letter that expresses your desire to PA.
Production Assistant Cover Letter/Email Example:
“Hello, my name is BILL, and I’m very interested in becoming a production assistant. My experience is limited, but I’m actively building a film and entertainment career. I would even be willing to shadow for a few days to bring myself up to speed. My availability is open, I own a personal vehicle with a clean driving record, and I’m eager to learn.
Thank you for your consideration. I’m excited to find an opportunity to work on a professional set and hope you have a lovely day.”
If they bring you on to shadow or work a free day, you can put that on your production assistant resume later. You will learn enough from just those few days on set to be able to reach out confidently.
If you show up, help out the crew, and are a pleasure to work with, they will likely invite you back for a paid PA job. But, if you’re super annoying, talk about your favorite movies and how you want to become a director and get in the way… no PA job for you.
How To Become A Production Assistant
Find production assistant jobs on entertainment career websites
Entertainment-based job listing sites have PA jobs. They have student PA jobs, professional PA jobs, all kinds of work — both paid and unpaid.
Here are some of the best websites for finding film crew:
Where to Find PA Jobs
ProductionBeast is a one-stop shop to post jobs and discover vetted video professionals on a user-friendly and polished interface.
Employers can post jobs for free, message and hire the best industry pros, shortlist people and manage their database of contacts.
Sites like ProductionBeast make it simple for producer’s to find and hire production assistants (as well as other positions).
Find & Post PA Jobs on ProductionBeast
Sites like ProductionBeast provide production assistant resumes, so you can upload and build your resume right on their platform.
FIND PRODUCTION ASSISTANT JOBS ONLINE
EntertainmentCareers is less for set work, and more for office PAs and post-production PAs looking for long term gigs. You normally need experience and a nice PA resume to snag one of these jobs, so if this is your first production job, this may not be the right platform.
They have entry level positions, so it’s not like you can’t find something on there, but ProductionBeast will have more jobs available from day to day rather than from month to month.
HOW TO FIND PRODUCTION ASSISTANT JOBS
The Anonymous Production Assistant
The Anonymous Production Assistant is a nice website with tons of tips, production job postings of all kinds, and some fun articles.
You can find a lot of helpful material on this website, so give it a look when you get a chance, and maybe you’ll find a nice PA job as well.
HOW TO WORK ON A FILM SET
Mandy Job Networks
Mandy is a production job board similar to ProductionBeast. They have a lot of paid and unpaid jobs so you can break into the film industry or get yourself a nice long term production assistant job to keep the lights on.
How to Get PA Jobs - Nadia Fedchin
There are also production alert boards and some Facebook groups (depending on where you live) that can be really helpful for finding PA work, especially for jobs that need them fast.
You can cold-email and cold-call production offices, but you have to be brief, succinct, professional, and okay with hearing various reasons why someone might not hire you as a PA, so take it in stride.
Film Production Assistant Jobs
Film production jobs on college boards
Students film programs are always looking for PAs for their productions, and while the vast majority of these will be unpaid, you’ll actually find a few nice little paid jobs from students doing their thesis films.
For example, USC’s Cinematic job board has listings where you can find production assistant jobs fast, but USC is just one of many film schools in the country, so don’t stop with a single school.
FIND PA FILM JOBS
PA Jobs by word-of-mouth
A lot of work comes from word of mouth, because PA jobs come up, need to be filled quickly, and you need to be able to trust the crew. The quickest way is to hit up a production assistant who you trust, and ask if they have anyone they trust, and they will suggest… who?
Hopefully, you! You want to be that trustworthy PA they can call upon, and once you’ve shown you’re a good PA, they’ll call on you again, and again, until suddenly you’re calling your trustworthy PA buddies.
PAs often hire other PAs, or the producer asks ‘if they know anyone trustworthy’ to come on and PA for the week. Word of mouth is the best way to get work in production, and you don’t even need a PA resume.
How do you find people who can suggest you for PA jobs? Find PA jobs on student films, PA jobs on low budget projects, and do some free jobs here and there, just meet some crew people in your area.
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT SALARY
How much does a PA make?
So, you’ve gotten your first PA gig, or you’re ready to go out and get some paid production assistant jobs, but you’re not sure about the money part.
How much does a PA make?
The vast majority of production assistant work is based on individual jobs that can run anywhere from a few days to a few months, so while there very rarely is an annual salary, there are still standard rates.
More often than not, the hiring producer will let you know the salary rate over the phone, in person, or in an email. They will say:
“So for this job the rate is ____ for the day. Sound good?”
Here is the average production assistant salary:
AVErage PRODUCTION ASSISTANT SALARY
HOW MUCH DOES A PA MAKE?
- Feature Films | $200 - $250/day (12 hours)
- Television Show | $200 - $250/day (12 hours)
- Commercials | $200 - $250/day (12 hours)
- Indie Films | $150 - $200/day (12 hours)
- Music Videos | $150 - $200/day (12 hours)
You’ll notice how the rates are for 12 hour days, and that’s the standard length of a professional film shoo. Your rate is based around 8 hours at ‘standard time’, with 4 hours at ‘time and a half’.
This means you make 100% of your rate for 8 hours, 150% for 4 hours, and then 200% of the rate for any time after that — called ‘double time’.
The standard production assistant salary breaks down like this:
Your rate per hour will come in slightly above $14, but for this example we're going to use round numbers to illustrate the point.
- $14 per hour
- $14 x 8 hours = $112
- $21 x 4 hours = $84
So when you add them together:
- 12 hours = $196 (Rate $200)
If the production goes into actual overtime (after 12 hours), your rate will bump to double time, meaning it will be $28 per hour ($14 x 2).
Each hour after that will add $28 until you’ve reached 16 hours on set.
- 12 Hours = $200
- 13 hours = $228
- 14 hours = $256
- 15 hours = $284
- 16 hours = $312
These are standard federal employment rules. Now, if you’ve accepted a deal where you’re paid a flat rate, the amount of time on set can go as long as needed, and you will be paid $200 regardless if you wrap 7 hours into the shoot, or stayed for 16 hours.
There are still rules for:
- How long you can be kept on set
- When you need to break for meals
- The amount of time between the end of Day 1 and the beginning of Day 2
Read over you agreement papers, always get your deal in writing, always have a copy or photograph, and try to get something in an email.
Did You Know?
Kathleen Kennedy began her career as a production assistant and worked for filmmakers John Milius and Steven Spielberg. She went on to become one of the most successful Producers in Hollywood and now is the President of Lucasfilm!
Now, let’s say it’s your first PA job, maybe on an indie film with an 'okay' budget and it might go straight to DVD or end up in some festivals. The producer asks you if $150 for 12 hours is an acceptable salary.
What do you do here?
It’s your first movie PA job, and it’s not like this is a Pepsi commercial or Marvel movie where money is no object, so you shouldn’t feel offended. You should feel okay to accept the rate.
Production is tricky, but a movie PA job should be 'one-of-many' rather than a single job that pays for everything, so take the money, get the experience, and then make connections and get a better paying production assistant job the next time and continue to build on that momentum.
Once you’ve done ten or so film production assistant jobs, you’ll have learned the ropes mostly from personal experience, and you will be confident to ask for better rates, or be able to find high-budget jobs.
HOW MUCH DO PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS MAKE
What to do if you’re working for free?
If you’ve signed on to be a PA for a student film or some ultra-low budget production you’ve probably done this for one of two reasons:
- You personally know the filmmakers
- You’re trying to get some experience
If you know the filmmakers, that probably means you’ll have a pretty reasonable relationship with everyone and the shoot will be relatively relaxed and you will be treated with respect by your friends.
When you’re trying to get some experience, then you’ll probably have to use your better judgement from time to time. In our other post on Production Assistant Job Descriptions and Duties, we said you shouldn’t pay for supply runs (or anything) out of your own pocket?
This goes double for unpaid work.
When you’re an unpaid PA, you’re still at work, and you should still treat it as such, but you shouldn’t jeopardize yourself in any way when doing someone a favor… because ultimately that’s what you’re doing.
Now, if you accept the position, don’t come in with unreasonable expectations or delusions of grandeur, but you should guard yourself from low budget productions and filmmakers who may try to take advantage of your kindness and eagerness to learn. You still have the same responsibilities like safety, and that includes your safety as well.
Production assistant handbook
If you're looking to book your first movie PA job, or you’ve had a few production assistant jobs but left wondering why you haven’t been able to get steady production work. This post takes you through everything a production assistant needs to know during their time on set, in the office, and in the editing suite, including a downloadable handbook with everything the job requires.
Up Next: Production assistant handbook →
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