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Production assistant jobs are found in film and television production and are often entry-level positions. You will likely spend most of your time between offices and studio and external sets. Your duties in this role can include virtually anything! From getting coffee and food for cast members to distributing scripts, moving film equipment and helping find film locations.

These positions can be very exciting and dynamic, but also very demanding, and you may be required to work long hours during shoots. Part-time, full-time and freelance vacancies are common in this sector, with roles centred around media hubs in locations including London and Manchester. Keep reading for a more detailed production assistant jobs description, including salaries and career development opportunities.

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Working as a production assistant will involve you performing many different tasks. Broadcasting is a 24-hour industry, and you will often be required to work early morning and evenings, as well as weekends. As an assistant, you will be working hard to help senior members perform their duties. The work is fast moving, diverse and often challenging. Many freelance production assistant vacancies exist, with people often working on short-term contracts.

In addition to general administrative duties such as answering telephones, responding to emails and printing script copies, you will be expected to perform many other tasks, with these often changing every day. As such, you may be required to perform various duties, including:

  • Driving vehicles
  • Collecting and delivering items such as filming equipment and scripts
  • Working as a messenger between different people on sets
  • Ensuring people and items are in place before filming
  • Ordering stock and dealing with suppliers
  • Looking after guests, actors on sets

There are no formal qualifications or previous experience requirements for these roles. Therefore, they are considered an excellent entry-level way to enter television and film production. However, these roles have become highly competitive. As such, many employers now look for candidates with either a relevant qualification, previous experience or both.

Various HND and degree qualifications are accepted in this role, including those in media, drama/theatre, broadcasting and production. Any previous experience you have, such as volunteer work at a local theatre, will also help your application stand out. Because of the nature of the role, employers will be looking for candidates with the following skills:

  • Ability to multi-task and highly organised
  • Good time-keeping skills
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Flexibility and problem-solving abilities
  • Good initiative and able to work as part of a team
  • Comfortable taking orders and following instructions carefully

This role can be a great stepping-stone to more senior positions within the television and film industries. However, a production assistant career path is not an easy one. You may be in the role for two to three years before being able to move upwards. In that time, you will have to work hard to show your abilities and determination. Once you gain some experience, you will be able to start moving into areas that interest you most. Once you have gained enough skills and experience as an assistant, you will be able to move towards more senior positions. These include roles such as assistant production coordinator and production coordinator vacancies. From here, you could move towards assistant producer, producer and director positions.

Promotion in these sectors depends on many factors, including timing and sometimes luck. You will have to work hard to develop a career, but the rewards can be very good if you do. Production assistant salaries are low to begin with, often falling around £7.93 to £14 per hour. This will also depend on location, with London rates higher than the rest of the UK. For entry-level positions, day and hourly rates are usually given. This can also hold true for more senior positions, with many workers in this industry considered freelance workers.

There are various advantages and disadvantages to working as a production assistant. Many people enter the role because of their love of tv and films. As such, you will often be working with passionate and creative colleagues which can be very rewarding. Furthermore, the role is dynamic and exciting, you will be responsible for many different tasks and have the chance to travel to different locations. Salaries can be good, and you will likely have a lot of flexibility in terms of when you work.

However, production assistant jobs can also be demanding. You will need to work long hours at times and be constantly moving between different locations. Many of the tasks you will be given at first will be menial, and you may feel that with your qualifications such duties are beneath you. You will need to follow instructions from many different people and be expected to meet tight deadlines. Freelance work like this can be challenging, and you will likely need to be always looking for new project to ensure you have a reliable income.