Salary For Production Assistant

Production assistants are responsible for helping the camera crew during filming and work closely with a director. The production assistant generally takes care of any tasks that need to be done on set, such as scheduling cast and crew members, procuring equipment, maintaining files and managing budgets.

The following jobs have the same role, with the same skills, experience and education required. However, their salary varies considerably and is dependent on their seniority, location, company and many other factors which are explained in detail below.

Production assistants make an average of $12.92 an hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This average salary illustrates that production assistants earn more than the national median wage for all occupations, which was $17,370 as of May 2016.

Salary For Production Assistant Overview

A production assistant (PA) is a person who helps a film, TV show, or other production get off the ground by performing various tasks. PAs are usually hired as entry-level employees and work their way up to more senior roles within the production team.

Salaries for PAs vary widely depending on industry and location, but there are some general figures that can help you understand what to expect in terms of compensation.

Production Assistant Salary

The average production assistant salary in Los Angeles is $36,000 per year. This figure includes all kinds of PAs—from those who work on television shows to those who work in film and digital media. However, this number doesn’t reflect the fact that top-tier PAs earn upwards of $80,000 per year in Los Angeles.

Entry Level Production Assistant Salary

The average entry level production assistant salary in Los Angeles is $25,000 per year. This figure includes all kinds of PAs—from those who work on television shows to those who work in film and digital media—and it reflects an average starting salary at a range of companies both large and small. However, this number doesn’t take into account bonuses.

What Is a Production Assistant?

Production assistants perform entry-level work on film and television sets. Their job is to support the director. They may run errands, gather props or bring actors to the set. Production assistants must be organized and communicate well with the director, assistant directors and other crew members. They also need to be flexible, resourceful and prepared to do a variety of tasks at a moment’s notice to help the production run smoothly. Many filmmaking occupations start out at the production assistant level to learn the business. There’s limited career information on production assistants since individuals enter the role from other entry-level film positions. You can find out more about this career by reviewing the information below.

Training RequiredOn-the-job training; bachelor’s degree preferred
Education Field of StudyFilm, TV production, broadcasting
Key ResponsibilitiesBringing props to set; answer phones; make and distribute copies of scripts; pick-up and deliver food
Job Growth (2020-2030)*24% (for all occupations in production and directing)
Median Salary (2021)**$33,015

What Does A Production Assistant Do?

Now that you know how much a production assistant typically earns, it’s helpful to understand what you might be doing in this role. Production assistants are generally responsible for ensuring the production quality on the set of a film, TV show, music video, or commercial. They coordinate and schedule the aspects of production needed, adhere to deadlines, and assist with any other tasks as needed on the set. PAs often help by setting up equipment and handling control room duties. Some PAs assist with equipment and system operations, including audio consoles and teleprompters. 
Production assistants are responsible for handling many of the behind-the-scenes tasks associated with creating a film or other media production. They are also in charge of the administrative tasks, aiding directors, producers, and other higher-level individuals on the set with their needs. On a TV talk show, a production assistant might research potential guests to invite, reaching out to and booking guests, and creating the direction for the interview with each individual guest. 
Production assistants work with members of nearly every department on set and make sure that everyone has what they need to take care of their tasks. Additional administrative duties may include printing and distributing scripts, recording meeting notes, managing production schedules, fact-checking, and even ensuring that the cast and crew have access to food and beverages while they work. They may be responsible for transporting cast members to various locations or responding to requests from anyone involved in the production.

Career Path For Production Assistant

A production assistant can often use the experience and knowledge they gain in this role to work in other departments of film and TV production. The first step up often involves becoming the key PA on a set, which is the highest position on the non-union side of the staff. Some go on to work as camera and recording equipment operators, while others pursue opportunities as directors, cinematographers, and editors.
The goal of most production assistants is to work enough hours on a union production to be able to join the Director’s Guild of America. When a PA has the experience needed to join this particular union, they can earn more and even work their way toward becoming an assistant director or second AD or take on another higher-level role on the set.
This organization also sets minimum earning requirements for its members. For example, an assistant director in the guild earns at least $69,000 per episode of a primetime TV show. The Director’s Guild of America offers opportunities to earn certifications that can help you move up in your career.

Production Assistant’s Salary

PercentileAnnual SalaryMonthly SalaryHourly Rate
90th Percentile$44,000$3,667$21
75th Percentile$38,000$3,167$18
Average$31,863$2,655$15
25th Percentile$26,000$2,167$13
10th Percentile$22,000$1,833$11

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