Film and Television Directors

TV Director in Studio

"Lights! Camera! Action!" aptly summarizes the major responsibilities of the film and television director. In ultimate control of the decisions that shape a film or television production, the director is an artist who coordinates the elements of a film or television show and is responsible for its overall style and quality.

Directors are well known for their part in guiding actors, but they are involved in much more—casting, costuming, cinematography, editing, and sound recording. Directors must have insight into the many tasks that go into the creation of a film, and they must have a broad vision of how each part will contribute to the big picture. Approximately 104,650 directors and producers are employed in the United States. They are also known as filmmakers. 

Next Section: History

Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Filmmakers
Duties Direct actors and other film and TV professionals; oversee the artistic decisions that help create a television show or movie
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) The best opportunities are in Los Angeles and New York, but jobs are available throughout the country
Minimum Education Level
  • High School Diploma
  • Some Postsecondary Training
School Subjects
  • Art
  • English
  • Theater/Dance
Experience Film school; any experience making movies
Personality Traits
  • Artistic
  • Creative
  • Organized
  • Leadership
  • Organizational
  • Performance
  • Music
  • and Acting
Certification or Licensing None
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Fair
Outlook Faster than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Producer, or Director of Award-Winning Projects, or Studio Head
  • Director
  • First Assistant Director or Unit Production Manager