When most people think of the silver screen, the image of an actor comes to mind. But plenty of people in the film industry work behind the scenes, including administrative staff. An office manager for a production company plans and coordinates a range of services for everyone working on- and off-set, such as contracts, equipment and rentals. For these services, administrative services managers – as they’re often called – often earn handsome rewards.
In 2012, administrative services managers earned an average of $88,660 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top 10 percent of earners made more than $143,070, while the bottom 10 percent made less than $44,330 annually. But none of these figures account for employer – a factor that has some bearing on earnings. An office manager at a film production company made closer to $95,930 a year.
Although formal training isn’t necessary, employers often seek candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree in business or facility management. Some may even prefer to hire candidates with a master’s degree in business administration or a related field. In addition to a degree, professional certifications can improve employability. The National Office Managers Association of America offers a Certified Office Manager, or COM, designation, while the International Association of Administrative Professionals offers a Certified Administrative Professional, or CAP, designation. Passing either exam signifies the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed as an administrative professional in almost any industry.
Rarely will someone graduate college and find employment as an office manager for a film production company. Administrative services managers often need related work experience in the field to earn such a title. Working in other administrative capacities in the offices of production companies can help you gain the necessary experience to eventually move into such a role.
The BLS expects employment for administrative services managers to grow by 15 percent through 2020 – on par with the national average for all U.S. occupations, an estimated 14 percent. Though keeping pace with the nation’s job growth rate, competition for available positions should be strong, as there are a limited number of upper-level management roles in any industry.
Based in Minneapolis, Minn., Dana Severson has been writing marketing materials for small-to-mid-sized businesses since 2005. Prior to this, Severson worked as a manager of business development for a marketing company, developing targeted marketing campaigns for Big G, Betty Crocker and Pillsbury, among others.