what is a production assistant?

As a production assistant, you are an entry-level worker in television, film and commercial businesses. You work on a production stage, supporting a filming or postproduction crew. If you are a budding filmmaker, becoming a production assistant is the best way to gain experience in the film industry since you participate in every step of the process.

A production assistant requires excellent people skills to collaborate with film crews. Flexibility is also vital since you run various errands, from getting coffee to setting up equipment.

what does a production assistant do?

As a production assistant, you work closely with the line producer to ensure that the appropriate resources are available for their specific tasks. Your job is also to ensure that all production issues are resolved to avoid delays in completing a project. You help the crew follow the production schedule and meet all the deadlines. Additionally, you support the director and actors in preparing for the shoot and make sure they have everything they need before they start filming.

Would working as a production assistant suit your passion for filmmaking? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a production assistant role.

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average salary of a production assistant

According to ONS, production assistants take home a compensation package of £23,961 per year in the UK. That means they earn an average hourly rate of £12.29. Production assistants at the lower end of the scale earn £21,450 annually, while experienced workers take home over £31,475 annually. The compensation package varies depending on the production company you work for and the films they produce.

how to increase your salary as a production assistant

The compensation package of a production assistant often depends on the complexity of the project and the company employing them. If you work for a small filmmaking company, they may not have the resources to pay a higher salary. Working for large television networks and film production companies improves your salary prospects. Large organisations also handle more complex projects that attract higher compensation packages. Your location also affects your earnings since it determines the opportunities for career growth. When you work in large cities, the salaries are higher to reflect the area's cost of living and the demand.

Your skills and experience also influence your negotiating power. With some qualifications and years of experience, you can ask for a higher salary than entry-level production assistants.

Womale sitting at a desk working on marketing platform.
Womale sitting at a desk working on marketing platform.

types of production assistants

Some of the types of production assistants include:

  • field production assistants: as a field production assistant, you work on set during filming. Some of your tasks include keeping the set clean, helping transport cast and crew and managing rental equipment. You also assist the filming crew with menial tasks like blocking off a street for filming.
  • office production assistants: as an office production assistant, you assist with clerical work. That means you spend most of the day handling paperwork and answering the phone. You also organise stacks of scripts.
  • postproduction assistants: as a postproduction assistant, you assist the film crew working on the footage after filming. You help editors and producers by organising content and fetching items for them.

working as a production assistant

Working as a production assistant involves working with a film crew and performing most menial tasks. It is a hands-on role that keeps you on your feet. Let's explore the responsibilities and career outlook in the role.


education and skills

Many production assistants are graduates, which is not a prerequisite for landing a role. You can join the industry via specialist courses from private training providers. Some of the qualifications of a production assistant include:

  • university degree: consider pursuing an undergraduate degree in creative media production, film and TV studies or film and television production. A course with work placements and practical skills helps you to make industry contacts. If you don't qualify for a degree course, pursue a Level 3 Diploma in media techniques or creative media production.
  • work experience: a production assistant needs practical experience in the industry. You can start with volunteering or entry-level jobs like becoming a runner. You should also build your work experience by participating in student or community film or radio projects.

production assistant skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of a production assistant include:

  • people skills: to succeed as a production assistant, you need exceptional people skills since you interact with various cast and crew members. Active listening skills are also important in the role since you take verbal instructions for your day's work.
  • attentiveness to detail: film sets can become crowded, so attentiveness helps you respond to the requests of assistant directors and other crew members and complete tasks on time. You should also monitor the location of every member and equipment to be effective in your role.
  • patience: as a production assistant, you should never lose your cool on set. Filming sets are intense, and the tasks are sometimes frustrating. Patience helps you solve any problems that arise calmly.


smiling woman in the office
smiling woman in the office


FAQs about working as a production assistant

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