Also called production managers, entertainment program managers ensure and develop the strategy and objectives of a business. While this is a common role in many fields throughout many industries, in the entertainment business, they are also tasked with tending to the needs of the staff on sets, preparing permits and documents, and assisting in daily filming tasks, among other roles.
If you believe you are perfect for this role, don’t hesitate to learn how to create a unique resume that will help you secure an interview and bring you closer to your dream job.
However, before starting, let’s see examples of the three standard resume formats.
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Job Duties of an Entertainment Program Manager
An entertainment program manager is responsible for planning and overseeing a list of projects to reach the program’s or organizations’ overall goals. Their role is not restricted to completing an individual project but extends to the long-term realization of a whole program.
Among their significant duties:
Strategizing and tracking the progress of the program.
Working on and coordinating multiple projects and teams.
Providing strategic guidance to project managers by pointing out potential advantages and drawbacks.
Facilitating communication between cross-functional teams.
Managing program budget.
Keeping track and documenting events and developments in the program.
Managing any risks and tending to issues that could arise.
Utilizing any available resources across projects.
Entertainment Program Manager Median Salaries
According to PayScale, a compensation software and data company, an entertainment program manager earns about $113,614 annually. That amount can go as high as $150,000 a year or as low as $74,000 a year, depending on various factors like education, certification, skills, and work experience.
At the job-entry level, an entertainment program manager can expect a compensation of about $84,200, according to data compiled by PayScale. As with many jobs, the more experience you gain in the field, the more valuable your skills are. After one year working in the area, people report an increase in salary for project managers to $90,465. This amount continues to grow, peaking at nearly $130,000 a year.
Top Skills for Entertainment Program Managers
Although business knowledge is vital, an entertainment program manager should also coordinate and monitor company programs’ scheduling, pricing, and technical performance. Experience in project management is crucial as it helps entertainment program managers tackle large and complex situations.
These are the top six skills that are key for entertainment program managers:
- A strategic mind: Program managers excel at strategizing. The average professional should know how to monitor all the company’s projects and act as a bridge for cross-functional teams. For example, during filming, the entertainment program manager’s responsibility is to order catering, fill out the paperwork and permits, and make sure all the goals are met before filming any project.
- Ability to lead a team: As an entertainment program manager, you can't work alone; you should be ready to guide the decision-making and strategic solutions for different groups involved in program management. For example, the entertainment program manager’s responsibility is to address and announce a potential budget issue that may affect several departments.
- Overview: While project and product managers have to focus on the details of only a single project, the entertainment program manager is required to have an overview of the entire program to ensure everything is running efficiently. For example, an entertainment program manager must make sure all the paperwork for the state is filled so a director and crew can begin filming on a busy street in New York in broad daylight.
- Budget coordination: You might have to oversee the budget of each program. As such, efficient budget coordinating is essential to ensure that resources are obtained and used effectively to accomplish the objectives. Any mistake made by the entertainment program manager could affect the finances of the whole company. For example, if a film crew decides to blow up a CGI-built Empire State Building, this would require around $5 million to produce and possibly lead to the scene going over budget. It is the entertainment program manager’s responsibility to raise the scene red flag.
- Knowledge of broadcasting rules and regulations: If you work as an entertainment program manager in the media industry, knowing about the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is integral. The FCC regulates broadcast content, technology, advertising, networking, ownership, community relations, public-interest obligations, and other aspects in the country’s media industry. Knowledge of these rules and regulations, depending on the industry and expectations as required, will help you resolve legal issues that will likely arise.
- Technical expertise: Program managers rely on various software when handling big projects. Expertise in software like StudioBinder is necessary, as it helps organize and record documents, schedule programs, and manage broadcast rights.
Educational Requirements for Entertainment Program Managers
A successful entertainment program manager will not only bring a good amount of leadership and project management experience with them, but they will also have a solid educational background.
DegreeAs a bare minimum requirement, entertainment program managers should have a bachelor’s degree in the field of business or in subjects that are related to the industry they want to work in, such as engineering or computer science. After this, you can pursue a Master’s in Business Administration or a similar postgraduate qualification. Some of these degrees will prepare you with knowledge into the world of business and give you the needed tools to excel in the field.
Stanford Graduate School of Business, Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan School of Management, Michigan Ross School of Business, Boston University, and Georgetown University are the best options for taking a Master’s in Business Administration or Project Management.
For-profit companies like Coursera also offer project management and program management courses. You can learn the basics of project and project management and polish your managerial skills. However, keep in mind that while these courses could offer you certifications that will complement your education, they will not be on par with a degree in the field.
For education focused on the film industry, you can take courses in production management. Various universities also offer degrees in this field.
CertificationsWhile production managers are sought after in any film project, no specific certifications are required before employment in the field. It is advised, however, to seek broader certifications in program management after finishing your studies.
The project management certificate program offered by accredited and reputable institutions like Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Washington, University of California, Berkeley is a great program that will help you improve the practical skills needed for handling big and small projects.
Program Management Professional (PgMP)® is a certification provided by the Project Management Institute, a leading association for aspiring project, program, and portfolio management professionals. You can also attain the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification, which is globally recognized.
Entertainment Program Manager Resume-Writing Tips
With a better understanding of what an employer is looking for in the role of an entertainment program manager, you can better create a resume that will immediately catch their attention.
Let’s see how you can do it:
- Showcase your management skills: Don’t hesitate to add previous achievements that showcase your excellent management skills. You can point out instances where your strategic approach led to a boost in sales in your company, such as: "Produced $10,000 in gross profit during three years while broadcasting for the critically acclaimed Disney+ show The Mandalorian.” This sentence will also highlight the work experience you have gained over the years and your managerial skills.
- Mention how well you can work in a team: As an entertainment program manager or project manager, there may be several occasions where you had to work with other departments and teams to achieve your goals. You can mention how you helped them, which will highlight your teamwork while You should make the employer feel that he can trust you with a team and effectively manage them without any trouble. You can show this by adding sentences like, “suggested and managed the addition and return of Mark Hamill to the role of Luke Skywalker in the show The Mandalorian while also keeping his inclusion secret until the airing of the episode.”
- Make your experience a boon: Employers prefer entertainment program managers with a good amount of experience in the field. As an entertainment program manager, practical experience will be dire when tactical plans and strategic solutions are needed. So it's best to highlight your work experience and show the recruiter that your skills are not made up but acquired by working for years. As an example, you can say: “Worked in a plethora of TV shows such as Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, Brooklyn Nine Nine, among others.”
What is the difference between an entertainment program manager and a project manager?
Though often misunderstood, there are significant differences between a program and a project manager. While a project manager is responsible for handling and delivering on a single project, an entertainment program manager must oversee multiple projects that may or may not be interconnected. It is worth noting that before becoming an entertainment program manager, one should have a significant amount of experience in project management.
What makes a great entertainment program manager?
A great entertainment program manager should anticipate and manage issues while also influencing the entire team to bring about a positive change in profit. They should be able to use the practical knowledge they gained through years of experience for making better strategic plans. They should always be ready to learn from past mistakes and also execute known success strategies. It takes time and effort to transform yourself from a good entertainment program manager to a great entertainment program manager.
What is a program management plan?
A program management plan is a formal document that details how a program is executed, controlled, and managed. All the information regarding the governance and monitoring of the program as it progresses, the methods to follow for effective management, and the benefits realized from achieving the outcome are in this plan. If any changes arise in the program’s execution, they must be cataloged immediately and updated in the document to avoid any confusion in future decisions. Since each program management plan is defined depending on the type of show and its needs, there are many types you need to learn as you move up in the entertainment industry.