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Television floor manager: Entry requirements

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You can enter this area of work with any degree or HND, but the following subjects may be particularly helpful:

  • media studies;
  • drama/theatre studies;
  • photography/film/television.

Entry without a degree or HND is common and many floor managers have worked their way up to this position from a more junior or related role.

In many instances practical experience counts for more than qualifications.

Pre-entry experience is essential. Floor managers may have previous theatre experience but are more likely to have worked in television and gained experience either as a runner, assistant floor manager or in a technical sound or lighting role.

In order to realistically compete for jobs, several years of broadcasting experience is necessary.

Candidates need to show evidence of:

  • the ability to foresee, solve and avoid problems under pressure;
  • a friendly disposition and an air of calm authority;
  • excellent communication skills to receive, interpret and convey information accurately and concisely;
  • interpersonal skills, in order to quickly judge how to get the best out of different people;
  • good organisational skills and the ability to multitask.

A driving licence is useful. Foreign language skills are helpful if you intend to work abroad.

Direct entry is not possible and you should be prepared to take different posts within television to gain knowledge of the industry as a whole. The following activities can help you get a foot in the door and secure your first paid job:

  • Look for work experience with a production company or in local television to build up skills and make contacts. The minimum wage legislation can make unpaid work experience a grey area, but Skillset has published Creative Industries Work Placement Guidelines , which may help.
  • Network, make contacts and promote yourself.
  • Read the media press, such as Broadcast .
  • Telephone and arrange to meet producers, directors or other appropriate individuals; potential contacts can be found by looking at programme credits.

Training opportunities within television companies are linked to operational needs and while companies, including the BBC, may aim for annual recruitment, this is not guaranteed.

The BBC runs a number of training schemes, including the Production Trainee Scheme and Production Talent Pool - see BBC Careers: Trainee Schemes and Apprenticeships .

Posts are advertised in the BBC staff email newsletter Ariel, available via subscription, although many are filled by qualified staff internally.

Some independent television companies have graduate opportunities, which operate on an individual company basis. These are likely to be advertised on their websites, in the local press or in The Guardian and Broadcast magazine.

The development of satellite and cable television has created more opportunities throughout the industry as a whole, but current trends in programming mean there is less demand for floor managers.

When opportunities arise, appointments are made for each production on a freelance basis. Freelance floor managers may spend periods of time out of work.

For more information, see work experience and internships and search postgraduate courses.

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Written by AGCAS editors
February 2015

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