How to Become a Film Crew Member?

Are you thinking of becoming a Film Crew Member or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Film Crew Member, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Film Crew Member job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.

Steps to Become a Film Crew Member

Film crew members are an integral part of the filmmaking process, as they work together to ensure that a production is completed and successful. This is an ideal job for someone who loves movies, television shows, and film because they can participate in the creative process of filmmaking in many different ways.

Decide on a specialty.

Film crew members can specialize in a variety of different tasks. Choreographers tell actors where and when to move, and they often figure out the moves for stunts or fight scenes. Set managers direct other behind-the-scenes aspects of filmmaking, and prop masters find or make appropriate props. Food stylists make sure the food looks good and realistic during dinner scenes, and grips help place cameras, rigging, and lighting. Other positions for film crew members include:

  • Camera operator.
  • Hairstylist.
  • Security officer.
  • Lighting technician or gaffer.
  • Director.
  • Assistant director.
  • Makeup artist.
  • Set designer.
  • Set landscaper.
  • Stunt coordinator.
  • Set design assistant.
  • Stunt manager.
  • Set decorator.
  • Caterer.
  • Script supervisor.
  • Child actor teacher.
  • Safety manager.
  • Pyrotechnician.
  • Boom operator.
  • Animal caretaker.
  • Personal assistant.
  • Prompter.
  • Costume designer.
  • Transportation coordinator.
  • Production assistant.

Get an education.

Most film crew members have at least a high school education or a GED. However, some film crew positions require additional training. For example, stylists usually attend cosmetology school and get a license, and lighting technicians or gaffers are typically licensed electricians. Additionally, many directors have a bachelor's degree in film, communications, or a related field. Depending on your specialty as a film crew member, you may benefit from looking into what education or certifications you can gain to improve your chances of getting a job.

What type of degree should you pursue to become a Film Crew Member?

57% of people working as a Film Crew Member earned a Bachelor's Degree

What skills do you need to be a Film Crew Member?

  • Editing
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Adobe After Effects
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Excellent Communication
  • Meet Deadlines
  • Machine Operating
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as a Film Crew Member in the United States.

Gain some experience.

For many film crew member positions, experience is as important or even more important than education. Gaining experience can help you improve your skills and advance your career. You can often apply for a position as an intern, apprentice, or trainee. This allows you to learn how to operate complex equipment, understand filmmaking terms, and get to know other people in the industry. For some positions, you'll need experience in another field. For example, pyrotechnicians may be former firefighters, and costume designers often have a background in fashion or theater.

Working on a smaller independent film can give you a chance to try out a wider variety of tasks, while larger, more expensive films usually have more specialized positions. If possible, find a mentor who can give you advice on finding the type of film crew member position you want. Stay in touch with former coworkers who can tell you about upcoming films and job opportunities. Many film crew member jobs only last for a few months, so you'll always need to keep looking for new openings.

Film Crew Member Career Path

Film Crew Member

2 - 4Years of Experience
$30K - $42K /yrMost Likely Range
Learn More

Senior Film Crew Member

2 - 4Years of Experience
$31K - $51K /yrMost Likely Range
Learn More

Associate Director of Film

No Years of Experience Reports
$97K - $154K /yrMost Likely Range
Learn More

Total Pay Trajectory

Film Crew Member Career Path

Film Crew Member Intern
Film Crew Member
Senior Film Crew Member
Film Crew Member Manager
Associate Director of Film
Director of Film
Vice President of Media
Are you paid fairly? Get a free, personalized salary estimate based on today's job market
Get Your Estimate

Related Careers in the Arts & Design Industry

Interested in other Arts & Design careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Film Crew Member skills. Discover some of the most common Film Crew Member career transitions, along with skills overlap.

13% skills overlap
26% transitioned to Editor