How to Become a Lead Producer?

Are you thinking of becoming a Lead Producer or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Lead Producer, 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 Lead Producer job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.
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Steps to Become a Producer

Producers provide the logistical drive behind film and television productions. They identify opportunities, secure financing, and hire writers and creative professionals to make the project a reality. The producer handles organization and problem-solving at all stages of the filming process, from approving locations to overseeing the health and safety of the crew to managing the release of the film. The producer is usually found on set working collaboratively with the director. Here are five steps to follow to become a producer.

Earn a bachelor's degree.

Though not always required, obtaining a bachelor's degree can help you increase your employability in the entertainment industry. A degree in theater or acting may help those who want to enter the industry as an actor on the way to becoming a producer. Journalism, communications, or writing degrees can help those interested in participating in the screenwriting process. If you're more interested in the logistical aspects of a career as a producer, a degree in film, business, or even finance can provide a helpful background.


Complete an internship in the entertainment industry.

Seek internship opportunities in a film studio, television company, local radio station, or community theater as you're completing your college degree. This will help you learn the ins and outs of the entertainment industry and give you the opportunity to observe the myriad jobs that go into creating a movie, radio, or television show. An internship will also help you make valuable contacts that you can connect with later as you climb the professional ladder toward a job as a producer.


Gain experience in the entertainment industry.

Producers typically have years of experience in other roles related to the entertainment industry. A job as a producer is something you typically work up to overtime, often beginning as an actor, writer, editor, or animator. You might also seek employment as an assistant or secretary in a theatrical management office or film studio. As you accumulate the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to become a producer, you might spend several years as a production assistant, segment producer, or story editor.

The climb to the role of producer is typically a very gradual one. Keep in mind that the producer oversees every other department, so you need to have a working knowledge of all aspects of production before you can command them effectively yourself.


Follow industry trends.

One of the most challenging parts of working as a producer is identifying the right opportunities. It's important to keep your finger on the pulse of the entertainment industry so you know what's trending and which films or series are most likely to succeed.


Complete independent projects.

In some cases, you can become a producer by independently taking on the task of producing a film or TV series. Though this is one of the most challenging and risky paths to becoming a producer, it also allows you to uniquely chart your course into the entertainment industry.

Lead Producer Career Path

Freelance Producer

No Years of Experience Reports
$46K - $80K /yrMost Likely Range
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Producer Supervisor

No Years of Experience Reports
$41K - $67K /yrMost Likely Range
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Lead Producer

5 - 7Years of Experience
$59K - $105K /yrMost Likely Range
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Total Pay Trajectory

Lead Producer Career Path

Producer I
Freelance Producer
Producer Supervisor
Lead Producer

Related Careers in the media & communications Industry

Interested in other media & communications careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Lead Producer skills. Discover some of the most common Lead Producer career transitions, along with skills overlap.

Web Producer
0% skills overlap
7% transitioned to Web Producer