How to Start Your Career as a Production Assistant in TV

How to Start Your Career as a Production Assistant in TV

Are you a passionate individual looking to break into the TV industry as a production assistant? In this article, we will provide you with essential tips and insights on how to kickstart your career in this competitive field. From gaining relevant experience to networking with industry professionals, we’ve got you covered. Read on to learn how you can become a successful production assistant in the television industry.

Getting Started in the TV Industry

Breaking into the TV industry can be an exciting and rewarding career path. One common entry-level position is that of a Production Assistant. This role is crucial in helping TV productions run smoothly and efficiently.

Understanding the Role of a Production Assistant

Production Assistants, often referred to as PAs, play a vital role in the production process. They are responsible for tasks such as setting up equipment, running errands, assisting with paperwork, and providing support to the production team. PAs are often the backbone of the production, ensuring that everything is in place for a successful shoot.

Qualifications and Skills Needed

To become a Production Assistant in TV, there are a few key qualifications and skills that are typically required. These may include a degree in film or related field, experience with production equipment, strong communication skills, attention to detail, and the ability to multitask effectively. Additionally, having a passion for the TV industry and a willingness to learn and adapt to new challenges can be advantageous.

Networking and Building Connections

Networking is a crucial aspect of starting a career in the TV industry. Building connections with industry professionals can open up opportunities for job placements and career advancement. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and reach out to individuals working in the field to expand your network. Building strong relationships can help you stand out in a competitive industry and lead to exciting opportunities in TV production.

Gaining Experience and Training

When starting a career as a production assistant in TV, gaining experience and training is essential to stand out in the competitive industry. Here are some key ways to build your skills and experience:

Internships and Entry-Level Positions

One of the best ways to gain hands-on experience as a production assistant is through internships and entry-level positions. Many production companies, TV networks, and studios offer internships that provide valuable on-the-job training and networking opportunities. These positions can help you learn the ropes of the industry, develop key skills, and make valuable connections that can lead to future job opportunities.

On-the-Job Training and Shadowing

Once you land a job as a production assistant, take advantage of on-the-job training and shadowing opportunities. By observing experienced professionals in action, you can learn valuable skills such as setting up equipment, assisting with production schedules, and working with talent. Shadowing can also give you insight into the behind-the-scenes operations of a TV production, helping you understand the various roles and responsibilities within the industry.

Taking Production Assistant Courses

In addition to hands-on experience, consider taking production assistant courses to further enhance your skills and knowledge. Many community colleges, vocational schools, and online platforms offer courses specifically designed for aspiring production assistants. These courses cover topics such as production techniques, industry standards, and equipment operation, providing you with a solid foundation for your career in TV production.

By gaining experience through internships, entry-level positions, on-the-job training, and production assistant courses, you can set yourself up for success as a production assistant in TV. Remember to stay proactive, eager to learn, and open to new opportunities as you continue to grow and advance in your career.

Advancing Your Career

Working as a production assistant in TV is a great way to kickstart your career in the entertainment industry. Once you have gained some experience and mastered the basics of the job, you may start thinking about advancing your career to higher positions. Here are some tips to help you climb the ladder in the industry:

Seeking Promotions and Higher Responsibilities

  • Express your interest in taking on more responsibilities to your supervisors.
  • Take on additional tasks and projects to showcase your skills and dedication.
  • Seek out opportunities for professional development and training to enhance your skills.
  • Network with colleagues and industry professionals to learn about potential job openings or promotions.

Building a Strong Portfolio

  • Keep track of your work and accomplishments as a production assistant.
  • Document your contributions to projects and gather feedback from supervisors and colleagues.
  • Create a portfolio showcasing your best work, including videos, photos, and other relevant materials.
  • Update your portfolio regularly and tailor it to highlight your strengths and achievements.

Networking with Industry Professionals

  • Attend industry events, conferences, and workshops to meet and connect with industry professionals.
  • Join industry organizations and online forums to network and stay updated on industry trends.
  • Reach out to professionals in higher positions for mentorship and guidance.
  • Collaborate with other industry professionals on projects to expand your network and gain valuable experience.

By actively seeking promotions, building a strong portfolio, and networking with industry professionals, you can advance your career as a production assistant in TV and achieve your career goals in the entertainment industry.


In conclusion, starting a career as a production assistant in TV can be a rewarding and exciting journey for those passionate about the television industry. By following the steps outlined in this article, such as gaining relevant experience, networking with industry professionals, and continuously learning and improving your skills, you can increase your chances of success in this competitive field. Remember to stay motivated, persistent, and dedicated to your craft, and you will be well on your way to achieving your goals as a production assistant in TV.