What are the most common jobs in Television

Maybe you're the kind of person that has dreamed every day since you were four about working in television. Your passion, drive, and commitment has stayed fresh through the years and you are now at the age where you are to decide what to do with your life. This is all well and good, for most career paths. Finding jobs in television is slightly different than a job search for the majority of the work force.

The most important point to make about getting jobs in television is that you must be passionate. If you don't love working on a team, telling a story, or being creative, you might as well stop reading now. Assuming your passion is in place, the following is a list of the different jobs in television.

Keep in mind that these are only a cursory glance; if you want more, you can get started on your researcher career.


Researchers often believe they have one of the most varied jobs in television. Inherent in the researcher position is a feeling of uncertainty and going off into the unknown. For example, you may be asked to research the migratory patterns of swans for one show, and the next will have you interviewing a former football star.

Of course, researching for television isn't all interviews and glamour; there will be a great many hard days spend in a library or scouring the internet for reliable sources. Researchers should be dedicated to learning new things.

The final tool in the researcher's bag should be communication skills. After you've conducted all the research, you're going to have to collect it into one original work. Should you fail to do this, or fail to follow copyright laws, you may be fired.

Television shows would be bland and used if it weren't for researchers. Learn your craft, love your craft, and being a researcher can be very rewarding.

Camera Operator

Being a camera operator is more involved than it sounds. While it is not one of the glamorous jobs in television, it is crucial to the process. Without a camera operator, we would be watching an out of focus shot with the top part of the subject's forehead missing.

The key word for a camera operator is control. Control of the body, control of the mind, and control of emotions. The camera operator's body and mind must be doing multiple things at once. Focusing with one hand, zooming with another, rotating the entire camera rig, and all the while keeping an eye on the director. Speaking of the director, this is why camera operators need control over their emotions.

Do not expect to be treated like the equal of a director. Camera operators will be yelled at, they will be ordered to do things, and will probably be blamed when the fault is not theirs at all. Take the comments in stride and remember that without you, the director is nothing.

Floor Manager

The floor manager on a television set is much like the conductor of an orchestra. A floor manager is responsible for making sure everything is ready before filming begins. This includes being certain that any props are in the proper positions, all the equipment is working properly, and the sets are ready for filming.

In the case of a live audience taping, the floor manager is responsible for getting the audience prepared and seated before the show begins. Like the other jobs listed here, floor managers are very important. Without them, things would simply fall apart.


An editor of a television program has perhaps the most demanding of the jobs in television. The editor must be sure that the audience is receiving the best quality program he can offer. Editors are responsible for:

  • Deciding which video segments are quality and which ones need to be reshoot.
  • Editing the music and effects
  • Trimming material to fit within time restraints
  • Selecting which stock footage to use (this is not always the case)

To be an editor, you must be very creative and able to handle high amounts of pressure. The final product comes from your desk, so you had better be sure that you've done everything you can. The ideal editor would be passionate about his work and able to assign tasks to different people. Leadership is also a valued skill for an editor.

Sound Recorder

A sound recorder and a camera operator often go hand in hand (so to speak). One should never be working without the other. Sound recorders need to be very familiar with the audio strengths and weaknesses of their equipment, subjects, and set. The difficulty in being a sound recorder is that you must remain attentive to the outside world, but you also need to stay focused on the recording playing back through your headphones.


There are a few jobs in television that require a more artistic person than others. For example, costume and make up designers are necessary to almost all television productions, but only a trained few can do the job well. Also in this category are set designers and graphic designers. Graphic design for television also overlaps a bit with video editing.

If you are interested in a job like the ones described above, you should note that special training and experience are mandatory for this line of work.