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Career and Education Opportunities for Directors in Birmingham, Alabama

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for directors in the Birmingham, Alabama area. There are currently 690 jobs for directors in Alabama and this is projected to grow by 13% to 780 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for directors, which sees this job pool growing by about 9.8% over the next eight years. Directors generally interpret script, conduct rehearsals, and direct activities of cast and technical crew for stage, motion pictures, or radio programs.

A person working as a director can expect to earn about $23 hourly or $49,240 per year on average in Alabama and about $30 per hour or $64,430 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Directors earn the same as people working in the category of Theater, Film, and Television generally in Alabama and the same as people in the Theater, Film, and Television category nationally. Jobs in this field include: dramatic director, dramatic coach, and newscast director.

There are fifteen schools of higher education in the Birmingham area, including four within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can get a degree to start your career as a director. Given that the most common education level for directors is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years studying to be a director if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Director

In general, directors interpret script, conduct rehearsals, and direct activities of cast and technical crew for stage, motion pictures, or radio programs.

Directors supervise and direct the work of camera and sound crewmembers. They also formulate details such as framing and actor movement for each shot or scene. Finally, directors talk with technical directors and writers to consider specifics of production, such as photography and costumes.

Every day, directors are expected to be able to be creative and generate new ideas. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for directors to cut and edit film or tape to integrate component parts into desired sequences. They are often called upon to study and research scripts to establish how they should be directed. They also direct live broadcasts, films and recordings, or non-broadcast programming for public entertainment or education. They are sometimes expected to identify and approve equipment and elements required for productions, such as scenery and music. Somewhat less frequently, directors are also expected to hold auditions for parts or negotiate contracts with actors determined suitable for specific roles, working in conjunction with producers.

Directors sometimes are asked to collaborate with film and sound editors during the post-production process as films are edited and soundtracks are added. They also have to be able to compile scripts and other material pertaining to productions and decide on plays or scripts for production, and decide on how material should be interpreted and performed. And finally, they sometimes have to decide on plays or scripts for production, and decide on how material should be interpreted and performed.

Like many other jobs, directors must be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Actor. Play parts in stage, television, or motion picture productions for entertainment, information, or instruction. Interpret serious or comic role by speech, gesture, and body movement to entertain or inform audience. May dance and sing.
  • Art Director. Formulate design concepts and presentation approaches, and direct workers engaged in art work, layout design, and copy writing for visual communications media, such as magazines, books, and packaging.
  • Artistic Director. Audition and interview performers to select most appropriate talent for parts in stage, television, or motion picture productions.
  • Camera Operator. Operate television, video, or motion picture camera to photograph images or scenes for various purposes, such as TV broadcasts, advertising, or motion pictures.
  • Choreographer. Create and teach dance. May direct and stage presentations.
  • Film or Videotape Editor. Edit motion picture soundtracks, film, and video.
  • Graphic Designer. Design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos. May use a variety of mediums to achieve artistic or decorative effects.
  • Musician. Play one or more musical instruments in recital, in accompaniment, or as members of an orchestra, band, or other musical group.
  • Producer. Plan and coordinate various aspects of radio, television, or motion picture production, such as selecting script, coordinating writing, directing and editing, and arranging financing.
  • Program Director. Direct and coordinate activities of personnel engaged in preparation of radio or television station program schedules and programs.
  • Set and Exhibit Designer. Design special exhibits and movie, television, and theater sets. May study scripts, confer with directors, and conduct research to determine appropriate architectural styles.
  • Technical Director. Coordinate activities of technical departments, such as taping, editing, and maintenance, to produce radio or television programs.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Director Training

Birmingham Southern College - Birmingham, AL

Birmingham Southern College, 900 Arkadelphia Road, Birmingham, AL 35254. Birmingham Southern College is a small college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,458 students and an admission rate of 69%. Birmingham Southern College has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated two students in 2008.

University of Montevallo - Montevallo, AL

University of Montevallo, Station 6001, Montevallo, AL 35115-6000. University of Montevallo is a small university located in Montevallo, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,030 students and an admission rate of 78%. University of Montevallo has 2 areas of study related to Director. They are:

  • Radio and Television, bachelor's degree which graduated 20 students in 2008.
  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Samford University - Birmingham, AL

Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, AL 35229-2240. Samford University is a small university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,469 students and an admission rate of 89%. Samford University has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated twelve students in 2008.

University of Alabama at Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Administration Bldg Suite 1070, Birmingham, AL 35294-0110. University of Alabama at Birmingham is a large university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 16,149 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Alabama at Birmingham has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated nineteen students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Program Management Professional: Project Management Institute's newest credential is specifically developed to acknowledge the qualifications of the professional who leads the coordinated management of multiple projects and ensures the ultimate success of a program.

For more information, see the Project Management Institute website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.