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Career and Education Opportunities for Program Directors in Birmingham, Alabama

Program director career and educational opportunities abound in Birmingham, Alabama. Currently, 690 people work as program directors in Alabama. This is expected to grow 13% to 780 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for program directors are expected to grow by about 9.8%. Program directors generally direct and coordinate activities of personnel engaged in preparation of radio or television station program schedules and programs.

The income of a program director is about $23 hourly or $49,240 annually on average in Alabama. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $30 per hour or $64,430 annually on average. Earnings for program directors are the same as earnings in the general category of Theater, Film, and Television in Alabama and the same as general Theater, Film, and Television category earnings nationally. People working as program directors can fill a number of jobs, such as: operations director, newscast director, and news producer.

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 program director. Given that the most common education level for program directors is some college courses, you can expect to spend a short time training to become a program director if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Program Director

In general, program directors direct and coordinate activities of personnel engaged in preparation of radio or television station program schedules and programs.

Program directors monitor and review programming to insure that schedules are met, guidelines are adhered to, and performances are of adequate quality. They also evaluate new and existing programming to gauge suitability and the need for changes, using data such as audience surveys and feedback. Equally important, program directors have to formulate and schedule programming and event coverage, on the basis of broadcast length and other factors, such as community needs and viewer demographics. They are often called upon to monitor network transmissions for advisories concerning daily program schedules or program changes. They are expected to direct and schedule efforts of personnel working on broadcast news or programming. Finally, program directors decide on and maintain programs, music and other needed materials and obtain legal clearances for their use as needed.

Every day, program directors are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for program directors to design concepts for programs and features that a station could produce. They are often called upon to establish work schedules and assign work to staff members. They also design budgets for programming and broadcasting efforts and monitor expenditures to insure that they remain within budgetary limits. They are sometimes expected to participate in the planning and execution of fundraising efforts. Somewhat less frequently, program directors are also expected to design promotions for current programs and specials.

Program directors sometimes are asked to decide on and maintain programs, music and other needed materials and obtain legal clearances for their use as needed. And finally, they sometimes have to direct efforts between departments.

Like many other jobs, program directors must want to innovate to meet new challenges and believe in an agile approach to problem solving and deal with change.

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.
  • Artistic Director. Audition and interview performers to select most appropriate talent for parts in stage, television, or motion picture productions.
  • Director. Interpret script, conduct rehearsals, and direct activities of cast and technical crew for stage, motion pictures, or radio programs.
  • Editorial Specialist. Perform variety of editorial duties, such as laying out, indexing, and revising content of written materials, in preparation for final publication.
  • Film or Videotape Editor. Edit motion picture soundtracks, film, and video.
  • 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.
  • Technical Director. Coordinate activities of technical departments, such as taping, editing, and maintenance, to produce radio or television programs.
  • Technical Writer. Write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions. May assist in layout work.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Program 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 Program 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.