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Career and Education Opportunities for Directors in Chicago, Illinois

Directors can find many career and educational opportunities in the Chicago, Illinois area. About 2,090 people are currently employed as directors in Illinois. By 2016, this is expected to grow 12% to 2,340 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for directors are expected to grow by about 9.8%. In general, directors interpret script, conduct rehearsals, and direct activities of cast and technical crew for stage, motion pictures, or radio programs.

Income for directors is about $23 hourly or $49,400 yearly on average in Illinois. Nationally, their income is about $30 per hour or $64,430 yearly. Incomes for directors are the same as in the overall category of Theater, Film, and Television in Illinois, and the same as the overall Theater, Film, and Television category nationally. Directors work in a variety of jobs, including: independent film maker, motion picture director, and television newscast director.

The Chicago area is home to 180 schools of higher education, including twenty-one within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree as a director. The most common level of education for directors is a Bachelor's degree. It will take about four years to learn 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 Chicago 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

University of Illinois at Chicago - Chicago, IL

University of Illinois at Chicago, 601 S Morgan, Chicago, IL 60607. University of Illinois at Chicago is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,709 students and an admission rate of 60%. University of Illinois at Chicago has 3 areas of study related to Director. They are:

  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Dramatic/Theatre Arts and Stagecraft, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.
  • Cinematography and Film/Video Production, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.

Dominican University - River Forest, IL

Dominican University, 7900 W Division St, River Forest, IL 60305. Dominican University is a small university located in River Forest, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,413 students and an admission rate of 85%. Dominican University has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts.

Elmhurst College - Elmhurst, IL

Elmhurst College, 190 Prospect Ave, Elmhurst, IL 60126-3096. Elmhurst College is a small college located in Elmhurst, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,315 students and an admission rate of 69%. Elmhurst College has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts.

DePaul University - Chicago, IL

DePaul University, 55 E Jackson, Chicago, IL 60604. DePaul University is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 22,554 students. DePaul University has 5 areas of study related to Director. They are:

  • Radio and Television, master's degree.
  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, bachelor's degree which graduated 13 students in 2008.
  • Directing and Theatrical Production, master's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Theatre/Theatre Arts Management, master's degree.
  • Dramatic/Theatre Arts and Stagecraft, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

Chicago State University - Chicago, IL

Chicago State University, 9501 S. King Drive, Chicago, IL 60628-1598. Chicago State University is a medium sized university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,820 students and an admission rate of 61%. Chicago State University has a bachelor's degree program in Radio and Television which graduated eight students in 2008.

College of DuPage - Glen Ellyn, IL

College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137-6599. College of DuPage is a large college located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,668 students. College of DuPage has an associate's degree program in Radio and Television which graduated four students in 2008.

Indiana University-Northwest - Gary, IN

Indiana University-Northwest, 3400 Broadway, Gary, IN 46408-1197. Indiana University-Northwest is a small university located in Gary, Indiana. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,794 students and an admission rate of 80%. Indiana University-Northwest has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated two students in 2008.

Roosevelt University - Chicago, IL

Roosevelt University, 430 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605-1394. Roosevelt University is a medium sized university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,708 students and an admission rate of 43%. Roosevelt University has 3 areas of study related to Director. They are:

  • Radio and Television, bachelor's degree.
  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, bachelor's degree and master's degree.
  • Directing and Theatrical Production, master's degree.

North Central College - Naperville, IL

North Central College, 30 N Brainard St, Naperville, IL 60540. North Central College is a small college located in Naperville, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,726 students and an admission rate of 69%. North Central College has 3 areas of study related to Director. They are:

  • Radio and Television, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Dramatic/Theatre Arts and Stagecraft, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree.

National-Louis University - Chicago, IL

National-Louis University, 122 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603. National-Louis University is a medium sized university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,874 students and an admission rate of 56%. National-Louis University has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts.

Lake Forest College - Lake Forest, IL

Lake Forest College, 555 N Sheridan Road, Lake Forest, IL 60045-2399. Lake Forest College is a small college located in Lake Forest, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,387 students and an admission rate of 59%. Lake Forest College has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated five students in 2008.

University of Chicago - Chicago, IL

University of Chicago, 5801 S Ellis Ave, Chicago, IL 60637. University of Chicago is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,620 students and an admission rate of 28%. University of Chicago has a bachelor's degree and a doctor's degree program in Film/Cinema Studies which graduated eighteen and four students respectively in 2008.

Lewis University - Romeoville, IL

Lewis University, One University Parkway, Romeoville, IL 60446-2200. Lewis University is a medium sized university located in Romeoville, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,536 students and an admission rate of 71%. Lewis University has 2 areas of study related to Director. They are:

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

The Illinois Center for Broadcasting - Lombard, IL

The Illinois Center for Broadcasting, 55 W. 22nd Street #240, Lombard, IL 60148. The Illinois Center for Broadcasting is a small school located in Lombard, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 88 students and an admission rate of 62%. The Illinois Center for Broadcasting has a less than one year program in Radio and Television which graduated 145 students in 2008.

Northwestern University - Evanston, IL

Northwestern University, 633 Clark St, Evanston, IL 60208. Northwestern University is a large university located in Evanston, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,128 students and an admission rate of 27%. Northwestern University has 2 areas of study related to Director. They are:

  • Radio and Television, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree.
  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree.

Governors State University - University Park, IL

Governors State University, 1 University Pky, University Park, IL 60466-0975. Governors State University is a medium sized university located in University Park, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 5,457 students. Governors State University has a master's degree program in Film/Cinema Studies which graduated three students in 2008.

Columbia College Chicago - Chicago, IL

Columbia College Chicago, 600 South Michigan, Chicago, IL 60605-1996. Columbia College Chicago is a large college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 12,464 students. Columbia College Chicago has 4 areas of study related to Director. They are:

  • Radio and Television, one to two year and bachelor's degree which graduated three and 128 students respectively in 2008.
  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, bachelor's degree which graduated 19 students in 2008.
  • Directing and Theatrical Production, bachelor's degree which graduated 11 students in 2008.
  • Cinematography and Film/Video Production, one to two year, bachelor's degree, and master's degree which graduated five, 366, and eleven students respectively in 2008.

The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago - Chicago, IL

The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago, 350 N Orleans St, Chicago, IL 60654-1593. The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago is a small school located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,900 students and an admission rate of 48%. The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago has a bachelor's degree program in Cinematography and Film/Video Production which graduated nine students in 2008.

Loyola University Chicago - Chicago, IL

Loyola University Chicago, 820 N. Michigan, Chicago, IL 60611-9810. Loyola University Chicago is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,670 students and an admission rate of 74%. Loyola University Chicago has 2 areas of study related to Director. They are:

  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Theatre/Theatre Arts Management, bachelor's degree.

The Illinois Institute of Art-Schaumburg - Schaumburg, IL

The Illinois Institute of Art-Schaumburg, 1000 Plaza Drive Ste. 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173-4913. The Illinois Institute of Art-Schaumburg is a small school located in Schaumburg, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,257 students and an admission rate of 47%. The Illinois Institute of Art-Schaumburg has a bachelor's degree program in Cinematography and Film/Video Production.

Concordia University - River Forest, IL

Concordia University, 7400 Augusta, River Forest, IL 60305-1499. Concordia University is a small university located in River Forest, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,185 students and an admission rate of 58%. Concordia University has a bachelor's degree program in Dramatic/Theatre Arts and Stagecraft, Other Specialties.

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: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.