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Career and Education Opportunities for Producers in Chicago, Illinois

Producers can find many career and educational opportunities in the Chicago, Illinois area. About 2,090 people are currently employed as producers in Illinois. By 2016, this is expected to grow 12% to about 2,340 people employed. This is better than the national trend for producers, which sees this job pool growing by about 9.8% over the next eight years. In general, producers plan and coordinate various aspects of radio, television, or motion picture production, such as selecting script, coordinating writing, directing and editing, and arranging financing.

Producers earn about $23 hourly or $49,400 annually on average in Illinois and about $30 per hour or $64,430 yearly on average nationally. Earnings for producers are the same as earnings in the general category of Theater, Film, and Television in Illinois and the same as general Theater, Film, and Television category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: music producer, television news producer, and broadcast producer.

There are twenty-one schools within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can study to be a producer, among 180 schools of higher education total in the Chicago area. The most common level of education for producers is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years studying to be a producer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Producer

In general, producers plan and coordinate various aspects of radio, television, or motion picture production, such as selecting script, coordinating writing, directing and editing, and arranging financing.

Producers monitor postproduction processes to insure accurate completion of details. Finally, producers conduct meetings with staff to consider production progress and to insure production objectives are attained.

Every day, producers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to write clearly and communicate well. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for producers to compose and edit scripts or furnish screenwriters with story outlines from which scripts can be written. They are often called upon to direct the efforts of writers and other personnel throughout the production process. They also perform management efforts such as budgeting and marketing. They are sometimes expected to resolve personnel problems that arise during the production process by acting as liaisons between dissenting parties when needed. Somewhat less frequently, producers are also expected to negotiate contracts with artistic personnel, often in accordance with collective bargaining agreements.

Producers sometimes are asked to arrange financing for productions. They also have to be able to obtain rights to scripts or to such items as existing video footage and maintain knowledge of minimum wages and working conditions established by unions or associations of actors and technicians. And finally, they sometimes have to decide on plays or concepts to be produced.

Like many other jobs, producers must be thorough and dependable and be persistant in the face of problems and impediments.

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.
  • 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.
  • Program Director. Direct and coordinate activities of personnel engaged in preparation of radio or television station program schedules and programs.
  • Technical Director. Coordinate activities of technical departments, such as taping, editing, and maintenance, to produce radio or television programs.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Producer 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 Producer. 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 Producer. 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 Producer. 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 Producer. 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 Producer. 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 Producer. 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 Producer. 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 Producer. 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.