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Career and Education Opportunities for Program Directors in Elgin, Illinois

Program directors can find many career and educational opportunities in the Elgin, Illinois area. There are currently 2,090 jobs for program directors in Illinois and this is projected to grow by 12% to about 2,340 jobs 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%. In general, program directors direct and coordinate activities of personnel engaged in preparation of radio or television station program schedules and programs.

Program directors earn approximately $23 per hour or $49,400 annually on average in Illinois. Nationally they average about $30 hourly or $64,430 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Theater, Film, and Television, people working as program directors in Illinois earn the same. They earn the same as people working in the overall category of Theater, Film, and Television nationally. People working as program directors can fill a number of jobs, such as: news producer, program supervisor, and public service director.

The Elgin area is home to sixty-one schools of higher education, including eight within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can get a degree as a program director. Program directors usually hold some college courses, so 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 Elgin 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.
  • Audio Visual Technician. Set up or set up and operate audio and video equipment including microphones, sound speakers, video screens, projectors, video monitors, recording equipment, connecting wires and cables, sound and mixing boards, and related electronic equipment for concerts, sports events, meetings and conventions, presentations, and news conferences. May also set up and operate associated spotlights and other custom lighting systems.
  • 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

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.

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.

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 Program 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.

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.

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 Program 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.

Northern Illinois University - Dekalb, IL

Northern Illinois University, 1425 W. Lincoln Hwy., Dekalb, IL 60115-2825. Northern Illinois University is a large university located in Dekalb, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 24,397 students and an admission rate of 58%. Northern Illinois University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated thirty-four and four students respectively in 2008.

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.

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: Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois photo by James Jordan

Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.