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Career and Education Opportunities for Program Directors in Des Moines, Iowa

For those living in the Des Moines, Iowa area, there are many career and education opportunities for program directors. Currently, 540 people work as program directors in Iowa. This is expected to grow 12% to 600 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for program directors, which sees this job pool growing by about 9.8% over the next eight years. 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 $22 per hour or $45,840 yearly on average in Iowa. Nationally they average about $30 per hour or $64,430 per year. Program directors earn the same as people working in the category of Theater, Film, and Television generally in Iowa and the same as people in the Theater, Film, and Television category nationally. People working as program directors can fill a number of jobs, such as: newscast director, sports director, and news director.

There are fifteen schools of higher education in the Des Moines area, including four within twenty-five miles of Des Moines 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, it will take a short time to learn to be 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 Des Moines 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

Central College - Pella, IA

Central College, 812 University, Pella, IA 50219. Central College is a small college located in Pella, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,558 students and an admission rate of 77%. Central College has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated one student in 2008.

Drake University - Des Moines, IA

Drake University, 2507 University Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50311-4505. Drake University is a medium sized university located in Des Moines, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,753 students and an admission rate of 69%. Drake University has 3 areas of study related to Program Director. They are:

  • Radio and Television, bachelor's degree which graduated 7 students in 2008.
  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, bachelor's degree which graduated 9 students in 2008.
  • Dramatic/Theatre Arts and Stagecraft, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.

Simpson College - Indianola, IA

Simpson College, 701 North C St, Indianola, IA 50125. Simpson College is a small college located in Indianola, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,052 students and an admission rate of 88%. Simpson College has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated one student in 2008.

Grand View University - Des Moines, IA

Grand View University, 1200 Grandview Ave, Des Moines, IA 50316. Grand View University is a small university located in Des Moines, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,936 students and an admission rate of 95%. Grand View University has a bachelor's degree program in Directing and Theatrical Production which graduated one student 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: Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa photo by BinaryBoyXP

Des Moines is located in Polk County, Iowa. It has a population of over 197,052, which has shrunk by 0.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Des Moines, 79, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Des Moines cost $175,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred sixty-five new homes were built in Des Moines, down from three hundred nine the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Des Moines are finance and insurance, health care, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 21.8% of Des Moines residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Des Moines is 7.1%, which is greater than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Des Moines residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Epworth United Methodist Church, Union Park Baptist Church and Seventh Day Adventist Church are all churches located in Des Moines. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Des Moines is home to the Activities Center and the Blank Park Zoo as well as M L King Park and Des Moines Botanical Garden. Shopping centers in the area include Merle Hay Mall, Des Moines Park Fair Mall and Southridge Mall. Visitors to Des Moines can choose from Palace Inn, Holiday Inn Express Des Moines and Casa Bella Motel for temporary stays in the area.