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

Des Moines, Iowa provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for technical directors. There are currently 540 working technical directors in Iowa; this should grow 12% to about 600 working technical directors in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for technical directors, which sees this job pool growing by about 9.8% over the next eight years. In general, technical directors coordinate activities of technical departments, such as taping, editing, and maintenance, to produce radio or television programs.

Technical directors earn approximately $22 per hour or $45,840 per year on average in Iowa. Nationally they average about $30 per hour or $64,430 annually. Earnings for technical directors are the same as earnings in the general category of Theater, Film, and Television in Iowa and the same as general Theater, Film, and Television category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: production director, production supervisor, and program director.

The Des Moines area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Des Moines where you can get a degree as a technical director. Given that the most common education level for technical directors is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become a technical director if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Technical Director

In general, technical directors coordinate activities of technical departments, such as taping, editing, and maintenance, to produce radio or television programs.

Technical directors act as liaisons between engineering and production departments. They also monitor broadcasts to insure that programs conform to station or network policies and regulations. Equally important, technical directors have to supervise and assign duties to staff working on technical control and production of radio and television programs. They are often called upon to operate apparatus to produce programs or broadcast live programs from remote locations. They are expected to train staff in use of equipment such as switchers and lights. Finally, technical directors test apparatus to insure proper operation.

Every day, technical directors are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for technical directors to talk with operations directors to formulate and maintain fair and attainable technical policies for programs. They are often called upon to schedule use of studio and editing facilities for producers and engineering and maintenance staff. They also switch between video sources in a studio or on multi-camera remotes, using equipment such as switchers, video slide projectors, and video effects generators. They are sometimes expected to direct technical aspects of newscasts and other productions, checking and switching between video sources, and taking responsibility for the on-air product, including camera shots and graphics. Somewhat less frequently, technical directors are also expected to follow instructions from production managers and directors during productions, such as commands for camera cuts and takes.

and prepare and execute video transitions and special effects such as fades and supers, using computers to manipulate pictures as needed. And finally, they sometimes have to train staff in use of equipment such as switchers and lights.

Like many other jobs, technical directors must be reliable and want to innovate to meet new challenges.

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.
  • 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.
  • Program Director. Direct and coordinate activities of personnel engaged in preparation of radio or television station program schedules and programs.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Technical 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 Technical 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.