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Career and Education Opportunities for Technical Directors in Detroit, Michigan

Technical directors can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Detroit, Michigan area. There are currently 1,820 working technical directors in Michigan; this should grow 9% to 1,990 working technical directors in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for technical directors, which sees this job pool growing by about 9.8% over the next eight years. Technical directors generally coordinate activities of technical departments, such as taping, editing, and maintenance, to produce radio or television programs.

Technical directors earn approximately $27 hourly or $57,000 annually on average in Michigan. Nationally they average about $30 hourly or $64,430 yearly. Earnings for technical directors are the same as earnings in the general category of Theater, Film, and Television in Michigan and the same as general Theater, Film, and Television category earnings nationally. People working as technical directors can fill a number of jobs, such as: station manager, director, and producer.

There are seven schools within twenty-five miles of Detroit where you can study to be a technical director, among seventy-three schools of higher education total in the Detroit area. The most common level of education 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 Detroit 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.
  • 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.
  • Sound Engineer. Operate machines and equipment to record, synchronize, or reproduce music, voices, or sound effects in sporting arenas, theater productions, or movie and video productions.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Technical Director Training

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor - Ann Arbor, MI

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, , Ann Arbor, MI 48109. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor is a large university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 40,618 students and an admission rate of 42%. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor has 2 areas of study related to Technical Director. They are:

  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Film/Cinema Studies, bachelor's degree and post-master's certificate which graduated ten and two students respectively in 2008.

Wayne State University - Detroit, MI

Wayne State University, 656 West Kirby Street, Detroit, MI 48202. Wayne State University is a large university located in Detroit, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 31,025 students and an admission rate of 79%. Wayne State University has 3 areas of study related to Technical Director. They are:

  • Radio and Television, bachelor's degree which graduated 31 students in 2008.
  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated twenty-six and sixteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Film/Cinema Studies, bachelor's degree which graduated 11 students in 2008.

Eastern Michigan University - Ypsilanti, MI

Eastern Michigan University, , Ypsilanti, MI 48197. Eastern Michigan University is a large university located in Ypsilanti, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 22,137 students and an admission rate of 75%. Eastern Michigan University has 3 areas of study related to Technical Director. They are:

  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated four and seven students respectively in 2008.
  • Theatre/Theatre Arts Management, master's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Film/Cinema Studies, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

Lawton School - Southfield, MI

Lawton School, 20755 Greenfield Suite 300, Southfield, MI 48075. Lawton School is a small school located in Southfield, Michigan. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 61 students. Lawton School has a less than one year program in Radio and Television which graduated three students in 2008.

Oakland Community College - Bloomfield Hills, MI

Oakland Community College, 2480 Opdyke Rd, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304-2266. Oakland Community College is a large college located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,957 students. Oakland Community College has an associate's degree program in Dramatic/Theatre Arts and Stagecraft, Other Specialties which graduated one student in 2008.

Concordia University-Ann Arbor - Ann Arbor, MI

Concordia University-Ann Arbor, 4090 Geddes Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105. Concordia University-Ann Arbor is a small university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 872 students and an admission rate of 63%. Concordia University-Ann Arbor has a bachelor's degree program in Theatre/Theatre Arts Management.

University of Detroit Mercy - Detroit, MI

University of Detroit Mercy, 4001 W McNichols Rd, Detroit, MI 48221-3038. University of Detroit Mercy is a medium sized university located in Detroit, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,725 students and an admission rate of 64%. University of Detroit Mercy has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts 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: Detroit, Michigan

Detroit, Michigan
Detroit, Michigan photo by Durova

Detroit is located in Wayne County, Michigan. It has a population of over 912,062, which has shrunk by 4.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Detroit, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Detroit are priced at $108,900 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, eighty-five new homes were built in Detroit, down from one hundred fifty-four the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Detroit are health care, educational services, and transportation equipment. For men, it is transportation equipment, construction, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 28 minutes. More than 11.0% of Detroit residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.2%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Detroit is 27.0%, which is greater than Michigan's average of 14.3%.

The percentage of Detroit residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.7%, is less than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Detroit is home to the Memorial Park Marina and the Detroit Golf Club as well as Chene Park and Mallett Playground. Visitors to Detroit can choose from Corktown Inn, Clark's Motel and Days Inn of Downtown Detroit for temporary stays in the area.