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Career and Education Opportunities for Program Directors in Billings, Montana

If you want to be a program director, the Billings, Montana area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 190 working program directors in Montana; this should grow by 18% to 230 working program directors in the state 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. Program directors generally direct and coordinate activities of personnel engaged in preparation of radio or television station program schedules and programs.

The income of a program director is about $17 per hour or $36,050 per year on average in Montana. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $30 hourly or $64,430 yearly on average. Program directors earn the same as people working in the category of Theater, Film, and Television generally in Montana and the same as people in the Theater, Film, and Television category nationally. Program directors work in a variety of jobs, including: operations director, news producer, and programming director.

There are four schools of higher education in the Billings area, including two within twenty-five miles of Billings 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.


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 Billings 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.
  • 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.


Rocky Mountain College - Billings, MT

Rocky Mountain College, 1511 Poly Drive, Billings, MT 59102-1796. Rocky Mountain College is a small college located in Billings, Montana. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 872 students and an admission rate of 68%. Rocky Mountain College has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated one student in 2008.

Montana State University-Billings - Billings, MT

Montana State University-Billings, 1500 University Drive, Billings, MT 59101-0298. Montana State University-Billings is a small university located in Billings, Montana. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,598 students and an admission rate of 100%. Montana State University-Billings has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated three students in 2008.


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.


Billings, Montana
Billings, Montana photo by Pruhter

Billings is situated in Yellowstone County, Montana. It has a population of over 103,994, which has grown by 15.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Billings, 88, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Billings are valued at $132,200 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred nineteen new homes were built in Billings, down from six hundred four the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Billings are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 16 minutes. More than 28.5% of Billings residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Billings is 4.4%, which is less than Montana's average of 5.8%.

The percentage of Billings residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.6%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Billings is home to the Twin Pines Ranch and the Hilands Golf Club as well as Cobb Field and Pioneer Park. Visitors to Billings can choose from Western Executive Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Big 5 Motel for temporary stays in the area.