Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.

Career and Education Opportunities for Directors in Madison, Wisconsin

If you want to be a director, the Madison, Wisconsin area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 1,150 people are currently employed as directors in Wisconsin. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 5% to 1,210 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for directors, which sees this job pool growing by about 9.8% over the next eight years. In general, directors interpret script, conduct rehearsals, and direct activities of cast and technical crew for stage, motion pictures, or radio programs.

The income of a director is about $22 per hour or $46,470 annually on average in Wisconsin. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $30 hourly or $64,430 annually on average. Directors earn the same as people working in the category of Theater, Film, and Television generally in Wisconsin and the same as people in the Theater, Film, and Television category nationally. People working as directors can fill a number of jobs, such as: program coordinator, drama director, and television newscast director.

The Madison area is home to thirteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Madison where you can get a degree as a director. Given that the most common education level for directors is a Bachelor's degree, it will take about four years to learn to be a director if you already have a high school diploma.


In general, directors interpret script, conduct rehearsals, and direct activities of cast and technical crew for stage, motion pictures, or radio programs.

Directors supervise and direct the work of camera and sound crewmembers. They also formulate details such as framing and actor movement for each shot or scene. Finally, directors talk with technical directors and writers to consider specifics of production, such as photography and costumes.

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

It is important for directors to cut and edit film or tape to integrate component parts into desired sequences. They are often called upon to study and research scripts to establish how they should be directed. They also direct live broadcasts, films and recordings, or non-broadcast programming for public entertainment or education. They are sometimes expected to identify and approve equipment and elements required for productions, such as scenery and music. Somewhat less frequently, directors are also expected to hold auditions for parts or negotiate contracts with actors determined suitable for specific roles, working in conjunction with producers.

Directors sometimes are asked to collaborate with film and sound editors during the post-production process as films are edited and soundtracks are added. They also have to be able to compile scripts and other material pertaining to productions and decide on plays or scripts for production, and decide on how material should be interpreted and performed. And finally, they sometimes have to decide on plays or scripts for production, and decide on how material should be interpreted and performed.

Like many other jobs, directors must be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Madison 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.
  • Art Director. Formulate design concepts and presentation approaches, and direct workers engaged in art work, layout design, and copy writing for visual communications media, such as magazines, books, and packaging.
  • Artistic Director. Audition and interview performers to select most appropriate talent for parts in stage, television, or motion picture productions.
  • Choreographer. Create and teach dance. May direct and stage presentations.
  • Graphic Designer. Design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos. May use a variety of mediums to achieve artistic or decorative effects.
  • Musician. Play one or more musical instruments in recital, in accompaniment, or as members of an orchestra, band, or other musical group.
  • 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.
  • Set and Exhibit Designer. Design special exhibits and movie, television, and theater sets. May study scripts, confer with directors, and conduct research to determine appropriate architectural styles.
  • Technical Director. Coordinate activities of technical departments, such as taping, editing, and maintenance, to produce radio or television programs.


University of Wisconsin-Madison - Madison, WI

University of Wisconsin-Madison, 500 Lincoln Dr, Madison, WI 53706-1380. University of Wisconsin-Madison is a large university located in Madison, Wisconsin. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 41,581 students and an admission rate of 63%. University of Wisconsin-Madison has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated five, six, and three students respectively 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.


Madison, Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin photo by Dori

Madison is situated in Dane County, Wisconsin. It has a population of over 231,916, which has grown by 11.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Madison, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Madison are valued at $243,800 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, one hundred forty-eight new homes were constructed in Madison, down from three hundred seventy-four the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Madison are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 48.2% of Madison residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 20.9%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Madison is 5.2%, which is less than Wisconsin's average of 7.7%.

The percentage of Madison residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.5%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Gates of Heaven Synagogue, Abundant Life Church and Grace Episcopal Church are some of the churches located in Madison. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Madison is home to the Allen Centennial Gardens and the Annie C Stewart Memorial Fountain as well as Bordner Park and Brigham Park. Shopping centers in the area include Brookwood Village Shopping Center, Whitney Square Shopping Center and Walnut Grove Shopping Center. Visitors to Madison can choose from Comfort Inn Madison, Howard Johnson-Plaza Hotel and Country Inn Sts Madison for temporary stays in the area.