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Career and Education Opportunities for Program Directors in Madison, Wisconsin

Program director career and educational opportunities abound in Madison, Wisconsin. There are currently 1,150 working program directors in Wisconsin; this should grow by 5% to about 1,210 working program directors in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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.

Income for program directors is about $22 per hour or $46,470 annually on average in Wisconsin. Nationally, their income is about $30 per hour or $64,430 per year. Earnings for program directors are the same as earnings in the general category of Theater, Film, and Television in Wisconsin and the same as general Theater, Film, and Television category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: educational programming director, director, and production director.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Madison where you can study to be a program director, among thirteen schools of higher education total in the Madison area. Program directors usually hold some college courses, so you can expect to spend a short time studying 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


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.