Which jobs pay the best in the film industry? Talent agents, art directors, animators and construction managers round out the top four highest paying jobs in the film industry. Each of these jobs has a specific role and requires an exact set of skills in order to be successful.
What does a talent agent actually do anyway? Agents find scripts for their actor or director clients to read. They shop around their clients’ headshots, film reels, and original scripts to studios and independent production companies across the country. They negotiate salaries and complicated profit-sharing deals with movie studios. You name it, a talent agent handles it. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the annual mean salary for a talent agent was $178,340.
According to How Stuff Works, art directors have to be both effective managers and creative artists, bringing a fictional world to life within the constraints of the film’s budget. Because the job requires such highly specialized skills, there are only 1,870 art directors working in the entire film and video industry. But since quality art directors are in such high demand, they command a mean annual salary of $125,010.
As more movies are being digitally enhanced, animators are in high demand. Animators are the virtual puppeteers who bring a character’s emotions and dialogue to life frame by meticulous frame.The annual mean salary for multimedia artists and animators in the film and video industry was $72,380 in 2015 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Shooting a big-budget movie is like building an entire world from the ground up. According to Skillset.org, inside massive studio soundstages, teams of set builders, carpenters, riggers, plasterers, painters, and even plumbers work long hours to construct exteriors and interiors of buildings and homes. They also build the stages and structures needed for special effects shots involving live actors. The construction manager oversees this huge crew of unionized labor. A construction manager typically brings in around $60,000 a year for all of that work.
While the highest paying jobs in the film industry may not always be the most glamorous, they still prove to be lucrative.