Spending time in a production assistant role has long been a rite of passage for many who want to make it in the film industry. But what exactly is a production assistant (PA)? And much does a PA make?
This guide will explore what production assistants do and how they can make it in the film industry.
HOW MUCH DOES A PA MAKE
How Much Does A PA Make?
Being a production assistant can be an exciting, rewarding career choice for many people.
However, it’s important to know how much you could make in this position before making the decision to pursue it.
It is also helpful to know what tasks are involved in being a PA and what qualities one should have if they want to succeed in this role.
The average salary of a PA ranges from $30k-$50k per year but salaries can go as high as $80-90k depending on where you live and the production that hires you.
The demand for production assistants has grown over the years as people are increasingly looking to hire someone who can help them with their daily tasks and responsibilities.
production assistant positions offer a number of benefits that make them an attractive opportunity for those seeking work, including flexible hours, the ability to work from home or on the go, and being able to take on tasks such as errands or shopping while still receiving payment.
How Much Do Production Assistants (PAs) Make?
You’ve seen production assistants on your favorite TV show, but how much do they really make?
If you’re looking for a job as a Production Assistant, you’ll need to know the salary range before starting your search.
You can expect to find positions in all industries and at various levels of responsibility. These are some general guidelines when it comes to average salaries:
The national average is $35k per year with an annual cost of living increase of around 2%. The top 10% made more than $77k last year.
How Much Does a PA Make in Film Production?
If you are producing and directing an indie movie then you will certainly be dealing with the cost of hiring PAs in addition to other crew members and actors.
Production Assistant (PAs) are a crucial part of any film production. Nearly every day, they’re managing schedules, emailing and meeting with clients, taking care of behind-the-scenes details like travel arrangements, or picking up lunch for the crew.
But how much do production assistants make in the film industry?
According to research done by Glassdoor, the average annual salary is $50K.
The top 10% of PAs earn over $90K per year and the bottom 25% only make an average of $32K annually.
So, how much does a PA make in film production? Well, that depends on how many PAs there are on your crew and also, how long your movie is going to be.
For example, if it is only two or three PAs, then the pay will probably be less because they do not have to divide their time between so many PAs.
Production Assistant – Dos & Donts
There are two ways of dividing a PAs time between them. The first way is by giving each PAs their own time off when they are doing a small task like running out of space in the schedule or taking a day off sick.
The other method is to set up a system where PAs are paid for each film they work on and the PAs schedule their time based on how many films they are working on at any given time.
This means that each PAs has a set amount of time they need to get done before heading back to the office.
This helps keep them on task since they know exactly what they have to do in order to make that certain film by a certain date.
The amount of time PAs are paid for is partly dependent on the size of the crew they are working with.
If the crew consists of around twenty people, then PAs can expect to make between eight and twelve dollars an hour for their time.
The number increases slightly if the crew is bigger and it goes up again if it is a big crew working on special effects or something that requires more time on set.
Production Assistant (PA) – What Can You Earn?
On a crew of fifty, however, the salary for a PA would be about twenty-five dollars an hour. The higher the number of cameras being used and the longer the shoot, the higher the salary gets.
On the larger films, the PAs and crew may also be paid by the film company as a whole instead of just the PA.
This can mean the company is paying for food, housing, internet access, and even health insurance for the crew. In smaller films, this isn’t the case, but it can happen sometimes.
Most companies prefer to pay their PAs by the hour, but it’s still important to understand how much you will be paid for the time you put into your career.
On a movie set, most of the crew members know each other. They hang out at the same restaurants, watch the same sports and drive in the same cars. There is a kind of brotherhood amongst the PAs in a movie crew.
That’s not to say that the crew doesn’t have personalities of their own – they usually do – but there is a group that works together and bonds. That bond could become very valuable if something was to go wrong on a movie set. The crew on a movie set will usually live off the set salaries.
After all, they are not on location performing their everyday job, they are working on a film and that’s what they are paid to do. But some PAs make more than others.
Production Assistant Pointers
The skill of experienced PAs can bring them extra money on top of their filming salaries, but they must know the ins and outs of the film industry and have experience working with directors, executives, and producers.
People who have already worked on a film set can usually take care of themselves. However, those without any real experience may want to consider taking a PAs course so that they can learn the ropes and have some idea about the business side of things.
They will have to complete a certification course, usually from an area school or trade school, in order to show potential employers that they have what it takes to be successful in film production.
The PAs salary on top of the base salary that the crew earns is not the only consideration that an employer considers.
Experience is just as important as knowing when it comes to being a PAs. They will be up against some pretty advanced film crew members, who are probably more experienced than they are.
That is why the crew on the top films make the most money – because they know the ins and outs of the business, they have developed a good relationship with directors and producers, and they have learned how to earn more money than most people who try to get into the industry on their own.
Production Assistant Salaries
production assistants can make a decent salary of $39,000 per year and are highly sought after.
They have the ability to take on many different tasks that require skills in communication, organization, and time management.
production assistants are often required to manage calendars as well as schedule meetings for their bosses.
Salaries for production assistants are on the rise, with a projected increase of 6% to $41,000 in 2021. Production assistant salaries vary by location and company size.
For example, the average salary for a production assistant at Google is $138,000, while the average salary at an advertising agency is only $48,000.