Considering what kind of degree to apply for, especially as a creative individual, can be a stressful process.
There’s a lot to think about when taking the first step on your future career path, including work-life balance, progression, and overall satisfaction.
One of the biggest concerns for prospective students committing to a creative degree, however, is money.
If you have an eye for detail, a flair for the visual arts, and are fascinated by the magic of the silver screen, you could be well-suited to a film degree!
However, careers in film have a reputation for being difficult to establish as well as financially unstable.
Today, we’ll be discussing where exactly the money is in a film degree and how to make it.
How Do Film Degrees Make Money?
There are several different ways to make money from completing a film degree.
Many people mistakenly believe that the only viable path following a degree in film studies is a directorial career, but that’s not the case at all!
There are plenty of career paths that can stem from majoring in film, and some of them are even quite lucrative!
Of course, you can make a career as a film director after you complete your degree in film. As a director, you would receive a percentage of profits made from the movie.
Depending on how successful the film is, this could come to anywhere up to $2 million per film. Of course, this is a best-case scenario, and the majority of film directors don’t make this kind of money.
In fact, the average salary for a film director is closer to $70,000.
So, becoming the next Quentin Tarantino or Patty Jenkins may be a long shot.
However, a film degree will also open doors to other positions in the film and television industry with far more stable and predictable career prospects.
For instance, a film degree could lead directly to a career in editing, production design, production coordination, video production, camera operation, location management, or research.
If your degree includes modules on special effects, you could put that knowledge to good use as a special effects technician.
More career options for film majors that aren’t directly linked to the degree but would tie in nicely with the course material from your film major include concept artistry, event management, advertising, or public relations.
To break into a career in any of these areas of film, the first step is to complete your degree.
Then, you can enhance your chances of having your work by supporting local film events and festivals, applying to internships, and proactively sending a creative portfolio of your work to prospective employers.
Keeping yourself up to date on up-and-coming events, companies, and productions is the best way to stay in the game, so keep your ear to the ground!
How Much Money Do Film Majors Make?
The ballpark figure estimate for how much money film majors make will depend on the specific career path pursued post-degree.
On average, however, a film major with a Bachelor’s degree in Film Production makes a median salary of $73,834 to $79,758. This is lower than the average salary for American workers, which is roughly $94,700.
Again, however, it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that it is possible to build a financially successful career by majoring in film. As we mentioned earlier, the most successful film directors can make several million dollars per project.
Even on a more modest scale of success, top earners in film and video editing can earn up to $104,000 per year.
We should also stress that making a lot of money isn’t the be-all-end-all for everybody. Of course, financial stability and job security are important.
It goes without saying that you will need to be able to pay your bills, either through your career in film alone or with the help of a second job.
However, if working in a field that satisfies you creatively and emotionally means more to you than the monetary gain, and you have a plan moving forward, then go for it!
Ultimately, studying for a degree in film is a path with a great deal of potential. However, getting to the top of the potential pay bracket in a film-based career takes a lot of hard work, creative vision.
Given the number of talented, creative professionals in the film industry, breaking out onto the scene also involves a fair amount of knowing the right people and being in the right place at the right time.
The crucial takeaway from this article, however, is that it’s definitely possible to make a decent living with a degree in film.
It may not be easy, and the chances of astronomical financial success may be very slim, but you’ll get to enjoy a rewarding, fulfilling, and exciting career in exchange.