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If you're dreaming of a career in Hollywood, here’s where the jobs are

Key Points
  • Hollywood's most in-demand jobs are producers, directors, audio and video technicians, and film and video editors in the next four years.
  • A new report found that the top 14 most in-demand entertainment industry jobs in the L.A. basin are middle-skill professions that don't necessarily require a four-year college degree.
  • Developing the necessary talent pool locally helps to stymie the loss of entertainment jobs to other locales that Los Angeles has been struggling with in the last decade.
Rich Polk | Getty Images

Want a career in entertainment? Turns out Hollywood needs quite a few producers, directors, audio and video technicians, and film and video editors in the next four years. Those are the most in-demand entertainment industry jobs in the Los Angeles basin in the foreseeable future, according to a new Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation analysis of Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics data published Friday.

The report, which was sponsored by the Center for a Competitive Workforce, found that the top 14 most in-demand entertainment industry jobs in the L.A. basin over the next four years are middle-skill professions that don't necessarily require a four-year college degree.

The L.A. basin, which has the highest concentration of entertainment jobs in the U.S., includes L.A. and Orange counties. "Entertainment industry" encompasses the motion picture and sound recording, broadcasting (excluding the internet), and performing arts and spectator sports industries.

Top 14 in-demand entertainment industry jobs

Occupational Group New Jobs Replacement Jobs Total Job Openings 2016 Jobs LA Median Hourly Wage OC Median Hourly Wage
Producers and Directors-660"3,560""2,910""23,000"$52.68 $32.07
Audio and Video Technicians480,720"1,200""10,710"$24.90 $22.56
Film and Video Editors500,570"1,070""12,590"$45.92 $14.56
"Production Planning and Expediting Clerks"220,430,650"23,110"$21.85 $24.44
Fashion Designers370,240,610"5,270"$33.43 $28.70
"Camera Operators TV Video and Motion Picture"220,290,510"6,370"$31.43 $19.02
Advertising Sales Agents110,310,420"9,110"$30.79 $29.49
"Makeup Artists Theatrical and Performance"330,70,390"1,720"$37.09 N/A
Multimedia Artists and Animators-100,480,380"6,490"$38.36 $30.64
Photographers100,160,260"3,690"$28.17 $23.85
"Hairdressers Hairstylists and Cosmetologists"150,90,240"10,080"$11.51 $11.04
Sound Engineering Technicians-190,380,200"4,040"$28.97 $32.66
Public Address System and Other Announcers70,60,130,550$15.68 $11.99
Radio and Television Announcers-40,150,110"1,040"$22.85 $19.46

Most job growth in the entertainment industry is a result of replacement jobs — openings created due to regular turnover or retirement.

These middle-skill jobs are "a pathway for people to obtain a good paying job in a region with a high cost-of-living without having to go down a time-intensive and costly road of a four-year degree," said LAEDC economist Shannon Sedgwick.

LAEDC is working with local community colleges to ensure they have programs that can train workers for these jobs.

Developing the necessary talent pool locally helps to stymie the loss of entertainment jobs to other locales that Los Angeles has been struggling with in the last decade. Other cities in the U.S. and abroad — such as Atlanta, New Orleans, Chicago, Pittsburgh, New York, Toronto and Vancouver — have lured film and TV crews away from Los Angeles with generous tax incentives.

The national share of motion picture and sound recording jobs in L.A. declined from 35.2 percent to 34.3 percent from 2006 to 2016, according to the report. The national share of artists, writers, and performers in L.A. declined from 24.2 percent to 23.7 percent during that time.

L.A. still has the highest concentration of entertainment industry employment, with 220,860 payroll jobs. About 150,370 are employed in the motion picture and sound recording industries.

L.A.'s longtime biggest competitor, New York, employs about 39,700 in motion picture, video production and post-production services, according to the New York Empire State Development Corporation.

A vibrant local talent pool makes Los Angeles a more attractive place to base a production, Sedgwick said.

It's even more imperative to foster local talent now that a growing proportion of jobs are in digital media, which aren't as tied to a specific location the way traditional entertainment productions are, Sedgwick said. "If we don't have the proper labor supply we will be at a higher risk of losing the more mobile digital media industries."

The L.A. basin's entertainment industry is expected to add just a net total of 490 jobs in the next four years. That's because growth in the motion picture, sound recording, performing arts and spectator sports industries will be offset by job losses in broadcasting. Of the 26,970 total job openings projected over the next four years, 26,480 are replacement workers.

Entertainment industry outlook

Industry Group 2016 Jobs 2016 - 2021 Net Job Change 2016 - 2021 Growth Rate
Motion Picture & Sound Recording"150,370""2,290"1.50%
Broadcasting (except Internet)"22,460""-2,740"-12.20%
Performing Arts & Spectator Sports"48,020"920,1.90%

However, entertainment jobs showed significant growth between 2010 and 2016, to the tune of 36,130 jobs, or over 19 percent. Much of that was driven by an increase in the number of promoters, agents and managers, amounting to 36,000 more jobs — a growth rate of over 164 percent. Cable and subscription programming jobs decreased by over 21 percent during the period. In comparison, total payroll employment in the L.A. basin across all industries grew by 4 percent in the same period.

Entertainment Industry chart 180208