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Careers in Digital Media Production

Digital media production involves developing, creating and editing videos that use computer-based or digital means of recording rather than traditional analog methods that use film. Numerous careers exist within the field of digital media production, including creative, management and technical positions. Each job title in the digital media production industry has its own educational requirements and salary expectations.

Multimedia Artists

Multimedia artists use computers to make the pictures for animated videos used in films and on television and Internet websites. Artists typically work for production companies, though some are freelance workers who are self-employed and may work for numerous employers. Sometimes called animators, multimedia artists refer to other artists' storyboards or still images that tell a story when creating their work. Multimedia artists typically need a minimum of a bachelor's degree to work in the field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that the demand for workers in the field will increase by 14 percent from 2008 through 2018, but cautions that competition for these jobs will likely be high. As of May 2009, multimedia artists averaged annual salaries of $62,810, according to BLS.

Producers

Producers serve as the head business managers for a digital media production. Often investing some of their own money into a project, producers make the final decisions concerning the look and sound of the project. The producer also establishes a budget for the project and obtains loans or other investors as necessary to finance it. During the course of the project, producers monitor its progress according to time schedules and the budgetary constraints governing it. Although no specific educational requirements exist for producers, knowledge of the business is typically beneficial. Many producers begin in other fields in the arts, such as acting or musical performance. The average annual salary earned by producers was $86,870 as of May 2009, explains BLS.

Sound Engineers

Sound engineers use technical equipment to create the audio tracks used in digital media. During the recording phase, engineers utilize microphones to capture sound, such as the voices of actors and actresses or the music made by live performers. Engineers ensure that the sound recorded is of high quality and may request additional recordings when necessary. After recording, mixing technicians combine all of the sounds that will appear in a project, such as the musical soundtrack, the characters' voices and sound effects. Most sound engineers specialize in either recording or mixing, though for small digital media productions, technicians may perform both. Post-secondary education is necessary for sound engineers; a one-year vocational certificate or diploma is the minimum requirement, though some employers prefer technicians with associate degrees. As of May 2009, sound engineers averaged salaries of $53,940 per year, reports BLS.

Video Editors

Video editors take all of the footage for a digital media production and combine them into their correct sequence. Editors may shorten scenes or eliminate them completely under the direction of the producer. To complete their work, editors use computer equipment and watch footage on monitors. Educational requirements vary among employers, but typically post-secondary training in digital media production or a related field is necessary to work as an editor. The average salary earned by video editors as of May 2009 was $63,680, according to BLS.



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