Production assistant salary

Production assistant salary DEFAULT

CAPS Payroll's Average Production Assistant Salary

+$26K (60%) more than national average Production Assistant salary ($30K)

+$2K (3%) more than average CAPS Payroll salary ($54K)

Equal to average CAPS Payroll Production Assistant salary ($56K)

"No, not really. The pay is fair. But the hours can be a bit long on some days. Which can make you feel like you are being under paid."

Equal to average CAPS Payroll Production Assistant salary ($56K)

"No, the pay is great. The industry is great. The people are great. Good times."

NBCUniversal's Average Production Assistant Salary

+$1K (3%) more than national average Production Assistant salary ($30K)

-$29K (63%) less than average NBCUniversal salary ($60K)

+$15K (38%) more than average NBCUniversal Production Assistant salary ($31K)

"The freelancer salary at NBCUniversal rates higher than average compared to other companies. Many of the competitors in the area will start at $15 and hour. NBCUniversal Freelancers can range from $22-$26 an hour."

-$1K (3%) less than average NBCUniversal Production Assistant salary ($31K)

-$11K (43%) less than average NBCUniversal Production Assistant salary ($31K)

See 16 More NBCUniversal Production Assistant Salaries

NBC's Average Production Assistant Salary

+$1K (3%) more than national average Production Assistant salary ($30K)

-$29K (63%) less than average NBC salary ($60K)

-$6K (21%) less than average NBC Production Assistant salary ($31K)

"Poorly paid. Not enough to live comfortably on."

+$1K (3%) more than average NBC Production Assistant salary ($31K)

-$5K (17%) less than average NBC Production Assistant salary ($31K)

See 4 More NBC Production Assistant Salaries

Fox Sports' Average Production Assistant Salary

+$2K (6%) more than national average Production Assistant salary ($30K)

-$13K (33%) less than average Fox Sports salary ($45K)

+$8K (22%) more than average Fox Sports Production Assistant salary ($32K)

"I am being underpaid in the current position that I am in."

-$2K (6%) less than average Fox Sports Production Assistant salary ($32K)

-$8K (28%) less than average Fox Sports Production Assistant salary ($32K)

See 4 More Fox Sports Production Assistant Salaries

Nestlé's Average Production Assistant Salary

+$1K (3%) more than national average Production Assistant salary ($30K)

-$28K (62%) less than average Nestlé salary ($59K)

Equal to average Nestlé Production Assistant salary ($31K)

"I felt that I was underpaid for the education I received."

-$6K (21%) less than average Nestlé Production Assistant salary ($31K)

-$1K (3%) less than average Nestlé Production Assistant salary ($31K)

Fox News' Average Production Assistant Salary

-$3K (10%) less than national average Production Assistant salary ($30K)

-$28K (68%) less than average Fox News salary ($55K)

-$6K (25%) less than average Fox News Production Assistant salary ($27K)

"I feel like it is a pretty fair salary for an entry level position."

+$3K (10%) more than average Fox News Production Assistant salary ($27K)

+$3K (10%) more than average Fox News Production Assistant salary ($27K)

Arvest Bank's Average Production Assistant Salary

+$30K (66%) more than national average Production Assistant salary ($30K)

+$30K (66%) more than average Arvest Bank salary ($30K)

Equal to average Arvest Bank Production Assistant salary ($60K)

"I feel that with more that I can offer to my organization, the more the compensation should follow."

2K's Average Production Assistant Salary

+$20K (50%) more than national average Production Assistant salary ($30K)

+$10K (22%) more than average 2K salary ($40K)

Equal to average 2K Production Assistant salary ($50K)

"The compensation that 2K provides its employees is generous and well deserved. They pay well, and this is because they hire well. The interview process can be lengthy, and if you don't prove your worth you won't make it in. I believe that 2K pays its employees generously because they are proud of the people they employ, and this boosts moral."

JSP Visuals' Average Production Assistant Salary

+$10K (28%) more than national average Production Assistant salary ($30K)

Equal to average JSP Visuals salary ($40K)

Equal to average JSP Visuals Production Assistant salary ($40K)

"I was able to receive a more than satisfactory salary as the company deals with higher-end photography technology but also noteworthy clients.They include Benefit Makeup, Ubisoft, high-end models, etc."

Production Assistant Average Salary in United States 2021

How much money does a Production Assistant make in United States?

Average Yearly Salary


( 4,510 USD monthly)


A person working as a Production Assistant in United States typically earns around 54,200 USD per year. Salaries range from 25,500 USD (lowest) to 85,600 USD (highest).

This is the average yearly salary including housing, transport, and other benefits. Production Assistant salaries vary drastically based on experience, skills, gender, or location. Below you will find a detailed breakdown based on many different criteria.

Production Assistant Salary Distribution in United States

Median and salary distribution yearly United States Production Assistant
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The median, the maximum, the minimum, and the range

  • Salary Range

    Production Assistant salaries in United States range from 25,500 USD per year (minimum salary) to 85,600 USD per year (maximum salary).

  • Median Salary

    The median salary is 57,400 USD per year, which means that half (50%) of people working as Production Assistant(s) are earning less than 57,400 USD while the other half are earning more than 57,400 USD. The median represents the middle salary value. Generally speaking, you would want to be on the right side of the graph with the group earning more than the median salary.

  • Percentiles

    Closely related to the median are two values: the 25th and the 75th percentiles. Reading from the salary distribution diagram, 25% of Production Assistant(s) are earning less than 37,300 USD while 75% of them are earning more than 37,300 USD. Also from the diagram, 75% of Production Assistant(s) are earning less than 75,800 USD while 25% are earning more than 75,800 USD.

What is the difference between the median and the average salary?

Both are indicators. If your salary is higher than both of the average and the median then you are doing very well. If your salary is lower than both, then many people are earning more than you and there is plenty of room for improvement. If your wage is between the average and the median, then things can be a bit complicated. We wrote a guide to explain all about the different scenarios. How to compare your salary

Production Assistant Salary Comparison by Years of Experience

How does experience and age affect your pay?

Salary comparison by years of experience yearly United States Production Assistant
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The experience level is the most important factor in determining the salary. Naturally the more years of experience the higher your wage. We broke down Production Assistant salaries by experience level and this is what we found.

A Production Assistant with less than two years of experience makes approximately 29,400 USD per year.

While someone with an experience level between two and five years is expected to earn 40,500 USD per year, 38% more than someone with less than two year's experience.

Moving forward, an experience level between five and ten years lands a salary of 57,600 USD per year, 42% more than someone with two to five years of experience.

“On average, a person's salary doubles their starting salary by the time they cross the 10 years* experience mark. ”

Additionally, Production Assistant(s) whose expertise span anywhere between ten and fifteen years get a salary equivalent to 70,300 USD per year, 22% more than someone with five to ten years of experience.

If the experience level is between fifteen and twenty years, then the expected wage is 74,200 USD per year, 6% more than someone with ten to fifteen years of experience.

Lastly, employees with more than twenty years of professional experience get a salary of 80,800 USD per year, 9% more than people with fifteen to twenty years of experience.

Production Assistant average salary change by experience in United States

0 - 2 Years

29,400 USD

2 - 5 Years+38%

40,500 USD

5 - 10 Years+42%

57,600 USD

10 - 15 Years+22%

70,300 USD

15 - 20 Years+6%

74,200 USD

20+ Years+9%

80,800 USD

Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Typical Salary Progress for Most Careers

Salary Comparison By Experience Level
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Production Assistant Salary Comparison By Education

How do education levels affect salaries?

Displayed below is the average salary difference between different Production Assistant(s) who have the same experience but different education levels.

Salary comparison by education level yearly United States Production Assistant
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We all know that higher education equals a bigger salary, but how much more money can a degree add to your income? We broke down Production Assistant salaries by education level in order to make a comparison.

When the education level is High School, the average salary of a Production Assistant is 35,100 USD per year.

While someone with a Certificate or Diploma gets a salary of 53,100 USD per year, 51% more than someone having a High School degree.

A Bachelor's Degree gets its holder an average salary of 79,600 USD per year, 50% more than someone with a Certificate or Diploma.

Production Assistant average salary difference by education level in United States

High School

35,100 USD

Certificate or Diploma+51%

53,100 USD

Bachelor's Degree+50%

79,600 USD

Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Typical Salary Difference by Education for Most Careers

Salary Comparison By Education Level
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Production Assistant Salary Comparison By Gender

Salary comparison by gender yearly United States Production Assistant
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Though gender should not have an effect on pay, in reality, it does. So who gets paid more: men or women? Male Production Assistant employees in United States earn 6% more than their female counterparts on average.


55,700 USD


52,800 USD

Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Salary Comparison By Gender in United States for all Careers

Salary comparison by gender yearly United States
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Production Assistant Average Annual Salary Increment Percentage in United States

How much are annual salary increments in United States for Production Assistant(s)? How often do employees get salary raises?

Production Assistant

Production Assistant(s) in United States are likely to observe a salary increase of approximately 11% every 15 months. The national average annual increment for all professions combined is 8% granted to employees every 16 months.

Annual Salary Increment Rate United States Production Assistant
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The figures provided here are averages of numbers. Those figures should be taken as general guidelines. Salary increments will vary from person to person and depend on many factors, but your performance and contribution to the success of the organization remain the most important factors in determining how much and how often you will be granted a raise.

United States / All Professions

The term 'Annual Salary Increase' usually refers to the increase in 12 calendar month period, but because it is rarely that people get their salaries reviewed exactly on the one year mark, it is more meaningful to know the frequency and the rate at the time of the increase.

How to calculate the salary increment percentage?

The annual salary Increase in a calendar year (12 months) can be easily calculated as follows: Annual Salary Increase = Increase Rate x 12 ÷ Increase Frequency

“The average salary increase in one year (12 months) in United States is 6%.”

Annual Increment Rate By Industry 2020





Information Technology










Listed above are the average annual increase rates for each industry in United States for the year 2020. Companies within thriving industries tend to provide higher and more frequent raises. Exceptions do exist, but generally speaking, the situation of any company is closely related to the economic situation in the country or region. These figures tend to change frequently.

Worldwide Salary Raises: All Countries and All Jobs

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Production Assistant Bonus and Incentive Rates in United States

How much and how often are bonuses being awarded?Annual Salary Bonus Rate United States Production Assistant
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A Production Assistant is considered to be a moderate bonus-based job due to the generally limited involvement in direct revenue generation, with exceptions of course. The people who get the highest bonuses are usually somehow involved in the revenue generation cycle.

42% of surveyed staff reported that they haven't received any bonuses or incentives in the previous year while 58% said that they received at least one form of monetary bonus.

Those who got bonuses reported rates ranging from 2% to 7% of their annual salary.

Received Bonus


No Bonus


Types of Bonuses Considered

Individual Performance-Based Bonuses

The most standard form of bonus where the employee is awarded based on their exceptional performance.

Company Performance Bonuses

Occasionally, some companies like to celebrate excess earnings and profits with their staff collectively in the form of bonuses that are granted to everyone. The amount of the bonus will probably be different from person to person depending on their role within the organization.

Goal-Based Bonuses

Granted upon achieving an important goal or milestone.

Holiday / End of Year Bonuses

These types of bonuses are given without a reason and usually resemble an appreciation token.

Bonuses Are Not Commissions!

People tend to confuse bonuses with commissions. A commission is a prefixed rate at which someone gets paid for items sold or deals completed while a bonus is in most cases arbitrary and unplanned.

What makes a position worthy of good bonuses and a high salary?

The main two types of jobs

Revenue GeneratorsSupporting Cast

Employees that are directly involved in generating revenue or profit for the organization. Their field of expertise usually matches the type of business.

Employees that support and facilitate the work of revenue generators. Their expertise is usually different from that of the core business operations.

A graphics designer working for a graphics designing company.

A graphic designer in the marketing department of a hospital.

Revenue generators usually get more and higher bonuses, higher salaries, and more frequent salary increments. The reason is quite simple: it is easier to quantify your value to the company in monetary terms when you participate in revenue generation.

“Try to work for companies where your skills can generate revenue. We can't all generate revenue and that's perfectly fine.”

Bonus Comparison by Seniority Level

Top management personnel and senior employees naturally exhibit higher bonus rates and frequencies than juniors. This is very predictable due to the inherent responsibilities of being higher in the hierarchy. People in top positions can easily get double or triple bonus rates than employees down the pyramid.

Production Assistant Average Hourly Wage in United States

26USD per hour

The average hourly wage (pay per hour) in United States is 26 USD. This means that the average Production Assistant in United States earns approximately 26 USD for every worked hour.

Hourly Wage = Annual Salary ÷ ( 52 x 5 x 8 )

The hourly wage is the salary paid in one worked hour. Usually jobs are classified into two categories: salaried jobs and hourly jobs. Salaried jobs pay a fix amount regardless of the hours worked. Hourly jobs pay per worked hour. To convert salary into hourly wage the above formula is used (assuming 5 working days in a week and 8 working hours per day which is the standard for most jobs). The hourly wage calculation may differ slightly depending on the worked hours per week and the annual vacation allowance. The figures mentioned above are good approximations and are considered to be the standard. One major difference between salaried employees and hourly paid employees is overtime eligibility. Salaried employees are usually exempt from overtime as opposed to hourly paid staff.

Production Assistant VS Other Jobs

Salary Comparison Between Production Assistant and Media / Broadcasting / Arts / Entertainment yearly United States
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The average salary for Production Assistant is 38% less than that of Media / Broadcasting / Arts / Entertainment. Also, Media / Broadcasting / Arts / Entertainment salaries are 8% less than those of All Jobs.

Salary comparison with similar jobs

3D Artist86,000 USD+59%
3D Designer84,700 USD+56%
3D Generalist70,000 USD+29%
3D Visualization Specialist89,000 USD+64%
Acrobatic Rigger57,000 USD+5%
Actor115,000 USD+110%
Associate Media Director102,000 USD+88%
Associate Producer121,000 USD+120%
Broadcast Associate63,400 USD+17%
Broadcast News Analyst91,900 USD+70%
Broadcast Technician50,900 USD-6%
Broadcasting Journalist107,000 USD+98%
Broadcasting Presenter107,000 USD+98%
Camera Equipment Repairer61,100 USD+13%
Cartoonist / Animator81,500 USD+50%
CAS Engineer92,800 USD+71%
Censorship Executive100,000 USD+85%
Choreographer74,800 USD+38%
Colorist45,100 USD-17%
Communications Manager132,000 USD+140%
Correspondent100,000 USD+85%
Dance Director90,600 USD+67%
Dancer74,900 USD+38%
Director of Photography95,000 USD+75%
Disc Jockey58,300 USD+8%
Editorial Assistant46,900 USD-13%
Events Manager92,500 USD+71%
Graphic Designer63,000 USD+16%
Illustrator69,200 USD+28%
Instructional Designer55,900 USD+3%
Journalist110,000 USD+100%
Makeup Artist56,800 USD+5%
Media Design Manager150,000 USD+180%
Media Equipment Operator50,400 USD-7%
Media Operations Manager123,000 USD+130%
Media Producer110,000 USD+100%
Media Product Development Manager154,000 USD+180%
Media Program Director161,000 USD+200%
Media Relations Manager157,000 USD+190%
Media Sales Manager169,000 USD+210%
Movement and Dance Coordinator90,400 USD+67%
Multimedia Coordinator62,400 USD+15%
Multimedia Designer58,100 USD+7%
Music Consultant76,600 USD+41%
Musician65,600 USD+21%
News Associate78,100 USD+44%
News Reporter106,000 USD+96%
Producer141,000 USD+160%
Product Designer61,300 USD+13%
Production Artist76,600 USD+41%
Production Assistant54,200 USD+0%
Production Director128,000 USD+140%
Production Technician54,300 USD+0%
Program Researcher93,700 USD+73%
Promotion Coordinator71,800 USD+33%
Sound Engineer74,300 USD+37%
Stage Technician44,400 USD-18%
Sub Editor53,200 USD-2%
Television Executive Producer172,000 USD+220%
Transmission Engineer87,100 USD+61%
Video Editor65,800 USD+21%
Video Producer82,300 USD+52%
Videographer79,700 USD+47%
Visual Designer80,100 USD+48%

Salary Comparison By City

Atlanta49,400 USD
Austin62,000 USD
Baltimore53,100 USD
Boston54,700 USD
Bristol43,900 USD
Chicago61,300 USD
Cincinnati46,600 USD
Cleveland50,200 USD
Dallas59,400 USD
Denver55,700 USD
Detroit54,100 USD
Honolulu45,200 USD
Houston60,800 USD
Indianapolis55,600 USD
Iowa City45,300 USD
Jacksonville56,700 USD
Kansas City52,000 USD
Kent43,100 USD
Las Vegas55,800 USD
Long Beach49,900 USD
Los Angeles65,800 USD
Memphis55,800 USD
Miami51,400 USD
Minneapolis48,300 USD
New Orleans47,800 USD
New York62,400 USD
Oakland51,900 USD
Oklahoma City53,100 USD
Orlando46,000 USD
Philadelphia61,000 USD
Phoenix65,400 USD
Sacramento53,600 USD
San Antonio63,000 USD
San Diego60,000 USD
San Francisco58,500 USD
San Jose62,600 USD
Seattle58,600 USD
Tampa46,700 USD
Vancouver45,500 USD
Washington D.C.56,300 USD

Salary Comparison By State

Alabama54,700 USD
Alaska50,700 USD
Arizona58,000 USD
Arkansas51,500 USD
California62,500 USD
Colorado54,100 USD
Connecticut55,800 USD
Delaware49,800 USD
District of Columbia46,800 USD
Florida61,900 USD
Georgia58,400 USD
Hawaii53,000 USD
Idaho50,900 USD
Illinois57,700 USD
Indiana58,600 USD
Iowa52,000 USD
Kansas55,200 USD
Kentucky54,700 USD
Louisiana52,500 USD
Maine51,400 USD
Maryland55,700 USD
Massachusetts59,200 USD
Michigan59,000 USD
Minnesota53,500 USD
Mississippi53,600 USD
Missouri55,200 USD
Montana51,900 USD
Nebraska51,500 USD
Nevada50,400 USD
New Hampshire51,400 USD
New Jersey57,300 USD
New Mexico54,100 USD
New York60,700 USD
North Carolina56,700 USD
North Dakota49,200 USD
Ohio58,400 USD
Oklahoma56,400 USD
Oregon54,200 USD
Pennsylvania57,700 USD
Rhode Island50,300 USD
South Carolina54,100 USD
South Dakota51,300 USD
Tennessee57,400 USD
Texas58,700 USD
Utah53,100 USD
Vermont47,200 USD
Virginia60,900 USD
Washington58,000 USD
West Virginia49,400 USD
Wisconsin57,500 USD
Wyoming46,700 USD

Government vs Private Sector Salary Comparison

Where can you get paid more, working for a private company or for the government? Public sector employees in United States earn 5% more than their private sector counterparts on average across all sectors.

Private Sector

92,400 USD

Public Sector+5%

97,100 USD

Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

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How much does a Production Assistant make in the United States? The average Production Assistant salary in the United States is $32,797 as of September 27, 2021, but the range typically falls between $31,432 and $34,220. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession. With more online, real-time compensation data than any other website, helps you determine your exact pay target. 

SalarySalary + BonusBenefitsHow To Become

Based on HR-reported data: a national average with a geographic differential

Production Assistant Salaries by Percentile

Percentile Salary LocationLast Updated
10th Percentile Production Assistant Salary$30,189USSeptember 27, 2021
25th Percentile Production Assistant Salary$31,432USSeptember 27, 2021
50th Percentile Production Assistant Salary$32,797USSeptember 27, 2021
75th Percentile Production Assistant Salary$34,220USSeptember 27, 2021
90th Percentile Production Assistant Salary$35,517USSeptember 27, 2021

Change Search Criteria

Job Description for Production Assistant

Production Assistant is responsible for ensuring the production quality of all promotionals, commercials, and public service announcements. Coordinates and schedules all aspects of production to meet deadlines. Being a Production Assistant assists with set-up of equipment on production shoots and other control room duties. May operate equipment and peripheral systems used in video production including audio console and teleprompter. Additionally, Production Assistant may require an associate degree or its equivalent. Typically reports to a supervisor or manager. The Production Assistant works under moderate supervision. Gains or has attained full proficiency in a specific area of discipline. To be a Production Assistant typically requires 1-3 years of related experience, or may need 0 years of experience with additional specialized training and/or certification. (Copyright 2021 View full job description

Employers: Job Description Management Tool

See user submitted job responsibilities for Production Assistant.

Those that have already made the climb...

Julie Younglove-Webb, Chief Restaurant Operations Officer


Potbelly Corporation, through its subsidiaries, owns, operates, and franchises Potbelly Sandwich Works sandwich shops in the United States. The company offers toasty warm sandwiches, salads, soups, chili, sides, desserts, breakfast sandwiches, and steel cut oatmeal. As of February 25, 2019, the company operated approxi... More

Fiscal Year Ended in 2019

What does a Production Assistant do?

Production Assistant in Addison, IL

Supports a culture of safe production and operations.

February 25, 2021

Maintains appropriate files for tracking batch and lot records.

March 05, 2021

Designing, developing and implementing strategies, processes and systems to improve product and process quality.

May 15, 2021

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Production Assistant Pay Difference by Location

City, StateCompared to national average
City, StateSan Francisco, CACompared to national average
City, StateWashington, DCCompared to national average
City, StateMiami, FLCompared to national average
City, StateChicago, ILCompared to national average
City, StateBoston, MACompared to national average
City, StateNew York, NYCompared to national average
City, StateDallas, TXCompared to national average

Production Assistant Salary by State

Browse All Arts and Entertainment Jobs by Salary Level

Browse Related Job Categories With Production Assistant

Take just three simple steps below to generate your own personalized salary report

Step 1 of 3

Understand the total compensation opportunity for a Production Assistant, base salary plus other pay elements

Average Base Salary

Core compensation




Average Total Cash Compensation

Includes base and annual incentives




These charts show the average base salary (core compensation), as well as the average total cash compensation for the job of Production Assistant in the United States. The base salary for Production Assistant ranges from $31,432 to $34,220 with the average base salary of $32,797. The total cash compensation, which includes base, and annual incentives, can vary anywhere from $31,432 to $34,220 with the average total cash compensation of $32,797.

View the Cost of Living in Major Cities

Skills associated with Production Assistant: Media Production, Audio Mixing, Video Production, Audio Production...More

Recently searched related titles: Media Assistant, Multimedia Specialist, Assistant Production Manager

Salary estimation for Production Assistant at companies like : ARAMARK, HILTON WORLDWIDE HOLDINGS, POTBELLY CORP

Jobs with a similar salary range to Production Assistant : Part-Time Assembly, Production Associate, Photography Assistant, Assistant Deli Manager


Production Assistant

What's it like to be a Production Assistant?

A Production Assistant is responsible for supporting and coordinating the activities of a film or television production. They’re responsible for assisting with anything the crew needs, such as getting coffee, shuttling crew or equipment to and from locations, and making copies of scripts.

Production Assistant

Tasks and duties

  • Helping to prepare the set with lights, props and equipment.
  • Printing and distributing scripts, call sheets and other paperwork.
  • Undertake crowd control by directing pedestrians away from filming, locking down sets and putting up signs.
  • Acting as a runner for the cast and crew.
  • Answering phones, opening mail and relaying messages.
  • Running errands.
  • Escorting actors around the film set.
  • Coordinating extras.
  • Coordinating food services.
  • Supporting the costume designer, camera operators and other crew with their work.

Salary production assistant

Average Production Assistant Salary in Hong Kong

Avg. Base Salary (HKD)

The average salary for a Production Assistant is HK$159,360

HK$0 - HK$159k

What Do Production Assistants Do?

A production assistant performs many of the behind-the-scenes tasks essential in the creation and editing of content and footage. A production assistant handles the necessary administrative duties of the production process. First and foremost, they aid producers and directors in developing the nature of the content to be created. Next, they procure any personnel or equipment that would be necessary for production.

In many ongoing television productions, a production assistant is responsible …Read more

Production Assistant Tasks

  • Manage digital images, video and metadata for production team, including archiving and syncing.
  • Answer phones and other communication, update files and enter data.
  • Edit files when production teams cannot.

Gender Breakdown

This data is based on 1 survey responses. Learn more about the gender pay gap.

Common Health Benefits

A Day in the Life of a Production Assistant

The Truth about Being a Production Assistant: How Much Money Will I Make?

Locking up a door back in the day

Locking up a door doesn’t deserve a neurosurgeon’s salary

We all work to earn a living. For most of us that go into the film industry, we have career goals beyond that of simply paying our bills. Either we have those dreams, or we’re just stupid — otherwise, we would’ve found an easier avenue!

For the entry-level world of production assistants, the pay is meager compared to the union wages of your fellow crew members. But, as you will find, a lot of it will depend on what time of project you work on.

Day Rate vs Weekly Rate

For short-term gigs, PAs receive a day rate, with no overtime. For long-term jobs, you will still typically get a day rate, with overtime only kicking in after 14 hours. Occasionally, PAs get weekly rates, and you will get one set amount of money per week, regardless of whether you work a humane 60 hours or an inhumane 91.

man counting pennies


Music Video Rates for Production Assistants

There’s no set rule to music video rates; it will depend on how cheap the production company is that you’re working for. In the beginning, I made $200/day (with no overtime) on music videos, but the majority of music video shoots only lasted a day. Maybe there was a prep day, but usually not.

As I worked for more and more companies, the going rate was typically $150-$200 per day, with a few laughable productions offering a meager $125. Towards the end of my PA tenure when I was acting more as a 2nd AD, a few kind-hearted companies offered me $225 per day.

Reality TV Rates for Production Assistants

I haven’t PA’ed on too many of these, but on the few that I did, the rate stood between $125-$150 per day, $150 per day only coming after serious negotiation.


Movies/Scripted Television Rates for Production Assistants

One would think that movies with 20 million dollar budgets would find it within their hearts and wallets to offer their production assistants more than just bread crumbs, but that is NEVER the case. Unless you’re working on an indie movie for your friends, I found that the bigger the budget, the smaller my paycheck. On Country Strong, the rate was $130/14 hours. I was raking in about $500/week after taxes, after putting in 70 hour weeks. That breaks down toless than $10/hour.

On one television pilot, I was again on the horrible $130/14 hour pay scale, and we worked 91 hours in one week. After taxes were taken out, my paycheck didn’t even total $1,000. I cried.


Commercial Rates for Production Assistants

COMMERCIALS ARE KING. They are the cash cow of this business, especially for production assistants. Most pay $200 per day and have more manageable hours than movies or television. Likewise, commercials for big companies or products usually have a week-long shooting schedule, plus a week or two of prep (and sometimes one for wrap). That’s $1,000/week before taxes. Not too shabby for an entry level position!

First PA Paycheck

Posing with the first paycheck I earned as a production assistant


Can I Survive on a PA Salary?

Yes. The only time it got a little hairy for me was when the economy tanked in 2008, and every business in the country was closing their doors, including production companies.

However, it was easier for me because I chose to work in a mid-level film industry in a low cost city.  If you have a roommate, you can easily get away with paying $300-$400/month for rent. Food, gas, utilities are also cheaper compared to someplace like Los Angeles or New York City.

If you choose to move to a mid-market city to work in film and television, be prepared to stay at the production assistant level a lot longer. It’ll be easier to make ends meet while you work in the entry level, but since there are fewer television shows, movies, commercials filming, it may take longer to climb out of the production assistant level than if you were in a city with a ton of work, such as Los Angeles.



Eventually, I’ll do a post about working in production and the business of taxes and writeoffs,but for now, for simplicity’s sake, there are two ways employers will pay you when you work in film production: via W2 or W9.

Disclaimer: While I have a business degree, I am NOT an accountant, so please consult a professional!


W2 means you’re considered an employee of a company and are on payroll. Taxes are taken out in advance.

Let’s say you make $600 on a job and pay $100 in taxes. Beyond your weekly rate, your employers also have to pay taxes on your behalf, so they pay roughly $100 also. (That’s important for understanding how W9s work.)


W9 mean NO taxes are taken out. You are not considered an employee of the company, you are considered an independent contractor or freelancer.

This means the production company pays no taxes for you; you pay no taxes up front.

However, when you file your taxes, a W9 means that you, as a self-employed individual, are responsible for paying self employment tax — which is effectively a combination of boththe employer and employee’s tax contribution. So, if you receive that same $600 but on a W9, congratulations! You are now responsible for paying $200 in taxes.

30% of your total W9 salary is a good rule of thumb for estimating how much you’ll need to pay in taxes, which is a hefty chunk, and believe me, ithurts.Fortunately, independent contractors have the luxury of tax deductions, and that can help take the sting out of self-employment tax.


How much can you make per year as a production assistant? As I’ve said, it depends on the type of projects you work on. If you work on commercials 45 weeks a year at $200/day ($1000 per week), that’s $45,000/year, which is pretty good for an entry level job in any field. If you work on movies or television, you’ll probably make $625/week, for a salary of $28,125 per year.

Working in a mid-market town where most PAs work on a variety of projects, you’ll average around $30,000/year, provided there are enough projects in town to keep you steadily employed.

Further Reading: If you want to get a job in film, here’s a summary of posts with more tips. If you have any questions you’d like to see answered here, let me know.

. . .

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You will also be interested:

Production Assistant Resume

Create your film crew resume

You need to find PA jobs, like now. And you don't have a big contact book full of production coordinators champing at the bit to hire you, right?

So, how do you become a production assistant?

The first thing you need to do is build a film production assistant resume and quite possibly a very brief and straightforward cover letter. Film resumes, in general, are a little weird. Most people work a couple jobs for years and stretch every duty into a line item on their resume. In film production, your jobs and job titles are the bulk of the resume.

Anyone hiring a PA knows what the job is, so writing, "tactful disposal of refuse in appropriately labeled receptacles" is not going to get you employed.

Here's a simple example of a production assistant resume below. I've used pink to make it stand out, but you should probably avoid using ostentatious font colors.

Production Assistant Resume Example:

Example of a Production Assistant Resume - Don't Use Pink Font

What this shows is the title of the production, the production company, and the year you worked on the production. If Ridley Scott directed something you've worked on, go ahead and include that. The director can also be added to help people find the production on IMDB. If you've worked as a 2nd AD on student projects, add that as well.

I would suggest placing the most professional work at the top, and I would omit anything that is too personal and skews creative. You may have directed a short film, but that won't help you get hired as a PA unless you've sent the actual short film to a producer. Your PA resume will be stronger if you show you're able to be a team player, so a 'PA' credit is far more valuable than a 'Director' credit.

What if you've got nothing to put on a production assistant resume other than the summer you worked at the GAP?

Well… put that on there for sure, because there is probably more crossover than you might think, but this is where you can write a very brief and straightforward cover letter that expresses your desire to PA.

Production Assistant Cover Letter/Email Example:

“Hello, my name is BILL, and I’m very interested in becoming a production assistant. My experience is limited, but I’m actively building a film and entertainment career. I would even be willing to shadow for a few days to bring myself up to speed. My availability is open, I own a personal vehicle with a clean driving record, and I’m eager to learn.
Thank you for your consideration. I’m excited to find an opportunity to work on a professional set and hope you have a lovely day.”

If they bring you on to shadow or work a free day, you can put that on your production assistant resume later. You will learn enough from just those few days on set to be able to reach out confidently.

If you show up, help out the crew, and are a pleasure to work with, they will likely invite you back for a paid PA job. But, if you’re super annoying, talk about your favorite movies and how you want to become a director and get in the way… no PA job for you.

How To Become A Production Assistant

Find production assistant jobs on entertainment career websites

Entertainment-based job listing sites have PA jobs. They have student PA jobs, professional PA jobs, all kinds of work — both paid and unpaid.  

Here are some of the best websites for finding film crew:

Where to Find PA Jobs


ProductionBeast is a one-stop shop to post jobs and discover vetted video professionals on a user-friendly and polished interface.

Employers can post jobs for free, message and hire the best industry pros, shortlist people and manage their database of contacts.

Sites like ProductionBeast make it simple for producer’s to find and hire production assistants (as well as other positions).

Production Assistant Duties and Description - Job Search - ProductionBeast

Find & Post PA Jobs on ProductionBeast

Sites like ProductionBeast provide production assistant resumes, so you can upload and build your resume right on their platform.



EntertainmentCareers is less for set work, and more for office PAs and post-production PAs looking for long term gigs. You normally need experience and a nice PA resume to snag one of these jobs, so if this is your first production job, this may not be the right platform. 

They have entry level positions, so it’s not like you can’t find something on there, but ProductionBeast will have more jobs available from day to day rather than from month to month.


The Anonymous Production Assistant

The Anonymous Production Assistant is a nice website with tons of tips, production job postings of all kinds, and some fun articles.

You can find a lot of helpful material on this website, so give it a look when you get a chance, and maybe you’ll find a nice PA job as well. 


Mandy Job Networks

Mandy is a production job board similar to ProductionBeast. They have a lot of paid and unpaid jobs so you can break into the film industry or get yourself a nice long term production assistant job to keep the lights on.

How to Get PA Jobs - Nadia Fedchin

There are also production alert boards and some Facebook groups (depending on where you live) that can be really helpful for finding PA work, especially for jobs that need them fast.

You can cold-email and cold-call production offices, but you have to be brief, succinct, professional, and okay with hearing various reasons why someone might not hire you as a PA, so take it in stride.

Film Production Assistant Jobs

Film production jobs on college boards

Students film programs are always looking for PAs for their productions, and while the vast majority of these will be unpaid, you’ll actually find a few nice little paid jobs from students doing their thesis films. 

For example, USC’s Cinematic job board has listings where you can find production assistant jobs fast, but USC is just one of many film schools in the country, so don’t stop with a single school.


PA Jobs by word-of-mouth

A lot of work comes from word of mouth, because PA jobs come up, need to be filled quickly, and you need to be able to trust the crew. The quickest way is to hit up a production assistant who you trust, and ask if they have anyone they trust, and they will suggest… who?

Hopefully, you! You want to be that trustworthy PA they can call upon, and once you’ve shown you’re a good PA, they’ll call on you again, and again, until suddenly you’re calling your trustworthy PA buddies.

PAs often hire other PAs, or the producer asks ‘if they know anyone trustworthy’ to come on and PA for the week. Word of mouth is the best way to get work in production, and you don’t even need a PA resume.

How do you find people who can suggest you for PA jobs? Find PA jobs on student films, PA jobs on low budget projects, and do some free jobs here and there, just meet some crew people in your area.


How much does a PA make?

So, you’ve gotten your first PA gig, or you’re ready to go out and get some paid production assistant jobs, but you’re not sure about the money part. 

How much does a PA make?

The vast majority of production assistant work is based on individual jobs that can run anywhere from a few days to a few months, so while there very rarely is an annual salary, there are still standard rates.

More often than not, the hiring producer will let you know the salary rate over the phone, in person, or in an email. They will say: 

“So for this job the rate is ____ for the day. Sound good?”

Here is the average production assistant salary:



  • Feature Films | $200 - $250/day (12 hours)
  • Television Show | $200 - $250/day (12 hours)
  • Commercials | $200 - $250/day (12 hours)
  • Indie Films | $150 - $200/day (12 hours)
  • Music Videos | $150 - $200/day (12 hours)

You’ll notice how the rates are for 12 hour days, and that’s the standard length of a professional film shoo. Your rate is based around 8 hours at ‘standard time’, with 4 hours at ‘time and a half’. 

This means you make 100% of your rate for 8 hours, 150% for 4 hours, and then 200% of the rate for any time after that — called ‘double time’.

The standard production assistant salary breaks down like this: 

Your rate per hour will come in slightly above $14, but for this example we're going to use round numbers to illustrate the point. 

  • $14 per hour
  • $14 x 8 hours = $112
  • $21 x 4 hours = $84

So when you add them together:

  • 12 hours = $196 (Rate $200)

If the production goes into actual overtime (after 12 hours), your rate will bump to double time, meaning it will be $28 per hour ($14 x 2). 

Each hour after that will add $28 until you’ve reached 16 hours on set.

  • 12 Hours = $200
  • 13 hours = $228
  • 14 hours = $256
  • 15 hours = $284
  • 16 hours = $312

These are standard federal employment rules. Now, if you’ve accepted a deal where you’re paid a flat rate, the amount of time on set can go as long as needed, and you will be paid $200 regardless if you wrap 7 hours into the shoot, or stayed for 16 hours. 

There are still rules for: 

  • How long you can be kept on set 
  • When you need to break for meals
  • The amount of time between the end of Day 1 and the beginning of Day 2

Read over you agreement papers, always get your deal in writing, always have a copy or photograph, and try to get something in an email. 

Did You Know?

Kathleen Kennedy began her career as a production assistant and worked for filmmakers John Milius and Steven Spielberg. She went on to become one of the most successful Producers in Hollywood and now is the President of Lucasfilm!

Now, let’s say it’s your first PA job, maybe on an indie film with an 'okay' budget and it might go straight to DVD or end up in some festivals. The producer asks you if $150 for 12 hours is an acceptable salary.

What do you do here?

It’s your first movie PA job, and it’s not like this is a Pepsi commercial or Marvel movie where money is no object, so you shouldn’t feel offended. You should feel okay to accept the rate.

Production is tricky, but a movie PA job should be 'one-of-many' rather than a single job that pays for everything, so take the money, get the experience, and then make connections and get a better paying production assistant job the next time and continue to build on that momentum.

Once you’ve done ten or so film production assistant jobs, you’ll have learned the ropes mostly from personal experience, and you will be confident to ask for better rates, or be able to find high-budget jobs.


What to do if you’re working for free?

If you’ve signed on to be a PA for a student film or some ultra-low budget production you’ve probably done this for one of two reasons:

  • You personally know the filmmakers
  • You’re trying to get some experience

If you know the filmmakers, that probably means you’ll have a pretty reasonable relationship with everyone and the shoot will be relatively relaxed and you will be treated with respect by your friends.

When you’re trying to get some experience, then you’ll probably have to use your better judgement from time to time. In our other post on Production Assistant Job Descriptions and Duties, we said you shouldn’t pay for supply runs (or anything) out of your own pocket? 

This goes double for unpaid work.

When you’re an unpaid PA, you’re still at work, and you should still treat it as such, but you shouldn’t jeopardize yourself in any way when doing someone a favor… because ultimately that’s what you’re doing. 

Now, if you accept the position, don’t come in with unreasonable expectations or delusions of grandeur, but you should guard yourself from low budget productions and filmmakers who may try to take advantage of your kindness and eagerness to learn. You still have the same responsibilities like safety, and that includes your safety as well.  

Up next: 

Production assistant handbook

If you're looking to book your first movie PA job, or you’ve had a few production assistant jobs but left wondering why you haven’t been able to get steady production work. This post takes you through everything a production assistant needs to know during their time on set, in the office, and in the editing suite, including a downloadable handbook with everything the job requires. 

Up Next: Production assistant handbook →

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