Many production assistants nowadays have a degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND) in a subject such as media studies, but good IT skills, and experience and contacts in broadcasting, are more important than educational qualifications.
You could build up useful experience by getting involved in community or hospital radio or student films and projects.
The BBC offers unpaid work placements at certain times of the year. You can get more information and register online through the BBC Website.
A driving licence may be required.
There are a few vacancies in television: national, regional, cable and satellite. Most jobs are in the South East of England, but there are sometimes jobs in Scottish cities. Entry is very competitive.
able to work under pressure to meet tight deadlines
good at communicating
resourceful and resilient
confident and assertive.
You should have:
a genuine interest in the television or film business
attention to detail
energy and stamina
good problem solving skills
good admin and IT skills.
Training is mainly on the job.
ScreenSkills provide lists of relevant courses on their websites.
The BBC offers a 12 month Production Trainee Scheme. If you get a place, you work on four different placements on programmes across the UK. See the BBC Careers website for details. Check the websites of other television companies for similar schemes.
Channel 4 offer a 14 month Production Apprenticeship. See their 4Talent website for details.
The BBC Academy also have several courses on their site which may be relevant.
The National Film and Television School website also lists courses which may be appropriate.
You usually start in local news and current affairs programmes and go on to more expensive ones like dramas.
In big organisations you can seek promotion to senior PA, production co-ordinator or production manager.
You can also become a floor manager, vision mixer, researcher, or producer.
The number of job opportunities in broadcasting involving community languages, including Gaelic, Urdu and Punjabi, is increasing.
As well as applying for advertised jobs you can always use your networking skills and contact companies direct.
If you are aged 18 or over you may be interested in The Network. The Network is held each year alongside the TV Festival in Edinburgh. If selected you would attend for four free days of masterclasses and workshops which will provide you with the skills, knowledge and contacts to start a career in TV. You can usually apply from January to May.
BBC Scotland runs an apprenticeship scheme for people who are keen to get into a career in the media industry. The closing date for applications is usually sometime in April or May. The one-year apprenticeship is based in Glasgow and pays £14,250 a year. As well as learning on the job at BBC Scotland at Pacific Quay in various departments, you will study towards a Level 3 Diploma in Creative and Digital Media at a Glasgow college. Ideally applicants will have National 5 English and Maths, good IT skills and a keen interest in media. You must be at least 18 at the start date of the apprenticeship. Entry is very competitive as places are limited. The selection process includes an assessment day and tests in English and Maths. For any questions and updates by following @BBCGetin on Twitter. If you would like to find out more or check on application deadline dates visit BBC Scotland Apprenticeships.