A floor manager makes sure that a TV production goes according to plan and that everyone involved in the programme — presenters, camera crew, guests and audience — knows what they have to do and when they have to do it. They work closely with the director and those involved working on the studio floor.
On location floor managers are called assistant directors.
You could be:
helping plan and prepare the programme
supervising the setting up of equipment — screens, chairs, props, microphones and technical gear
running sound and lighting checks to make sure that equipment is working properly
giving cues and time counts to actors, presenters and technicians
telling the studio audience what to do
rehearsing live shows
liaising with the producer and director and relaying instructions between the control room and studio staff
assisting any guests on the show
dealing with technical problems and any last minute changes
checking on health and safety requirements.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual salaries may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Starting salaries for floor or studio managers can be around £21,000, rising to around £28,000 with some years’ experience. In a senior position, floor or studio managers can earn over £45,000.
The majority of floor managers work on a freelance basis, earning a daily rate. This can be anything from around £150 to £400 a day, depending on experience and type of production.
You will work mostly in TV studios, but might take part in outside broadcasts.
You work long and irregular hours, including evenings and weekends.
You will often have to work to tight production schedules and deadlines.
You might have to work away from home for periods of time.
There are no set entry requirements, but most entrants have a degree (SCQF Level 9) or HND (SCQF Level 8) – subjects such as media studies, theatre studies and performing arts would increase your chances.
Technical experience in broadcasting or theatre is essential – perhaps through unpaid work experience placements (internships).
Floor managers normally start as assistant floor managers or runners (See Runner job profile).
Employers rarely advertise posts.
You should try to make contacts in broadcasting.
After training you might specialise in one area of broadcasting, such as music, sport or children's programmes.
Most people in broadcasting now work freelance, moving from one short-term contract to another.
A driving licence might be useful.
What Does it Take?
You should be:
dedicated and resilient
able to remain calm under pressure
well organised and able to multi-task
skilled in the technical side of productions
able to give information clearly and concisely
confident and resourceful
responsible about safety.
You should have:
excellent communication and networking skills
a good sense of timing
the ability to solve problems
strong organisational skills
the ability to make quick decisions.
Training is on the job.
BBC Academy has several courses on their site which may be relevant.
The National Film and Television School website lists courses which may be relevant. They range from two-year postgraduate courses to short courses lasting a few days.
You can develop your career by moving on to bigger shows.
If you get a long-term contract with a television company you might move on to become a director, a producer, or a production manager.
If you are aged 18 or over you may be interested in The Network. The Network is an event 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 April.