A runner acts as a general assistant running errands between the set, office and location, looking after cast and crew. This position is traditionally the first rung on the ladder of a media career.
The work varies according to the department, which could be art and animation, production, editing or on location.
You could be:
filing, photocopying and answering the phone
sourcing and hiring props
transporting crew, guests, cast members and equipment between locations and sets
organising catering and accommodation
looking after studio guests or cast members
delivering scripts, post and messages
carrying out basic research
keeping studios and sets clean and tidy
ordering stock and handling petty cash.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual salaries may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
The BECTU (Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union) website has recommended freelance rates of pay. For freelance runners this varies from £7.93 to £14.15 depending on the type of production you are working on.
You might work outdoors and indoors.
You travel locally a lot on foot or by car.
Hours can be very long and irregular and can mean periods away from home – the media business runs 24 hours, 7 days a week.
You must be available at a moment’s notice.
The work can be physically and mentally demanding.
ScreenSkills provide a list of relevant courses on their website.
Both The BBC Academy and The National Film and Television School websites list courses which may be relevant.
There are some training schemes with television companies but entry is highly competitive, with a range of qualifications acceptable.
Channel 4 offers a variety of talent development opportunities. Details are on the Channel 4 4Talent website.
Because most work is freelance and temporary, there is little chance of promotion.
Progress largely depends on getting other jobs through your networking abilities.
Runner is the first rung on many different career ladders in the media industry. From here you may become a camera operator, a film and video editor, or you may move into production, direction or design.
In television the next step up from runner is usually a researcher.
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 April.
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.