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Production Manager vs. Producer: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

A production manager and producer are two important roles in the film and television industry. Both positions work with the cast and crew to ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget. However, there are several key differences between these two job titles. In this article, we discuss the similarities and differences between a production manager and a producer, and we provide helpful tips for pursuing a career in either field.

What is a Production Manager?

The Production Manager is responsible for the overall management of a film or television production. They work with the Executive Producer, Producer and other key production personnel to ensure that the project stays on schedule and within budget. The Production Manager oversees all aspects of the production, including hiring crew, scheduling shoots, booking locations and managing the day-to-day operations of the set. They also liaise with other departments, such as post-production, to ensure a smooth workflow. In some cases, the Production Manager may also be responsible for managing the post-production process.

What is a Producer?

A Producer is a creative professional who oversees the development and production of entertainment projects, such as films, television shows, stage plays or live events. Producers work with writers, directors, actors, musicians and other creative talent to bring a project to fruition. They are responsible for raising funds, securing locations, managing schedules and overseeing the overall production. Producers also typically handle the business aspects of a project, such as contracting, budgeting and hiring crew. In some cases, a Producer may also take on the role of the Director or Writer.

Production Manager vs. Producer

Here are the main differences between a production manager and a producer.

Job Duties

Although the job duties of a production manager and a producer can overlap, there are key differences between their specific responsibilities. A production manager’s primary duty is ensuring that the film crew remains on schedule and meets budgetary requirements. This involves creating production schedules, delegating tasks to other team members and overseeing all aspects of production.

In contrast, a producer oversees all creative decisions related to the film. They work with directors and other team members to determine the overall look and feel of the movie and provide feedback to help improve the final product. Additionally, producers often act as the public face of the production, interacting with cast and crew members and external stakeholders such as investors or studio executives.

Job Requirements

A bachelor’s degree is typically the minimum requirement for both production managers and producers. However, many employers prefer candidates who have a master’s degree in business administration, communication or another related field. Additionally, production managers and producers often pursue certifications through professional organizations, such as the Project Management Institute (PMI) or the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). These certifications can help professionals stand out to potential employers and show that they have the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in their roles.

Work Environment

Production managers typically work in an office environment, where they can manage the entire production process. They may travel to different locations to ensure that productions are running smoothly and efficiently. Production managers often work long hours, especially when a production is filming or has deadlines.

Producers usually work in an office environment as well, but they also spend time on set with actors and crew members. Producers may have irregular working hours because of the nature of film and television productions. Some producers may travel to locations for shoots, while others may stay at home during pre-production and post-production.


There are several similarities between production managers and producers in terms of the skills they use on the job. Both roles require excellent communication skills, as they need to be able to coordinate with various team members and departments to ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget. They also both need to have strong organizational skills to keep track of deadlines, schedules and other important details.

However, there are also some key differences in the skills that production managers and producers use on the job. Production managers tend to focus more on the logistical aspects of a project, such as coordinating schedules, ordering supplies and managing budgets. Producers, on the other hand, typically focus more on the creative aspects of a project, such as developing concepts, writing scripts and working with talent.


The average salary for a production manager is $73,786 per year, while the average salary for a producer is $62,193 per year. The salary for both positions may vary depending on the size of the company, the location of the job and the level of experience the individual has prior to pursuing either position.


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