Documentary Production
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OverviewSalary and DebtIs a Bachelor's EnoughCareersSchoolsRelated ProgramsGenderRace/Origin
Documentary production is a program that prepares individuals to produce nonfiction film and video. includes instruction in film and video writing, directing, and production; film studies; history of the documentary; research techniques; videography; editing; and business aspects of film production.
School with the highest reported median starting salary ($46K) with a Bachelor's Degree: Brandeis University
Career with the highest median salary ($104K) where most workers have a Bachelor's Degree: Software Developers
Explore Pathways
Careers for program graduates
Documentary production majors work in these careers, which are sized by percentage of majors in the career (at least 1%) and colored by the predominant level of education.
PhotographersProducers and DirectorsSpecialized ManagersEditorsTelevision, video, and film ca...Elementary and Middle School S...Writers and AuthorsFirst-Line Supervisors of Reta...Secretaries and Administrative...Postsecondary TeachersArtists and related workersCustomer Service Representativ...Retail SalespersonsProduction, Planning, and Expe...Graphic DesignersChief executives and legislato...Education and childcare admini...Software DevelopersSpecialized DesignersMarketing Managers
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Current completions
What level of degree do most graduates achieve, and do they match what your goals?
0501000-1 Year Certificate1-2 Year CertificateBachelor's DegreePostbaccalaureate CertMaster's Degree
Completions over time
Have completions for film video and photographic arts changed over time? Increasing completions may mean you'll likely have an easier time finding a school that offers this degree, with the opposite being true as well.
Show percentages
Number of graduates
Master's Degree
Postbaccalaureate Cert
Bachelor's Degree
Associate's Degree
1-2 Year Certificate
0-1 Year Certificate
Salary and Debt
How are students who recently completed a degree in documentary production doing?
Below is the distribution of starting salaries along with accumulated federal and private education loans across schools that offer a degree in the field film/video and photographic arts, which includes documentary production.
Median starting salaries
Median cumulative loan amount
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Context: median salaries
How does the median (middle) salary for film video and photographic arts majors compare to the median salaries for other college majors?
Distribution: film video and photographic arts majors' salaries by education level
What is the salary distribution for graduates with a bachelor's infilm video and photographic arts by the level of their highest degree (Graduate degrees may not be in the same field as the bachelor’s)
We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.
Is a bachelor's degree all you need?
Education level of workers with a bachelor's in film video and photographic arts
Is a bachelor's degree going to be sufficient to make you competative in the job market? We can look at the education level of workers with a bachelors in this degree to see if there is a likely need for a graduate degree. You'll also want to check out the careers section on this page to where they are employed.
This chart shows the level of education of workers with a bachelor's degree in film video and photographic arts. The worker's graduate degree may have been completed in a different field.
Education level of workers
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
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Context: Graduate degrees in any field by undergraduate ACS degree
About 15% of film video and photographic arts majors chose to also earn a graduate degree (possibly of a different major). The percentage of film video and photographic arts majors also earned a graduate degree is near the middle in comparison to other fields.
Context: Percentage salary boost obtained with a graduate degree
How important is a graduate degree for earning a higher salary? We can see the difference in salary of workers with a bachelors in this degree to workers with a bachelor’s AND a graduate degree.
22%30%72%0%20%40%60%80%Bachelor's to Master'sBachelor's to DoctorateBachelor's to Professional
Top careers for those with a degree in film video and photographic arts
Following are the most frequent jobs held by people who earned a bachelor's degree in Film Video and Photographic Arts (which combines 5 programs), though may not be limited to just those with a bachelor’s.
  1. Photographers
  2. Producers and Directors
  3. Specialized Managers
  4. Editors
  5. Television, video, and film camera operators and editors
  6. Elementary and Middle School School Teachers
  7. Writers and Authors
  8. First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers
  9. Secretaries and Administrative Assistants
  10. Postsecondary Teachers
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Careers for film video and photographic arts majors
Where do film video and photographic arts majors work, and how well do those jobs pay? A ** in the job title indicates that the Department of Education recommends this job for this program.
Not so much?
The top ten careers for workers with a bachelor's in film video and photographic arts
Take a minute to interact with this sankey diagram. Follow the top ten jobs held by film video and photographic arts graduates through to their most hired majors. Learn where it may easiest to find work. Expand the careers to explore other majors that might lead to the job that excites you the most. *For many majors, the top ten jobs don't even include half of graduates!*
Expand careers
PhotographersProducers and Direct...Specialized ManagersEditorsTelevision, video, a...Elementary and Middl...Writers and AuthorsFirst-Line Superviso...Secretaries and Admi...Postsecondary Teache...All othersThis degreeTop 10 Careers
What careers hire film video and photographic arts majors as one of their top 10?
To the left of this diagram, see all careers that hire film video and photographic arts majors as one of their top 10 majors, and on the right, see what proportion of openings for the jobs on the left are filled by film video and photographic arts majors.
Film Video and Photograph...All other degreesPhotographersTelevision, video, and fi...Producers and DirectorsEditorsSpecialized Entertainers,...Artists and related worke...Writers and AuthorsAll other careersDegreeDegree in top 10 employed
Where can I complete this degree
Explore schools that offer documentary production degrees and certificates
You can use this table to find schools that offer this program based on location and program level offered. Each entry goes to a school page similar to this one with all our information about that school.
Understanding the columns

The school list includes a few facts about each school that give you an idea of the educational quality each school might offer:

  • Student-Faculty Ratio: A small number of students per full-time instructor suggests individual attention for each student and an up-to-date curriculum.

  • Satisfaction Rate: A high percentage of returning first-year students should correlate with satisfaction (schools call this their retention rate).

  • Repayment Rate: A high repayment rate means most alumni earn enough to make progress repaying loans within 7 years of leaving.

We also show the total enrollment for the school as measured by full-time-equivalent (FTE) students enrolled annually.

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Related Programs
Top 10 similar programs
Following are related programs, ordered by those with the highest number of completions. You can explore a full list by pressing the more details button.
  1. Art/Art Studies
  2. Fine/Studio Arts
  3. Music
  4. Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts
  5. Cinematography and Film/Video Production
  6. Music Performance
  7. Film/Cinema/Video Studies
  8. Art History
  9. Visual and Performing Arts
  10. Dance
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Careers for film video and photographic arts majors
film video and photographic arts is part of a larger collection of programs: Studio Arts, Music, Dance, and Theater. Is there a different program that's close to film video and photographic arts that might be a better match for your interests? You can use this table to see a little about the programs that fall under this umbrella. If you click on any of the table headers, that will sort the table by that column, or click on a row and see Ididio's profile for that program.
Gender of recent graduates
Of all people with any degree in documentary production earned in the last academic year, 61% were women.
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Completions over time
Have completions by gender changed over time, or at specific levels of education?
Award level
All levels
020406080100Number of graduates2010201120122013201420152016201720182019
Context: Gender representation
How does the gender distribution in this major compare to all other majors?
Context: Percentage women
This major has a lower percentage of women than 42% other programs.
Distribution: salaries by gender
Does gender greatly influence your salary with this degree? The closer the bar are, the less discrepancy there is.
Context: Salary inequity
For film video and photographic arts graduates, men have a 17% higher median salary than women, This is near the middle of salary differentials within each program's graduates.
Race/Origin of recent graduates
Here is an overview of race/origin for all documentary production graduates from this last academic year. We found a higher percentage of international graduates in this program than in 94% of other programs.
Pacific Islander
American Indian
Not Reported
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Completions over time
Have completions by race/origin changed over time, or at specific levels of education?
Award level
All levels
020406080100Number of graduates2010201120122013201420152016201720182019
Not Reported
American Indian
Pacific Islander
Context: Percentage of Minority Graduates
Minority students comprise a higher percentage of graduates than in 85% of other programs.