Media Careers in the Outdoor Industry
Description of this career group:
Media careers are as varied as the people who pursue them. From broadcast and cable TV, to radio, film, websites, and documentaries.
Come back again for new and updated information. Updates always in progress.
The following is a partial list of media careers in the outdoor industry
TV show host
Archery & shooting sports reporter
- Videographer / camera operator
- Field producer
- Audio engineer
- Video editor
- Video graphics animator
- Music composer
Guests with careers in this category
Click on any link below to jump right to that interview
- Chad Davis - episode #79 - BowADX.com
- Adam Mattis - episode #74 - co-host Orion's Kin TV
- Brooks Tiller - episode #72 - co-host Orion's Kin TV
- Joe Slye - episode #63 - 8UP With It Outdoors show
- Billy Katsigiannis - episode #58 - GVK11 Outdoors
- Greg Gutschow - episode #47 - General Manager Jim Shockey Enterprises
- Michael Hendrick - episode #46 - Bullets n Broadheads TV
- Jason Cruise - episode #43 - TV show host Spring Chronicles and Mossberg's Rugged American Hunter
- Travis T-Bone Turner - episode #39 - TV show host Bone Collector
- Mike Adams - episode #37 - TV station director, podcaster, writer
- Tom Payton - episode #34 - Wild Pursuits
- Jeff Rhoads - episode #32 - World Went Dark Outdoors
- Chris Larsen - episode #30 - Digital marketing strategist
- John Pizzimenti - episode #13 - Otter Brook Outdoors TV
- Tony Bynum - episode #11 - professional wildlife, hunting, adventure photographer
What people in these careers do:
This career group is involved in the creation, planning, development, and production of radio programs, television shows, short and feature length film, and documentaries. Producers and directors are responsible for producing or directing television, radio, video, or motion picture productions for entertainment, information, or instruction. They are responsible for creative decisions such as story flow, choice of personnel or guests, video or camera placement, sound, and special effects. Production assistants are generally entry-level positions who carry out necessary activities under the guidance of the producer, director, camera operator, sound engineer, or any other role who has more experience. Videographer (sometimes called a camera operator) and audio or sound engineers are the people with hands on the cameras and sound recording equipment. They will generally take some direction from the producer and/or director for the best camera shot or sound recording. Musicians and music composers do just that. They either write and compose music for radio, TV shows, or films or they perform the music either solo or as part of a group. Radio announcers speak or read from scripted materials, such as news reports or commercial messages, on radio or television and they may interview guests. Reporters collect and analyze facts about newsworthy events by interview, investigation, or observation. They then report and write the stories for radio or television.
The work environments that this group of careers could work in are as varied as the individual type of career and company or organization that you work in. If the company produces TV shows for cable or broadcast TV, then some of the roles would be working in environments that are outdoors. Yay. For other roles, the primary work environment will be indoors, in an office, or a home office or studio. While a music composer may derive their inspiration from being outdoors, when it comes to actually writing it down, they likely will be working indoors. I’m not a musician or music composer so forgive me if I’m using the incorrect terminology. As with many careers, only you can decide what environment would enable your dream job.
How to get started:
Many of these careers can begin with a minimal amount of formal training. Just pick up a video camera, a microphone, or a guitar and have at it. Start right where you are and learn as you go. Practice - practice - practice. If you are interested in starting a hunting show, whether it be for family viewing, YouTube, or an outdoor channel on cable TV, you may play multiple roles in the production of that show. For example, you may be the producer who creates the story line, the director who selects the camera angles, and the guy or gal actually holding the camera. Start small, get as much experience as you can, then look for growing into a role that can leverage that experience.
As mentioned in the previous section, you can get started without any experience in some of these jobs. However, landing a job for a bigger production company will benefit from some demonstrated experience. Although I didn’t specifically list every conceivable job title for this group, depending on the group or company or organization, they may have junior and senior positions for many of this jobs. Junior sound engineer or Senior videographer or even Executive Producer for example.
The average salary for a full-time videographer nationwide is about $43,500. This will vary based on experience and location in the US. You can check out other pay rates by clicking this link to PayScale.com. Musicians average around $40,000, again varying based on experience and location. For larger shows, TV producers and directors generally need some years of experience and for that they average around $56,000 annually.
If you are starting your own show intended for TV, then the pay is going to be very dependent upon your ability and efforts to obtain sponsorships (advertisers). For many of the cable TV outdoor networks, the provider of the show (you for this example) must first buy the air time from the network. In other words, let’s say you plan to have a 30 minute show that will run for a season of 13 weeks. You will have to make a “time buy” of 13 30-minute episodes at whatever the current air time rates are. Just for the sake of this example, let’s say that each show’s air time costs $15,000. A full 13-episode season would cost you $195,000 just for the air time. Then add to that travel costs, equipment costs, production costs, etc. to come up with your total costs, let’s say $225,000. You then need to find someone (advertisers) who will pay you to cover those costs. If there is any money left over, that is what you get paid. hsssssss is the sound of air escaping from your dream balloon. Sorry, but this is a tough endeavor. The Bone Collector website has an article that goes into more detail if this is something that you are interested in.
Full-time positions at established companies will likely work five or six days a week, probably mostly during the daytime. If you are a freelancer in any of these careers, you will make your own work schedule and hours. If you are starting a video production business or any type of business on your own, think about working five or six or even seven days a week for pretty long hours to get started.
Important qualities to have:
- Detail oriented
- Creative and critical thinker
- Works well on a team
- Interpersonal skills
- Determination and drive
- Takes direction well
- Willing to learn
- Energy (especially if working outdoors)