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What is a Production Coordinator?

By Darlene Goodman
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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The term production coordinator may be used to designate several different employment positions that involve coordinating departments, organizing materials and personnel, and creating or tracking a production schedule. The two jobs most commonly named production coordinator are in the fields of filmmaking and manufacturing. Production coordinators in each of these two industries perform similar job duties, but each also performs industry-specific tasks.

There are several production coordinator job duties common to coordinators in many industries. This position is typically in charge of planning and maintaining a production schedule. Also, most production coordinators manage the flow of personnel, equipment, and raw materials in order to optimize the efficiency of the production. They typically also ensure that staff and resources are in the right place at the right time.

The two main industries that hire production coordinators are the film and manufacturing industries. For the most part, film coordinators work to produce a film or television program, while manufacturing coordinators are hired to create commodities for a client. In addition to the basic job duties common to most coordinators, these jobs usually require several tasks particular to the industry.

Film production coordinators typically organize and maintain steady work flow for film, television, or TV commercial production. To help increase efficient communication between members of the cast and crew, most production coordinators keep in contact with all the people involved in the production. They may also manage some of the production paperwork. One of the main jobs of this coordinator is to ensure that all vendors, actors, and crew members have signed work contracts.

Another major job duty of a film production coordinator is to coordinate changes in filming locations. He or she is typically the person who maintains the production schedule by working with directors, production managers, and location scouts to determine when and where the filming will take place. This sometimes involves coordinating a crew of hundreds of people so that all of them arrive on time at the right location.

In the manufacturing industry, such a coordinator generally manages a production schedule for the manufacture of a product. He or she often creates, and helps implement, a master production plan. This coordinator may also be responsible to maintain the smooth flow of work between departments.

A production coordinator of this type may be called upon to track materials through the manufacturing process. This task is often called inventory control. It typically involves cataloging raw materials and component parts, the products at each stage of production, finished products, and any shipping and office supplies.

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Discussion Comments

By shell4life — On Oct 11, 2012

A manufacturing production coordinator salary isn't bad at all. My aunt started out at $35K, and now, she makes $45K.

Many places offer yearly raises for production coordinators. They realize that the work they do is valuable, and not a whole lot of people can take on so many chores at once and do well at all of them.

By cloudel — On Oct 10, 2012

@DylanB – You might be surprised by how hard it is to get a bunch of factory workers to do everything they're supposed to on time. They may not have the egos of celebrities, but a lot of the time, some of them are lazy or sloppy in their work.

My uncle worked at a furniture factory for years before getting promoted to the title of production coordinator. The problem with this was that everyone in the factory already viewed him as their equal, so when he suddenly had to start telling them what to do, they didn't treat him with much respect.

He actually had to fire a few people to show them that he was serious. Even though they know he means business now, it is still hard for him to run the whole production on his own.

By JackWhack — On Oct 09, 2012

I worked at a newspaper for many years as a graphic designer, and I frequently had to consult with the print production coordinator. The newspaper was divided into sections every day, and on some days, we printed extra special sections for events, holidays, or ballgames, and he was responsible for figuring out the order in which we should print everything.

As long as I got the ads finished on time for the section to go to press, everything was fine. The print production coordinator would inform me of the deadlines for sending each section to press, and the entire advertising department would strive to get all the ads completed and approved by that time. The writers would have to have their parts finished, as well.

I know that the production coordinator was stressed out a lot. He was probably the only person in the building who understood exactly how much time and money were involved in each press run and the importance of doing everything a certain way and by a certain time in order for the carriers to be able to deliver the papers on time.

By DylanB — On Oct 08, 2012

It seems to me that the job of a television production coordinator would be much more stressful than that of a manufacturing coordinator. If you are dealing with actors with egos, it could be very hard to get even just one of them to do as they are told and show up on time, and it would be even harder to deal with dozens of them at once!

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