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Casting Director

Casting directors are contracted by film, video, television and advertising companies to find suitable actors to audition for particular parts or characters. Directors or producers have the final say in who is hired for each part.

Also Known As

Director - Theatre and Film, Talent Scout

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Directors (5131.2) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Producers, Directors, Choreographers and Related Occupations (F031) 
  • 2011 NOC: Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations (5131) 
  • 2016 NOC: Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations (5131) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

INNOVATIVE

Interest in studying scripts to determine artistic interpretations; and in co-ordinating the activities of production staff to develop desired effects

DIRECTIVE

Interest in co-ordinating the activities of performers, extras and production personnel; and in advising them on the interpretation and delivery of performances, and in conferring with crew and specialists throughout production and post-production to achieve desired presentations

SOCIAL

Interest in instructing cast members and production personnel to develop and achieve presentations that reflect desired artistic interpretations

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated May 17, 2021

Casting directors work closely with performers and film production people. In general, principal casting directors:

  • Review performers' promotional materials such as photos, resumes, demo reels and voice over demo recordings
  • Review scripts, prepare a succinct breakdown of the nature of each role to be cast, describe characteristics and special requirements for each role, and distribute the information to appropriate talent agencies and self-represented performers
  • Pre-screen candidates to select the most suitable performers for the director and the producer to see
  • Facilitate the scheduling of callbacks (secondary auditions) for those performers the director and producer wish to work with further on a particular role
  • Research organizations, associations or individuals in order to cast a role requiring a specific skill or unique talent - anything from a fire-breathing unicyclist to an Olympic-calibre athlete
  • Negotiate contracts and scheduling between performers or their agents and the production company

Background casting directors find background performers ("extras") including: stand-ins for lead performers, photo doubles, and performers for non-speaking parts and crowd scenes. They must often deal with scheduling changes.

Working Conditions
Updated May 17, 2021
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

Casting directors often work under tight schedules. Conditions vary depending on the director and producer. Travel may be required to audition new talent and meet television or film production people. To save on travel, delivery costs and time, auditions are often scheduled and held online, then uploaded to private sites.

Traits & Skills
Updated May 17, 2021

Casting directors need:

  • Knowledge of and connections in the acting industry
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • The ability to work long hours in fast-paced, varied environments
  • Communication skills, both in person and in writing
  • Interpersonal skills
  • The ability to recognize strong performances

People skills are essential; casting directors must be able to recognize the acting potential and ability in individuals during auditions.

They should enjoy compiling information from scripts and signalling cues, taking charge of situations, and negotiating.

Educational Requirements
Updated May 17, 2021
  • Minimum Education Varies

There is no particular educational route to enter this field. Casting directors come from diverse backgrounds including:

  • Theatre and film
  • Business
  • Public relations

Interested individuals may be able to arrange informal apprenticeships or mentoring with established casting directors, as casting assistants. Casting assistants learn what to look for in talent, how to negotiate terms and will eventually build up an established network of actors, producers and directors. Post-secondary education in the performing arts and contract negotiation skills are definite assets.

For union jobs, casting directors must be familiar with the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) Independent Production Agreement for film and television productions and the ACTRA National Commercial Agreement for television and radio commercials. These agreements outline standards such as wage minimums and working conditions that must be followed by members of the Canadian Media Producers Association, the Institute of Communication Agencies and the Association of Canadian Advertisers.

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated May 17, 2021
  • Certification Not Regulated

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated May 17, 2021

Casting directors are hired on contract for specific projects by:

  • Film, theatre and video production companies
  • Advertising agencies
  • Television and radio stations and networks

They usually have an extensive network of talent, and experience with both acting and filmic technologies, because they function as a go-between among dramatic, technical and creative personnel.

Casting directors are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 5131: Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations. Fewer than 10 casting directors are currently employed in Alberta.

In Alberta, the 5131: Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.2% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 58 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Wage & Salary
Updated May 17, 2021

Casting directors negotiate each contract separately. They may negotiate a flat rate or have hourly, daily or weekly wage rates.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations

2016 NOC : 5131
Average Wage
$33.86
Per Hour
Average Salary
$67,553.00
Per Year
Average Hours
38.3
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 5131 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $36.80 $27.59 $26.87
Overall $15.00 $45.67 $33.86 $34.70
Top $17.00 $47.40 $35.56 $37.14

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information
Health Care & Social Assistance
Information, Culture, Recreation
ALL INDUSTRIES
Educational Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

42%
42%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

0%
0%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

1%
1%

Vacancy Rate

N/A
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
  • Communications
  • Fine Arts and Performing Arts
  • Humanities and Languages
Other Sources of Information
Updated May 17, 2021

Alberta Media Production Industries Association website: ampia.org

Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists website: www.actra.ca

Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists Alberta website: www.actraalberta.com

Association of Canadian Advertisers website: www.acaweb.ca

Canadian Media Producers Association website: www.cmpa.ca

Casting Directors Society of Canada website: www.castingsociety.ca

Casting Society of America website: www.castingsociety.com

Cultural Human Resources Council website: www.culturalhrc.ca

Institute of Communication Agencies website: theica.ca/amplify

Women in Film and Television - Alberta website: www.wifta.ca

Women in Film and Television - International website: www.wifti.net

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2021. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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