Securing a job at the Walt Disney Company is a coveted goal worldwide. Working for Disney means being part of an iconic entertainment legacy with a broad spectrum of job opportunities in its global media and entertainment sectors.
Disney is known for competitive pay and excellent benefits. Opportunities include roles like Disney mascot, UX/UI designer, line cook, or web developer. This guide provides key steps to land a job with Disney.
Working at Disney: Company Overview
The Walt Disney Company, headquartered in California, operates as a global American corporation with numerous branches across the globe.
Disney stands as a formidable force in the media world, renowned as one of the top production companies internationally. It is dedicated to enchanting and entertaining people of all ages and backgrounds.
Disney's Operations and Career Opportunities
Since its inception in 1923, Disney has expanded to include a wide array of subsidiaries, such as Marvel, ESPN, Hulu, and Pixar.
The company's current business model is structured around four main segments: studio entertainment, theme parks, media networks, and direct-to-consumer and international networks (DTCI).
In 2018, Disney's parks and resorts alone brought in $20.3 billion. The company is always on the lookout for top talent, resulting in highly competitive job opportunities.
What It's Like Working at Disney
Disney careers are incredibly varied, ranging from typical office roles like data analysts and paralegals to more unique positions, such as portraying a Disney princess or scouting talent in their production studios.
Given the wide range of environments and teams, it's difficult to succinctly describe a universal Disney employee experience. This varies greatly depending on one's specific role and location.
Compensation and Workplace Culture
In terms of compensation, Disney employees average an annual salary of about $92,000, as reported by PayScale.
The Walt Disney Company is also commended for its diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, earning a 4 out of 5-star rating on Glassdoor and 70 out of 100 on Comparably.
Disney's employee benefits receive high marks, and its commitment to training and mentorship is evident in the career progression of individuals like Michelle Squires, who attributes her professional development to her internship experience.
Why Work at Disney?
Working at the Walt Disney Company, a hub of exciting Walt Disney careers, offers various benefits, catering to employees in different roles such as offices, production studios, or resorts.
These benefits include:
- Paid Time Off (PTO) and sick leave, where full-time employees accumulate vacation days over time.
- Retirement plans are available to both full-time and part-time staff.
- Comprehensive health insurance, including medical, dental, and vision coverage for full-time employees.
- Financial aid for educational pursuits.
- Support for commuting expenses.
- Career development resources, including online tools and training programs.
- Exclusive discounts at certain hotels and restaurants.
- Wellness initiatives, like onsite fitness classes.
- Childcare facilities at select locations.
- Free access to theme parks for all employees after two weeks of service.
Additionally, Disney offers the Aspire program for part-time and full-time hourly workers and cast members, a benefit often highlighted in many Disney job postings.
This initiative provides 29,500 hourly employees with full tuition coverage, facilitating higher education pursuits in partnership with renowned educational institutions like California State University, the University of Arizona, and the University of Central Florida.
The Disney Aspire program imposes no obligations on graduates regarding their continued employment at Disney.
Daniela Del Carpio, a Global HR operations associate and a graduate who chose to stay with Disney, shares her experience. Coming from an immigrant family, she thought college was out of reach due to financial constraints.
Working at Disney removed this barrier, significantly impacting her life through the Aspire program, an integral part of Disney's job careers.
How Competitive are Disney's Pay Rates?
Disney's salaries in the US are quite competitive. According to PayScale, the yearly salaries range from $57,200 to $143,100, depending on the job and level of experience.
Casting directors typically earn about $116,034, video producers around $77,479, and screenwriters around $67,887.
Looking at other positions, software engineers at Disney earn an average of $104,132, finance managers $100,515, and digital marketing specialists $62,312. This data indicates that Disney offers above-average pay across these various roles.
What Kinds of Positions are Open at Disney?
Disney's job landscape is varied, offering roles across multiple settings like corporate, parks, resorts, retail, and international venues. This range requires diverse professionals, from engineers and analysts to designers and customer service agents.
If you're job hunting, Disney's Careers page is a trove of opportunities, with numerous openings in the US and internationally, spanning part-time, full-time, and contract positions.
Disney categorizes its job listings into these major areas:
- Business support
- Innovation, technology, and sciences
- Consumer goods
- Marketing and sales
- Operations support
- Finance, data, and analytics
- Production and entertainment
Additionally, Disney provides a range of Disney job opportunities for young adults through unique programs like the Disney College, Disney Culinary, and Disney International programs.
These offer college students the chance to hone their skills at Disney World, learn from Disney's executive chefs, or engage in cultural exchanges abroad alongside Disney's standard internship offerings.
Job Opportunities at Disney
Disney offers a vast array of career opportunities. Here are the top 10, evaluated based on salary and the level of enjoyment they offer.
Average Salary: $91,000
Working as an artist at Walt Disney Animation Studios is a dream job for many. The joy of creating content that reaches and is adored by millions worldwide is a unique aspect of this role.
Average Salary: $135,000
Disney World, a magical kingdom resembling a fairy tale, was meticulously designed by architects. If you're passionate about Disney and architecture, consider joining the team that shapes these dreamlike spaces.
Average Salary: $62,000
From the early days of animated cartoons, Disney has set industry standards. Today, skilled video editors are needed to refine films and shows, maintaining the high-quality, captivating content Disney is known for.
Average Salary: $78,000
The magic in Disney parks and productions heavily relies on costume technicians. They manage and style costumes and accessories, contributing to the enchanting experiences of visitors and staff alike.
Average Salary: $41,000
Being a Disney character performer is like making Disneyland your second home.
While it involves embodying beloved characters and creating unforgettable moments for children, it's not without its challenges, such as working in demanding costumes without speaking, especially for characters like Donald Duck or Winnie the Pooh.
How Can One Apply for a Job at Disney?
The criteria for securing a job at Disney differ based on the specific role you're eyeing. Generally, for most positions, you'll need prior work experience and at least a bachelor's degree in a relevant field.
For internships, you need to be over 18, typically enrolled in a relevant degree program, or a recent graduate within six months of graduation. Proof of work eligibility is also required.
In 2023, Disney introduced a critical update to their work policy. As stated by CEO Bob Iger, employees are now expected to be physically present in the office, with remote work limited to just one day per week.
Steps on How to Get a Job at Disney
You've explored Disney's employee benefits and their top job roles. Now, let's dive into the main event: a five-step guide to landing a job at Disney!
Step 1: Explore the Disney Careers Website
Start your Disney career journey on their Careers page. Use it to search for positions like '2D animator' or 'senior designer', applying filters for job level, location, and type.
Don't miss the option at the bottom to sign up for job alerts tailored to your preferences.
Step 2: Apply Online
After identifying suitable roles, click 'Apply now' to start your application. Create an account if necessary. You'll need to provide personal information, work history, educational background, languages, and skills.
Include a link to your online portfolio and upload your resume in formats like .doc or .pdf. Customize your resume to match the job description, incorporating relevant keywords.
Finally, indicate your salary expectations and work authorization for the chosen country.
Step 3: Pass the Phone Screening
After your application catches the eye, expect an email for a phone interview. Disney, especially for its College Program, suggests some effective strategies:
- Hone your self-presentation skills. Practice responding to typical interview questions by conducting a mock interview with someone you know.
- Familiarize yourself thoroughly with your résumé. Know your strong points well so you can discuss your abilities and past experiences confidently during the interview.
- Choose a quiet location for your interview. Ensure there are no distractions, and check that your phone signal is strong.
- Jot down key points during the interview. This will help you remember to ask critical questions later. Also, keep your résumé handy for easy reference while talking to the interviewer.
- Be flexible with the interview timing. Be ready to answer the call approximately 15 minutes before or after the set time.
- Imagine the interviewer is right in front of you. Maintain a good posture and smile as you talk, as it can positively influence your tone of voice.
Step 4: Undergo an Assessment
After succeeding in the phone interview, candidates are typically expected to take a skills or reasoning test.
These can include numerical and verbal reasoning tests, as well as personality and situational judgment tests, which evaluate decision-making abilities.
If you're unfamiliar with these assessments, there are numerous practice tests available online to help you prepare.
Step 5: Participate in an In-Person Interview
Reaching the final stage means attending one or two in-person interviews. Some of these might be virtual, so be ready for both types.
For higher-level roles, like a senior art director, the interview process can be more extensive, sometimes involving up to seven interviews over two months.
Always practice common and less common interview questions beforehand. Researching the company thoroughly will enable you to discuss what inspires you about the company and prepare meaningful questions to ask during the interview.
In summary, securing a job at Disney is within reach if you diligently follow the outlined steps. Tailor your application, prepare for diverse interview scenarios, and showcase your alignment with Disney's values.
With effort and dedication, you can become part of Disney's iconic legacy, enjoying its competitive benefits and varied career opportunities.