Film and video editors and camera operators manipulate moving images that entertain or inform an audience.
Film and video editors and camera operators typically work in studios or in office settings. Film and video editors and camera operators typically need a bachelora€™s degree in a field related to film or broadcasting. The median annual wage for film and video editors and camera operators was $55,740 in May 2015.
Employment of film and video editors and camera operators is projected to grow 11 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations.
Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for film and video editors and camera operators.
Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of film and video editors and camera operators with similar occupations. Learn more about film and video editors and camera operators by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations. Film and video editors and camera operators manipulate images that entertain or inform an audience. The increased use of digital filming has changed the work of a large number of editors and camera operators. Nearly all editing work is done on a computer, and editors often are trained in a specific type of editing software.
Studio camera operators work in a broadcast studio and videotape their subjects from a fixed position.
Cinematographers may use stationary cameras that shoot whatever passes in front of them, or they may use a camera mounted on a track and move around the action. Many editors and camera operators, particularly videographers, put their creative work online.
Film and video editors work in editing rooms by themselves, or with producers and directors, for many hours at a time. Some camera operators work in uncomfortable or even dangerous conditions, such as severe weather, military conflicts, and natural disasters. Most editor and camera operator positions require a bachelora€™s degree in a field related to film or broadcasting, such as communications.
Film and video editors and camera operators must have an understanding of digital cameras and editing software because both are now used on film sets. Certification is a way for editors to demonstrate competence in various types of editing software. The median annual wage for camera operators, television, video, and motion picture was $49,080 in May 2015.
The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.
The lowest 10 percent earned less than $26,270, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $155,840. Work hours vary for the different types of operators and editors, although most work full time. Employment of film and video editors is projected to grow 18 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Production companies and video freelancers are working with new content delivery methods, such as mobile and online TV, which may lead to more work for editors and camera operators. In broadcasting, the consolidation of roles, such as field reporters who edit their own work, and the increasing reliance on amateur film footage, may lead to fewer jobs for editors and camera operators at TV stations. Most job openings are projected to be in entertainment hubs such as New York, Atlanta, and Los Angeles because specialized editing workers are in demand there.
The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices.


America’s Career InfoNet includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of film and video editors and camera operators.
Broadcast and sound engineering technicians set up, operate, and maintain the electrical equipment for radio programs, television broadcasts, concerts, sound recordings, and movies.
Multimedia artists and animators create animation and visual effects for television, movies, video games, and other forms of media. Photographers use their technical expertise, creativity, and composition skills to produce and preserve images that tell a story or record an event. Producers and directors create motion pictures, television shows, live theater, commercials, and other performing arts productions. Reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts inform the public about news and events happening internationally, nationally, and locally.
The What They Do tab describes the typical duties and responsibilities of workers in the occupation, including what tools and equipment they use and how closely they are supervised. The Work Environment tab includes the number of jobs held in the occupation and describes the workplace, the level of physical activity expected, and typical hours worked.
The Pay tab describes typical earnings and how workers in the occupation are compensateda€”annual salaries, hourly wages, commissions, tips, or bonuses.
The State and Area Data tab provides links to state and area occupational data from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program, state projections data from Projections Central, and occupational information from the Department of Labor's Career InfoNet.
The Job Outlook tab describes the factors that affect employment growth or decline in the occupation, and in some instances, describes the relationship between the number of job seekers and the number of job openings.
The Similar Occupations tab describes occupations that share similar duties, skills, interests, education, or training with the occupation covered in the profile. The More Information tab provides the Internet addresses of associations, government agencies, unions, and other organizations that can provide additional information on the occupation. The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation. Work experience that is commonly considered necessary by employers, or is a commonly accepted substitute for more formal types of training or education. The employment, or size, of this occupation in 2014, which is the base year of the 2014-24 employment projections. Production companies and video freelancers are working with new content delivery methods, such as mobile devices or through online TV, which may lead to more work for editors and camera operators. Camera operators capture a wide range of material for TV shows, motion pictures, music videos, documentaries, or news and sporting events. The assistants set up the camera equipment and may be responsible for its storage and care. The assistants support the editor by keeping track of each shot in a database or loading digital video into an editing bay. Many operators prefer using digital cameras because these smaller, more inexpensive instruments give them more flexibility in shooting angles.
Some cinematographers sit on cranes to film and action scene; others carry the camera on their shoulder while they move around the action.
They may submit bids, write contracts, and get permission to shoot on locations that may not be open to the public. If it becomes popular, they gain more recognition, which can lead to future employment or freelance opportunities. About 48 percent were employed by motion picture and video industries and 8 percent worked in television broadcasting. About 28 percent worked in motion picture and video industries, and 22 percent worked in radio and television broadcasting.
Cinematographers and operators who film movies or TV shows may film on location and be away from home for months at a time.


Some employers may offer new employees training in the type of specialized editing software they use. Film and video editors and camera operators must communicate with other members of a production team, including producers and directors, to ensure that the project goes smoothly.
Film and video editors and camera operators should be able to imagine what the result of their filming or editing will look like to an audience. Editors look at every frame of film and decide what should be kept and what should be cut in order to maintain the best content.
Camera operators may need to carry heavy equipment for long periods of time, particularly when they are filming on location. Film and video editors and camera operators must be able to see clearly what they are filming or editing in the postproduction process. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $25,070, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $105,120. Employment of camera operators is projected to grow 2 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations.
However, more editors are expected to be needed in the motion picture industry because of an increase in special effects and overall available content. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas.
There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. This tab can include information on education, training, work experience, licensing and certification, and important qualities that are required or helpful for entering or working in the occupation. Within every occupation, earnings vary by experience, responsibility, performance, tenure, and geographic area. This tab also includes links to relevant occupational information from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET). They also help the operator determine the best shooting angle and make sure that the camera stays in focus. Digital cameras also have changed the job of some camera assistants: instead of loading film or choosing lenses, they download digital images or choose a type of software program to use with the camera. Those who work in the motion picture industry may have long, irregular hours while filming, but go through a period of looking for work once a film is complete and before they are hired for their next job. Most editors eventually specialize in one type of software, but beginners should be familiar with as many types as possible.
Candidates can prepare for the exam on their own, through online tutorials, or through classroom instruction. Those with more experience at a TV station or on a film set should have the best prospects. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. This tab may also describe opportunities for part-time work, the amount and type of travel required, any safety equipment that is used, and the risk of injury that workers may face. This tab may also provide information on earnings in the major industries employing the occupation. They also adjust the lighting in a shot, because that is an important part of how the image looks. Video editors can also improve their prospects by developing skills with different types of specialized editing software. If they are shooting a live event, they must be able to make adjustments at a momenta€™s notice and follow the instructions of the showa€™s director.




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