Careers: Film and Video Editor

Posted by on Jun 29, 2017 in Careers
Head and shoulders, selective focus back view of a male TV director sitting at a vision mixing panel in a television studio with flat panel monitors displaying various filmed scenes in the background

Film and video editing might be the career path for you. Read below to learn more.

If you’re like most people, you like to watch movies. But have you ever thought about turning your love of movies into a career? If so, then the field of film and video editing might be for you.

What Is It?

Film and video editors don’t actually shoot footage. Instead, editors take the raw footage shot by camera operators and turn it into a final product. They do this by working with producers and directors to determine the overall vision of the product, and then using video editing software to edit and organize the footage. Almost all editing work is done on a computer; therefore, editors usually work in a studio or other office setting. They generally have one or two assistants.

Educational Experience

To be a film and video editor, you will need at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as communications. It may also help to have a background in cinematography, and a strong understanding of digital cameras and as many types of video-editing software as possible. Potential editors can even become certified in various types of editing software by taking classes in person or online, and passing a comprehensive exam.

Above all, film and video editors must have excellent communication, computer, and visual skills, and be both creative and detail oriented.

Job Outlook

In 2014, there were about 33,500 jobs in this field. Of these, roughly 48 percent were employed by motion picture and video industries; 8 percent worked in television broadcasting; and about 3 percent were self-employed.

Over the ten-year period from 2014 to 2024, the number of film and video editing jobs is projected to grow by 11 percent, which is faster than average. The average yearly salary last year was $62,760.

Pros and Cons

A strong “pro” of working as a film and video editor is that you will get to be creative. It can be exciting and very rewarding to take raw footage and transform it until a final, finished product that audiences will enjoy.

However, film and video editors often spend long hours indoors in front of a computer, either alone or with producers and directors. Work schedules can be unreliable and vary greatly; for example, editors may have to put in extra hours to finish a project in time to meet a deadline. And after a film or project is completed, some may find themselves needing to look for additional work.

What Do You Think? The following map shows which states have the highest employment rates and average salaries for film and video editors. Do any of these findings surprise you? Why? How does your state measure up? Would you ever consider moving to another state to increase your odds of getting the job (or the salary) you wanted? Why or why not?