Working in media production does not require a formal education, but graduates with a bachelor's degree have the advantage in finding a job. Degrees in media production typically cover television, film and new media. Media production specialists are responsible for producing and editing the sound and video content of various television and news programs as well as motion pictures.
Media production graduates are typically well-versed in shooting and editing digital video footage, recording audio, and using lighting effectively. They are also likely to have experience with editorial and post-production software tools, such as Final Cut Pro, Adobe Photoshop, and AfterEffects. Undergraduate programs emphasize the theories and methods of effective visual storytelling as well as examine standard business practices common to most media industries. Furthermore, graduates tend to have a good grasp of emerging media platforms such as online video and audio content.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in May 2015, the annual median salary for television, video, and motion picture camera operators was $49,080, while film and video editors made $61,750. Job opportunities for camera operators and film editors are expected to grow 11% from 2014 to 2024. However, due to the large number of people desiring to enter the media production industry, competition for jobs will be quite heated. Those with significant prior experience and advanced computer skills have the greatest employment opportunities.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||11% (video editors and camera operators)|
|Median Annual Salary (2015)||$55,740 (video editors and camera operators)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Job Duties and Opportunities
Although there are employment opportunities in radio for audio engineers and editors, the vast majority of media production jobs are in video production and post-production. These professionals are responsible for operating various fixed and hand-held cameras, editing disjointed footage from different camera angles, and marrying the final video with an appropriate soundtrack to create smooth and natural storytelling. Job descriptions include content writer, producer, director, cinematographer, editor, and art director, as well as many other roles critical to the information and entertainment media industry. Employment opportunities can be found preparing content for local and national news or sports programming, serial television programming, commercials, music videos, and the Internet. Large studio and independent motion picture or documentary companies also provide work prospects.
Working in local television news may require light traveling and fairly regular hours filming, editing, and finalizing video footage for the evening news. Other media producers, however, may find themselves traveling great distances, working long or odd hours at different locations on a daily basis, whether it is covering a national or global news event, civil unrest, or a natural disaster. Still others can be required to move to a new location to work on a television series or motion picture for an extended period of time.
With the advent of digital technology the editor's work is now done on computer. To produce commercial-class videos and movies requires advanced technical knowledge and a critical eye for selecting interesting or provocative material. The selection of appropriate equipment, software programs, and production techniques is also vital to the final product. Depending on the industry, some editors may be required to work lengthy hours to meet production deadlines.
Many media production graduates become video editors or camera operators. While positions for these jobs are expected to grow, competition for these positions is still expected to be fierce due to the large number of candidates interested in entering the media entertainment industry.