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Video Editing Career Information and Education Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a video editor. Get a quick view of the requirements, including degree programs and job duties, to find out if this is the right career for you.

Film and video editors are responsible for matching audio and video files and piecing together video clips to create a full video or film. Work can be found in multiple industries, and all that is needed is a bachelor's degree in film and video, although master's degrees are available for students interested in increasing their employment opportunities.

Essential Information

A film or video editor puts raw video footage together using digital editing software. Video editors work in many different industries, including film, broadcasting and advertising. An undergraduate degree in film production is the minimum education requirement.

Required Education Bachelor's degree at minimum; master's degree programs are available
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 18%
Average Salary (2015)* $80,300

Source:*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information

Video editors use digital editing software to piece raw footage into a cohesive video story. Much of the editing direction is provided by the director or producer overseeing the project. Video editors also make sure that audio files match the speech appearing on screen. A video editor spends large amounts of time in front of several monitors in a closed office environment.

Video editors work in the film industry but are also employed by broadcasting and advertising companies. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), an 18 percent increase in the hiring of video editors is expected for the 2014-2024 period. The BLS reports that the average annual salary for film and video editors was $80,300 in 2015.

Education Requirements

A bachelor's degree in film production is the minimum educational requirement for entering into the workforce as a video editor. However, some students continue their study at the graduate level and complete a master's degree program in film production, which increases employment prospects.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Video Production

An undergraduate fine arts degree program in film and video production uses lectures and student projects to teach students about film. Students learn about all aspects of film and video production, which include writing, editing, cinematography and directing. Some courses also cover the history and theory of film and video. A bachelor's degree program in film and video concludes with a thesis project. The thesis projects usually consists of a short narrative or experimental film. Completion of a final project should demonstrate knowledge and technical proficiency of the major areas of film and video production.

Master of Fine Arts in Film and Video Production (MFA)

A fine arts master's degree program provides students with specialized knowledge in a particular aspect of film production. Most fine arts master's degree programs in film and video production allow students to workshop their ideas and receive feedback from instructors and other students. Students who want to work as video editors are encouraged to choose a film and video editing track or a directing concentration.

A student who chooses the directing option is involved in all stages of production. He or she has to write the script, find actors, direct the actors and shoot and edit the film. In contrast, an editing student is primarily involved in the post-production phase, which includes video editing. A final thesis project is required to complete the degree.

Degree programs prepare aspiring video editors through cinematography, directing, and technical courses. Video editors may find that pursuing a master's degree not only prepares them better for the job field, but also increases their job prospects as they enter the workforce. Video editors can choose between working in the television, film, or advertising industries.

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