Cameraman: Career Profile and Occupational Outlook

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a cameraman. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties, and career outlook to find out if this is the career for you.

Employers often require camera operators to hold a college undergraduate degree. These degree programs teach the necessary techniques and provide extensive hands-on training. Cameramen are hired in many industries, so they must have the skills to adapt to each situation.

Essential Information

Cameramen are one of many staff on set in news, film, or movies. These professionals are responsible for shooting the actual footage. They may work in a vast range of settings, from studios to live events. Cameramen generally need at least a bachelor's degree in film, television production or a related field.

Required Education Bachelor's Degree
Projected Job Growth 2% for camera operators in television, video, and motion picture
Median Annual Salary (2015) $49,080 for camera operators in television, video, and motion picture

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements

Careers as a cameraman usually require videography and technical training related to camera operation. Bachelor's degree programs help students hone their creative filmmaking skills. Coursework may include digital cinematography, scriptwriting and broadcast design. Most programs also require studio courses that help aspiring cameramen to hone their camera operation techniques.

Preparation for a career as a cameraman may also involve visual communication or public relations coursework as well as video editing and photography classes. Career training in journalism or public relations may be required for a career in cinematography. Students may also consider taking courses in computer graphics, digital media, and studio operations to enhance their computer and broadcast equipment skills.

Cameraman Occupational Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) noted that job growth for camera operators was projected to increase by 2 percent between 2014 and 2024 ( The Bureau explained that this little change would be due to use of automated camera systems in broadcasting, although online delivery methods may increase growth. The BLS also reported that cameramen with high levels of experience will have the best opportunities.

Salary Information

The median annual wage for television, video, and motion picture camera operators was $49,080 as of May 2015, according to BLS statistics. The 10th-90th percentile of these workers earned between $25,070 and $105,120 annually. Those working in New York received $72,020 annually, the highest annual mean wage of all cameramen.

While the job growth is slow at 2%, cameramen with experience and a high educational background in an appropriate field--who work in popular locations of entertainment such as Los Angeles and New York--will have the greatest job prospects.

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