Digital Video Editor: Job Description & Career Info

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

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Becoming a digital video editor requires a combination of education, technical skills, creative sensibility, and on-the-job experience. A bachelor's degree in video production or film studies is a great first step and provides a solid knowledge base. Practical experience in editing, especially using current software and technology, is a must, so seek out internship opportunities during your education, and be aware that jobs in this competitive industry are mainly freelance, rather than salaried.

Essential Information

Digital video editors display creative skill in delivering recorded content. They are technically proficient individuals with sensibilities that allow them to properly convey a message. A bachelor's degree program in film studies or video production can assist a digital video editor in finding a valuable career in a competitive job market.

Required Education Bachelor's degree is common
Projected Job Growth* 18% between 2014 and 2024 (all film and video editors)
Median Salary (2015)* $61,750 (all film and video editors)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

Video editing is one component in the delivery of quality content via filmed media. A digital video editor carefully watches recorded video images several times to make sure that the images, sound, special effects and other aspects of the video all fit together logically and accurately. Video editors also decide which parts of the filmed work effectively convey a message, as well as which parts are unnecessary and should be cut from the final product.

Digital video editors need to be technically savvy, since they largely use computerized equipment and advanced video editing software in their work. Besides this technical acumen, the ideal digital video editor also has enough experience in film and video production to anticipate what directors and producers want out of their work. Whether working on wedding footage, corporate videos, movies or television, editors must have a strong sense of the message the video's creators intended to deliver.

Video editors sit for extended periods of time, often in dark rooms, in order to best view the images that have been captured for a project. Editors need good vision, hearing and emotional sensibilities. They can work long and unusual schedules, based on the availability of jobs and scheduling of projects.

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Career Information

Many people desire careers in digital video editing, so competition in the industry is the norm. There are often more people who wish to work in the industry than there are available positions. Many video editors work on a freelance basis, as salaried positions are scarce.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) estimates a 18% increase in video and film editor jobs for the years 2014-2024. The median annual earnings were $61,750 in May 2015 for all film and video editors.

Education Information

While there is no specific path to becoming an editor, most digital video editors have a bachelor's degree in an area such as film studies. Aside from having in-depth knowledge of the technical aspects of video production, many editors are proficient in computer programs related to their tasks. Most degree programs in film and video production include courses devoted to historical studies of film and television, reading and writing screenplays and learning software.

With the advancement of digital technology, some schools offer degrees specific to video editing. These degrees may include courses in:

  • Cinematography
  • Audio recording and editing
  • Non-linear editing
  • Screenwriting

Most employers require their editors to have a certain amount of experience after they graduate. Many students choose to take advantage of internship opportunities available to them while they pursue their degrees. This gives them a chance to earn college credit while acquiring on-the-job experience and developing contacts that might aid in their careers.

Digital video editing isn't a career that school alone can prepare you for. It's essential to build some practical experience before entering the job market, and be prepared to compete for work. Advanced technical skills and the flexibility to work long or unusual hours are great assets, as are a good sense of creativity and the ability to collaborate with directors and producers to achieve the product they are looking for.

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