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Digital Video Technology Jobs: Options and Requirements

Training in digital video technology typically focuses on equipment and techniques used in the field. Find out about the curricula of these programs, and learn about career options, job growth and salary info for digital video technology graduates.

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A career in the field of digital video technology can be pursued with a high school diploma, although most jobs require an associate's or bachelor's degree. Camera operator, film editor and equipment technician are three jobs that involve digital video technology.

Essential Information

There are a variety of career options in digital video technology. While work experience and on-the-job training is typically valued more than formal education in the field, those who seek to become editors or technicians will benefit from an associate's or bachelor's degree.

Career Camera Operator Editor Technician
Education Requirements High school diploma Bachelor's degree Associate's degree
Other Requirements None Training Training
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 2% 18% 7%
Median Salary (2015)* $49,080 $61,750 $41,440

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Job Options in the Field of Digital Video Technology

Job opportunities in the digital video technology vary greatly, depending on the individual's skills and interest. One can be a camera operator or editor. One can also be a director of photography, audio engineer, special effects technician or videographer. Three of the more common professions are camera operator, editor and equipment technician. Read on to learn more about these jobs.

Camera Operator

Motion picture, television and video camera operators shoot the scenes that the director sets up, telling the story of the movie, television show or news broadcast through the moving images he or she captures. A camera operator must have knowledge of digital cameras and computer technology. They need a good eye; they may also do some editing and usually work closely with a crew of technicians. Camera operators often work in the entertainment field or at a news station. One in five camera operators are self-employed, according to College Board.

Requirements to be a Camera Operator

A minimum requirement for a camera operator is a high school diploma, though most employers require a bachelor's degree or some form of courses and training after high school. Work experience is also important; places to start include TV or news stations or camera and video stores. Self-employed camera operators running their own businesses may benefit from taking classes in accounting and business. Camera operators need strong hand-eye coordination and communication skills, along with an understanding of current technology in the field.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects job growth of 2% for camera operators over the 2014 to 2024 decade (www.bls.gov). The median annual wage for a camera operator working in the television, video and motion picture industries was $49,080 in May 2015.

Editor Overview

Editors prepare the final video by piecing together what the camera operator has shot. They go through the video frame by frame, discussing with the director what to keep and what to discard before splicing the final video together into a cohesive story. They must be detail-minded, very organized and able to multitask while staying focused on the bigger picture of what will be the finished product. Some editors may also be tasked to add in music and special effects where needed. Special effects technicians create and add in the visual effects, usually through animation or computer-generated imagery, while the sound effects are added by sound effects editors.

Requirements to be an Editor

Earning a bachelor's degree is often helpful for the prospective editor, though other forms of training, courses and previous work experience are often just as important for getting hired. Most training is done on the job. Trainees usually start with other jobs before moving into editing. Editors need to think creatively and have an eye for detail. They also need to have patience and to work well as part of a team.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the BLS, film and video editors will have job growth of 18% from 2014 to 2024. Film and video editors earned a median annual salary of $61,750 in May 2015.

Equipment Technician Overview

Video and audio equipment technicians are in charge of video monitors, microphones, cables and other needed equipment. They also work with Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Illustrator, Apple Final Cut Pro and other types of digital software. Besides working with the technology, they must be able to repair any problems that arise with the equipment. Technicians must have knowledge of circuit boards, communication methods, transmission and more.

Requirements to be an Equipment Technician

To be hired as an equipment technician one may need an associate's degree, vocational training or on-the-job experience. Some employers may require 1-2 years of on-the-job training. An understanding of technology is important. Skills that will benefit an equipment technician include communication, critical thinking, coordination and problem solving.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Audio and video equipment technicians are expected to have job growth of 7% over the 2014 to 2024 decade, according to the BLS. The median annual wage for these technicians was $41,440 in May 2015.

Camera operators film the scenes that will be put together by editors to form a commercial, show or film. Equipment technicians set up and maintain all the equipment needed for filming, such as microphones and monitors. While a degree is recommended, camera operators can learn through on-the-job training, but editors and equipment technicians usually must have a degree.

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