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Music Video Editing: Job Description & Requirements

Explore what a music video editor job entails. Learn about the education and skills required, as well as the salary and employment outlook, in order to make an informed career decision.

Career Definition for a Music Video Editor

Music video editors create finished pieces of audio-visual entertainment that sell songs and promote bands. Duties include cutting, reassembling and condensing film shot around a song into an ideal length. Music video editing requires creative talent to mesh story lines, songs and much more film than is eventually used. This job differs from other video editing jobs because its focus is on the song as an entertainment vehicle.

Education Associate and bachelor's degrees are available in communication, media arts and film/video production
Job Skills Storytelling, element splicing, technological skills, artistic abilities
Median Salary (2017)* $61,180 for video and film editors
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 17% for video and film editors

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Nearly all film, sound and special effects mixing is done digitally, which means music video editors must be fluent in editing software. A concentration in technology is paramount and can be obtained by earning an Associate of Arts in Communication and Media Arts. Other options include a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Film and Digital Production or a BFA in Motion Picture Television Editing. Courses for prospective music video editors may include scripting for electronic media, video production and the art of film.

Skills Required

A successful music video editor has a keen eye, open ear and deft hand for telling a good story. The best video editors are so adept at splicing elements together that their work is invisible. This takes technological skill and artistic ability.

Career and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that competition for video editing jobs will become more intense in the future, but overall job outlook is good, with a 17% increase predicted between 2016 and 2026. Film and video editors nationally earn a median salary of $61,180 per year, as of May 2017.

Alternative Careers

For other options in the editing business, consider these:

Sound Engineering Technician

For those who are interested in the music industry but want to focus more on creating the sound track, a career in sound engineering is an option. Sound engineering technicians record music, voices, sound effects and other audio elements using specialized recording equipment. After capturing the sounds, the recordings are manipulated and enhanced to create the final desired product. A high school diploma may be all that is necessary for entry-level jobs, but many aspiring sound engineering technicians earn a related associate degree or certificate to gain an advantage in the job market. Voluntary certification is also available for career advancement. The BLS projects a 6% growth in employment of sound engineering technicians during the 2016-2026 decade. As reported by the BLS in May of 2017, these professionals earned a median salary of $55,810.

Multimedia Artist

Those seeking a creative outlet in video creation may be interested in becoming multimedia artists or animators. These artists use skills in digital design to add special effects to games, television, and movies. They also hand-draw elements for animated movies, cartoons, and other video projects. Although no specific education is required, employers are looking for workers who have an impressive portfolio and skills. Many multimedia artists choose to pursue a bachelor's degree in computer graphics, animation, art, or a related field to gain a competitive advantage. Between 2016 and 2026, the BLS expects average growth of 8% for multimedia artists, resulting in 6,200 new jobs. In 2017, multimedia artists and animators received a median wage of $70,530, based on BLS figures.


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