News Cameraman: Education Requirements and Career Info

Sep 28, 2019

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

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If you're the type of person who likes to be where the action is while catching major events on camera, then working as a news cameraman could be appealing. Completing a degree program in this field is recommended, but experience and skills, as shown through a film portfolio, are what really count.

Essential Information

News cameramen film newsworthy events, including political speeches, protest demonstrations and sporting events. Some news cameramen work at a television station and operate the cameras used in live news broadcasts. Prospective news cameramen should seek an associate's or a bachelor's degree in camera operation, electronic media or a video-related field, and an internship program that provides opportunities to gain hands-on experience.

Required Education Associate's or bachelor's degree in a field pertaining to cameras, video or electronic media
Other Requirements Internships with hands-on experience can be beneficial; technical camera and video skills essential
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 8% for TV, video and motion picture cameramen
Median Salary (2018)* $54,570 for TV, video and motion picture cameramen

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

News Cameraman Education Requirements

Education Information

An aspiring news cameraman should earn an associate's or bachelor's degree in videography, camera operation, video production, or electronic media production. In these programs, students can expect to take courses in the use of a variety of camera equipment, and the fundamentals of broadcast journalism, communications, and more.

Oftentimes, a news cameraman's technical skills are more important than his or her formal education. The best way to build these skills is to intern with a local television station or work in a school's television station while completing a degree program.

Necessary Skills

A news cameraman has to be patient and methodical in order to capture the best shots. Excellent eyesight, hand-eye coordination and endurance are also vital for success in the field. In order to be best prepared for careers in the digital age, news cameramen should study digital filming and editing techniques.

News Cameraman Career Information

Career Options

News cameramen can work in news stations, filming broadcast anchors, or they can be out in the field capturing live events as they happen. Field work can be more varied and exciting, but may be stressful and require increased travel and longer, irregular hours. Occasionally, a news cameraman will work as an independent journalist, filming events and then selling the footage directly to news programs.

Advancement Opportunities

News cameramen often start their careers in small markets with affiliate stations in order to acquire job experience before moving on to work with bigger or more prestigious news stations. In order to maximize their chances for career advancement, news cameramen should build a portfolio of their best work, known in the industry as a reel, to show producers in other markets.

Employment Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not offer outlook data for news cameramen; however, job opportunities for TV, video and motion picture cameramen are expected to grow faster than average between 2018 and 2028 (www.bls.gov). Additional growth may be possible as internet journalism grows in the coming years. It should be noted, however, that like most media fields, competition for cameraman positions can be fierce, since many people are interested in careers in broadcasting and journalism.

A news cameraman's job can be quite taxing, but if you have the technical skills needed, it could be a rewarding career. Earning an associate's or bachelor's degree in broadcasting, film, communications or another related major; getting familiar with digital technology and editing software; and having an exceptional portfolio should all help increase job opportunities.

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