Salary and Career Information for Music Video Editors

Sep 22, 2019

Music video editors take prerecorded footage and edit it using specialized software in order to create a music video. A bachelor's degree and experience in film production is necessary to break into this rapidly-growing, but competitive, profession.

Essential Information

Music video editors piece together raw footage and craft a cohesive music video. The editing process uses computers and digital editing software that allows editors to experiment with different cuts, transitions and effects. Music video editors typically hold a bachelor's degree in film production.

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 14% for film and video editors
Median Annual Salary (2018)* $62,650 for film and video editors

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the annual median salary of a film and video editor was $62,650 as of May 2018, with the highest-paid 10% earning $170,040 or more per year and the lowest-paid 10% earning $31,940 or less per year. Film editors who were employed in the accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services industry earned slightly more and had an annual average salary of $91,300 (

Career Information

Music video editors are film production professionals who specialize in taking raw footage and producing a cohesive music video. To accomplish this, music video editors work with computers and digital editing software, such as Final Cut Pro.

In addition to cutting parts of a music video together, editors must ensure that the audio and film are correctly synchronized. Music video editors often work with the director during the editing process, and they might bounce ideas off each other.

Education Requirements

Usually, a music video editor holds a bachelor's degree in film production. Students enrolled in an undergraduate film production program have the opportunity to study topics such as film history, film editing, screenwriting, dramatic analysis and basic cinematography. Some degree programs also include an internship or a final-year student project.

Employment Outlook

According to the BLS, employment of film and video editors is projected to increase by about 14% between 2018 and 2028. This growth is much faster than the average for all other occupations in the same time period. The BLS also noted that competition for music video editing positions and contracts is high. This is because there are more aspiring music video editors than there are jobs. The BLS also reported that in 2018, roughly 27% of film and video editors were independent artists.

Most music video editors have earned a degree in film production, during which time they may have also studied topics related to film, such as history, screenwriting, and cinematography. They must be comfortable working with computers, because in order to edit, add effects and synchronize a video with the music, these professionals use specific programs such as Final Cut Pro.

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