Video Director: Job & Career Info

Read on to learn what video directors do. See what the required education and training includes. Get the details about career prospects and earning potential to decide if this field is right for you.

Career Definition for a Video Director

Video directors are the creative force behind the making a movie, commercial or other video production. They work with a staff of producers, writers, editors, lighting technicians, sound engineers, and production assistants to produce videos for all sorts of different purposes. Video directors are in charge of the content that goes on camera and must be familiar with the technical aspects of making videos. These workers make decisions on the budget, length of a shoot, script changes, lighting, and any other issues regarding the making of a video.

Education Bachelor's programs available in film studies, but not required
Job Skills Leadership, creativity, meeting deadlines, organization
Median Salary (2015) $68,440 for producers and directors
Job Growth (2014-2024) 9% for producers and directors

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Required

There are no educational requirements for individuals looking to become a video director. Many prospective directors choose to attend a college or university in order to learn the technical side of video making and to develop their creative abilities. While in school, students take classes in directing, camera work, lighting, and sound. After completing a bachelor's program in film studies or a related field, aspiring video directors may continue their professional education as production and directing assistants.

Skills Required

Video directors must have exceptional leadership skills and the ability to give orders and delegate work. Directors need to be creative and have an understanding of how to use the video equipment on set. It's essential that video directors have strong communication skills and are able to meet deadlines and stay organized. The City and County of Denver reports that video directors must excel in time management, meet deadlines, and handle the stress involved in this profession.

Economic and Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that employment for all producers and directors, including video directors, is expected to grow 9% from 2014-2024, faster than average for all occupations. Faster growth is predicted take place in independent film-making. As of May 2015, producers and directors working for the motion picture and video industries earned a median salary of $68,440 per year, according to the BLS.

Alternate Career Options

Here are some other ideas for a career related to directing:


A writer creates written material to be accessed in a variety of formats; books, magazine articles, greeting cards, film and video scripts, and more. Some writers pick a topic of their choosing while others get assignments from editors; writers often work within deadlines. Writers may conduct research or interviews and write several drafts of their work, getting input and feedback from editors or clients. Writers may specialize in the kind of writing they produce. Writers typically have a bachelor's degree in a field like English or journalism, although some have a specialized education depending on the kind of writing they do. There are voluntary professional certification options for writers. According to the BLS, jobs for writers are expected to increase 2% from 2014-2024; writers got paid a median salary of $60,250 in 2015.

Video Camera Operator

Video camera operators record moving images using video cameras. They choose the appropriate camera, lenses, and related technical equipment. Depending on the project, they may take direction from video directors on what to shoot and how or make these decisions themselves, such as when they're shooting special events like weddings. Video camera operators also sometimes perform video editing work. A bachelor's degree in film or broadcasting is commonly required for employment. The BLS reports that jobs for video camera operators are expected to increase 2% from 2014-2024. The median pay for this occupation was $49,080 in 2015.

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