Video Editor: Job & Career Info

Video editors consult and collaborate with directors and producers to assemble movies, documentaries, commercials, and instructional videos. Read on to learn more details about this creative occupation.

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Career Definition for a Video Editor

A video editor evaluates a body of film or video footage, chooses among the shots he or she prefers, and assembles them into a coherent whole that tells a story or presents a viewpoint. Duties include consulting with the director and producer about storylines, viewing and making logs of raw footage, trimming and splicing footage, and adding sound effects, special effects, and music.

Education Bachelor's degree in film studies or apprenticeship recommended, but not required
Job Skills Video editing software, artistic judgment, communication skills
Median Salary (2017)* $61,180 for film and video editors
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 17% for film and video editors

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

A video editor can improve their job prospects with a bachelor's degree in film studies (or a related field), experience from an apprenticeship, or a combination of both. However, the position requires no formal education. Courses in a film studies degree program might include video directing, set design and lighting, conventional video editing, digital video editing, film editing, sound recording, sound editing, digital imaging, and computer animation.

Required Skills

A video editor needs to have in-depth knowledge of video editing software, as well as sound artistic judgment. They must also have excellent communication skills and be willing to collaborate with other artistic professionals to produce an outstanding movie, television show, commercial, or music video.

Career and Economic Outlook

Opportunities for video editors are expected to increase 17% from 2016-2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). More than half of salaried film and video editors worked for movie studios. However, competition for jobs is intense because many people wish to enter the broadcasting and movie industry. Los Angeles is the most intensive center of activity, followed by New York City. The BLS reports that as of May 2017, film and video editors earned a median salary of about $61,180 a year.

Alternate Career Options

For other options in the film industry, consider the following:

Multimedia Artist and Animator

Most of these artists and animators earn a bachelor's degree in art or computer graphics, in addition to developing an impressive work portfolio, to secure a position creating visual effects and animations for media forms such as TV, video games and movies. The BLS projected an average increase in these positions, from 2016-2026, of 8%. In 2017, the BLS also revealed an annual median salary of $70,530 for multimedia artists and animators, with those employed with video and motion picture industries earning the top wages.

Camera Operator

Normally having a bachelor's degree in a film or broadcasting-related field, including training in digital cameras and editing software, camera operators include studio camera operators, cinematographers and videographers, who basically select equipment and then shoot and organize film footage based on a director's wishes. The BLS reported a median wage of $53,550 per year in 2017 and projected an average job growth of 7% from 2016-2026.

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