Film and Video Editor - Career Profile (2023)

What Does a Film and Video Editor Do? Where Do Film and Video Editors Work? ACR Takes a Look.

What Does a Film and Video EditorDo?

Film and video editors manipulate images that entertain or inform an audience. They arrange footage shot by camera operators and collaborate with producers and directors to create the final content. Typical duties include organizing digital footage with video-editing software, discussing filming and editing techniques with a director to improve a scene, and editing scenes based on the director’s vision. Nearly all editing work is completed on a computer, and editors often have training in a specific type of editing software.

Editors often have one or more assistants that support him or her keeping track of each shot in a database or loading digital video into an editing bay. Assistants may also perform editing tasks.

Where Do Film and Video Editors Work?

Many film and video editors put their creative work online. If it becomes popular, they gain more recognition, which can lead to future employment or freelance opportunities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that “self-employed film and video editors” is one of the largest employment groups in the field. The largest employer of film and video editors is the motion picture and video industry.

Per the BLS, editors typically work in studios or offices. They often work in editing rooms by themselves, or with producers and directors, for many hours at a time. Film studios, production studios, animation studios, television studios, advertising production agencies, video production studios, public relations firms, and design studios are just a few examples of where film and video editors may work.

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What is the Job Outlook for Film and Video Editors?

The U.S. is home to around 34,200 film and video editors. Employment is projected to grow 17% for the 2016-2026 decade, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. This will add 5,800 new jobs, bringing the total number of editors to 40,000.

Per the BLS, “the number of Internet-only platforms, such as streaming services, is likely to increase, along with the number of shows produced for these platforms. This growth may lead to more work for editors and camera operators.” More film and video editors are “expected to be needed because of an increase in special effects and overall available content,” reports the BLS.

Most job openings will be in major entertainment hubs such as Los Angeles and New York as specialized editing workers are in demand there. “Those with experience at a TV station or on a film set should have the best prospects. Video editors may improve their prospects by developing skills with different types of specialized editing software.”

In addition to Los Angeles and New York, employment opportunities may be abundant in Florida, Texas, and Georgia.

The top five industries with the highest employment levelsfor film and video editors are:

  1. Motion Picture and Video Industries
  2. Radio and Television Broadcasting
  3. Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services
  4. Cable and Other Subscription Programming
  5. Other Information Services

OtherSchools to Consider:

Selected Campus Locations:

  • San Francisco & Online

Animation Career Review Rankings:

  • Top 50 Nationally for Animation (#14) - 2022
  • Top 50 Nationally for Game Design (#40) - 2022
  • Top 50 Nationally for Graphic Design (#46) - 2022
  • Top 50 Nationally for Illustration (#29) - 2022

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Southern New Hampshire University

Selected Campus Locations:

  • Online

Selected Programs:

  • BA in Graphic Design - 3D Modeling and Animation
  • BA in Graphic Design

Animation Career Review Rankings:

  • Top 50 Private Graphic Design Schools in the US (#38) - 2022

How Much Do Film and Video Editors Make?

The median annual wage for film and video editors is $62,650. The mean annual wage is $86,830. The lowest 10% earnless than $31,940, and the highest 10% earnmore than $170,040. Individual salaries varybased on geographic location, industry, type and size of company, and many other factors. For example, the highest paying states, along with pay for some of the top metro areas for film and video editors, are:

  • California - $112,530; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim - $115,160; San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward - $82,220
  • New York - $92,170; New York-Newark-Jersey City - $92,040
  • New Jersey - $87,150, New York-Newark-Jersey City - $92,040
  • Massachusetts - $74,090; Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, $74,020
  • Connecticut - $73,710

Some of the lowest paying states for film and video editors are Nevada ($45,560), Idaho ($45,550), Oklahoma ($43,870), South Carolina ($41,740), and Arkansas ($40,880).

The top paying industries for film and video editors are:

  • Motion Picture and Video Industries - $94,860
  • Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services - $91,300
  • Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services - $81,500
  • Management of Companies and Enterprises - $78,520
  • Employment Services - $70,810

Pay for the top three industries with the highest employment levels for film and video editors is as follows:

  1. Motion Picture and Video Industries - $94,860
  2. Radio and Television Broadcasting - $64,000
  3. Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services - $69,580

How Do I Become a Film and Video Editor?

Most employers prefer to hire film and video editors with a bachelor’s degree in a field related to film or broadcasting, such as communications. Editors with certification one or more types of editing software are highly desired as well as those with several years of experience in the industry. This, along with creativity and leadership skills, can lead to advancement opportunities such as project manager or director.

Which Schools Offer Programs for Aspiring Film and Video Editors?

  • California State University-Northridge, BA Cinema and Television Arts
  • Columbia College Chicago, BA Filmmaking, BFA Cinema Art Science
  • DePaul University, BFA Film and Television, Concentration Editing, Minor Digital Cinema and Television Production
  • LA Film School, AS, BS Film, BS Digital Filmmaking
  • LIU Brooklyn, BA Media Arts – Film andVideo Production
  • Loyola University Chicago, BA Film and Media Production, Film and Digital Media
  • Marist College, BA Media Studies and Production
  • New York Film Academy, AFA, BFA, MFA Filmmaking, BA Media Studies, MA Film and Media Production, Digital Editing Focus Area. The school also offers one- and two-year filmmaking programs, along with more than a dozen 2-day to full semester filmmaking workshops and programs.
  • Penn State, BA Film and Video
  • Quinnipiac University, BA, BFA Film, Television and Media Arts
  • Ringling College of Art and Design, BFA Film (Editing, Directing, Screenwriting, Cinematography)
  • Rowan University, BA Radio-TV-Film
  • Rutgers University, BA Video Production
  • Southeastern University, BA, BS Film Production
  • UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television (UCLA TFT), MFA Film or Production
  • University of Advancing Technology, BA Digital Video (Film Production)
  • University of Memphis, BA Film andVideo Production
  • University of Texas-Austin, BS Radio-Television-Film
  • University of Wisconsin – Stout, Communication Technologies Department, BS Video Production
  • USC School of Cinematic Arts, BA, BFA Cinematic Arts, Film and Television Production, MFA (Editing, Producing, Directing, Cinematography, Production Design, and Sound)
  • Webster University, BA Film, Television & Video Production

Awesome Animation Fact: Released in 2014, Disney’s Big Hero 6 was the first Marvel-owned story animated by the studio and it takes place in San Fransokyo, a combination of Tokyo and San Francisco. -Smatterist

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