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Film And Video Editor Career

Career Description

A Film and Video Editor edits soundtracks,  film, and video for the motion picture, cable, and broadcast television industries.

Common Work Tasks

  • Cut shot sequences to different angles at specific points in scenes, making each individual cut as fluid and seamless as possible
  • Study scripts to become familiar with production concepts and requirements
  • Edit films and videotapes to insert music,  dialogue, and sound effects, to arrange films into sequences, and to correct errors, using editing equipment
  • Select and combine the most effective shots of each scene to form a logical and smoothly running story
  • Mark frames where a particular shot or piece of sound is to begin or end
  • Determine the specific audio and visual effects and music necessary to complete films
  • Verify key numbers and time codes on materials
  • Organize and string together raw footage into a continuous whole according to scripts or the instructions of directors and producers
  • Review assembled films or edited videotapes on screens or monitors to determine if corrections are necessary
  • Program computerized graphic effects

Other Job Titles

Film and Video Editors are also known by other titles,  including:

  • Camera Operators
  • Videographers
  • Cinematographers
  • Assistant Editor

Education,  Training, and Experience

Education and Training
  Many universities, community and junior colleges, vocational-technical institutes,  and private trade and technical schools offer courses in camera operation and videography. Basic courses cover equipment, processes, and techniques. It is increasingly important for editors to have a good understanding of computer technology. Bachelor’s degree programs, especially those including business courses, provide a well-rounded education. Film schools also may provide training on the artistic or aesthetic aspects of filmmaking.

  To enter the occupation, many film and video editors first become production assistants to learn how film and video production works. In entry-level jobs they learn to set up lights, cameras, and other equipment. They also may receive routine assignments requiring adjustments to their cameras or decisions on what subject matter to capture.


The median annual salary for a Film and Video Editor is $48,000. The top 10 percent earn more than $113,000, and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $24,000.  Median earnings in the industries employing the largest number of film and video editors are:

  • Motion Picture and Video Industries - $68,980
  • Radio and Television Broadcasting - $46,360
  • Advertising and Related Services- $60,100
  • Cable and Other Subscription Programming - $53,090
  • Manufacturing and Reproducing Magnetic and Optical Media  - $42,910

Job Outlook

  • 2006-2016 Employment growth:  13%
  • Number of new jobs created 2006-2016: 2,600
  • Employment 2006 : 21,000
  • Employment 2016:  23,000
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