How To Become A Video Editor
Video editors produce audio-visual multimedia products to convey a message to specific audiences. To perform their job, they dissect and combine visual recordings to create a final piece. Together with sound effects, music, graphics, and other special effects, video editors produce artwork, non-fictional documentaries, and technical information programs for their clients. Their work can stand on its own or complementarily to a script.
Why Become A Video Editor
Video editors must be creative, even if they are tasked with creating technical products. Their expertise and inventiveness make them masters of communication through a variety of media. To effectively convey their particular message through audio-visual means, it is important that video editors espouse a range of skills and qualities:
- Visual acuity
- Great communication skills
- Detail oriented
- Technological aptitude
- Excellent reflexes
- Content and client driven
Video Editor Work Environment
Video editors work indoors, typically in front of a computer screen or other technological tools. They can work for a variety of industries, which include the following:
- Motion picture and video
- Radio and television broadcasting (including broadcast journalism)
- Accounting, payroll, and tax services
- Manufacturing and reproduction
- Scientific, technical, and professional services
- Sound recording
- Social advocacy organizations
In addition, many video editors work as independent artists and writers. With the advent of YouTube and other easily-accessible technology, working independently has become a more viable undertaking.
Video Editor Salary
The annual average salary for a video editor varies widely, depending on industry, skill, and experience. Each industry requires different skills-sets and has various means of compensation (mean annual salary):
Average Video Editor Annual Salary
The average annual salary for video editors is $83,950 a year. Salaries start at $30,040 a year and go up to $163,440 a year.
Average Video Editor Hourly Wage
The average hourly wage for a video editor is $40.36. Hourly wages are between $14.44 and $78.57 an hour.
Stats were based out of 30,770 employed video editors in the United States.
Highest Paying States For Video Editors
- 1. California $52.44 / hr $109,070 / yr
- 2. New York $40.63 / hr $84,510 / yr
- 3. District of Columbia $37.84 / hr $78,710 / yr
- 4. New Hampshire $37.37 / hr $77,730 / yr
- 5. New Jersey $32.21 / hr $67,000 / yr
Top Paying Cities For Video Editors
- 1. Los Angeles, CA $53.61 / hr$111,520 / yr
- 2. Camden, NJ $45.76 / hr$95,180 / yr
- 3. New York, NY $41.13 / hr$85,550 / yr
- 4. Bridgeport, CT $39.80 / hr$82,780 / yr
- 5. San Francisco, CA $38.61 / hr$80,310 / yr
Data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Salary is also continent upon geographic location of employment. Video editors in California typically earn the highest salaries followed by New York, Washington D.C. and Connecticut.
Video Editor Career Outlook
Between 2014 and 2024, the job growth for video editors is expected to be 18 percent, which is far higher than the average occupation. The advent of online and mobile media has created a boon in the industry, especially for independent editors. With the ease of and access to this new technology comes a decrease in specialization, unfortunately. Many field reporters, writers, and other individuals involved in the broadcast industry may use such software to edit their own videos. The need for quality editing will continue to grow as the need for audio-visual information is in high demand.
Video Editor Degree
Although raw talent can take a video editor far in their career, most industries require at least a bachelor’s degree of their employees. It is also important to have practical experience in the field.
Step 1: Gain experience. Although it’s not necessary to obtain experience before attending undergraduate classes, it is advantageous to have prior practical experience in editing audio-visual materials. Many high school students have access to computer, journalism, and broadcast courses. Additionally, it would be beneficial to join any type of organization that offers relevant experience, such as an AV (audio-visual) club or broadcast journalism group.
Step 2: Prepare for technological coursework. If an individual chooses this type of career without understanding the importance of computers to aid in their work, then he or she will be lost in an undergraduate program. Most individuals who seek a career as a video editor do so because of their aptitude for computers and other technologies. Video editors need to know how to work digital cameras, software programs, and other multimedia tools.
Step 3: Obtain a bachelor’s degree. A degree program in video, film, or multimedia production will prepare any student to become a successful video editor. Film production is the field for which an individual will become involved. It is important to take courses in digital video production/post-production, film theory, media ethics, feature screenwriting, script analysis, and non-linear editing. A popular degree for aspiring video editors would be a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Video Production.
Step 4: Complete an internship program. Most employees and educational programs require an internship process. This opportunity is a hands-on experience that helps individuals gain practical experience, networking contacts, and chances to create a portfolio. It is important to demonstrate your work to future employers, so a digital portfolio (demo reel) is an excellent addition to any resume.
Step 5: Seek certification. Certification is not necessary, but it may separate candidates during the hiring process. Certifications in Adobe’s Creative Suite, Apple’s Final Cut Pro Studio, and Avid’s Media Composer will provide any candidate with an edge over the competition. Individuals can take courses through online or classroom instruction, and certification requires passing an exam in any of the above software packages. Find the right certification for your industry and add this credential to your resume.