Television Camera Operator / Editor
How to Become a Television Camera Operator
Job Duties of a Television Camera Operator / Editor
Skills and Qualities of Television Camera Operators / Editors
Salaries for Television Camera Operators / Editors
Influential Professionals in this Field
Leading Organizations in this Field
Top Cities for Television Camera Operator / Editor Jobs
Other Careers of Interest
Operators with the most experience and highest computer skills are the most sought after. Companies try to find people with good eyes, imagination, creativity, and technical skill when hiring camera operators. They want someone to make what they are filming to look perfect.
Many schools offer studies in camera operation and videography. Basic courses such as equipment usage, processes, and techniques can be found at most community colleges and universities. Vocational and technical schools will offer more in depth classes with degrees specializing in camera operation, film editing, and videography. It is important that operators have a keen understanding of technology and stay up to date, learning how to use new software and equipment.
Camera operators can get a leg up on competition by first becoming a production assistant where they can learn how to film and see first hand how video production works. Production assistants spend most of their time setting up lights, cameras, and other equipment. Once they have gained this experience camera operators usually begin work within a small market and then work their way up to bigger projects.
Whatever they shoot, the material is made up of many different stills of film. This is when the editing work is put to use by combining the different stills and putting together a flowing film. Most of the editing is done through a computer due to the increase in digital technology.
Most videographers find employment with independent television stations, local affiliate stations, large cable networks, or small independent production companies. Depending on the nature of their work, some camera operators get to travel around the world shooting different sporting games, news stories, or events. Others can stay working in the same city for a long period of time if they work for a station with a specific audience, or are shooting for a show that lasts for several seasons.
Working schedules can vary drastically. Operators employed by a television or cable network usually work a normal 5 day 40 hour work week, while many operators/editors may work long days at all different hours in order to meet with the production schedules.
The more experience one has, the better job they can have with more demanding assignments and positions with larger media markets.
For those camera operators who do freelance work or run their own business, skills are a must. They need to know how to submit bids for a project, write contracts, and get permission to shoot locations.
Overall, the median salary for camera operators and editors in May of 2006 was $40,060 per year. Most earned between $26,930 and $59,440 with the highest ten percent earning $84,500.
The International Cinematographers Guild is another union that represents only the most talented of camera professionals. Members of this organization make up the most influential and highly esteemed people in the industry.
Currently Los Angles, New York, Seattle, Pittsburgh are in highest need of professionals in this area. High competition can be expected, and those with the highest skills will be rewarded with the best jobs.
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