Camera Operator and Editor |
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Camera Operator & Editor

Career Overview

Camera operators must learn to use television, video, or motion picture cameras to shoot live broadcasts, programs being taped for rebroadcast, movies, in-studio and on-site productions. Many camera operators work for themselves, acting as freelancers and working with production companies that come through the area. This is especially prevalent with live sports broadcasts. Typically a team will carry a producer and director with them, and pick up the rest of the crew locally.

Camera operators working in the television, film or live broadcast business have to understant the computer equipment that is the basis for digital video recording. Some camera operators will participate in the editing process on pretaped programs, in effect assisting in the production. Camera operators who work for news broadcast outlets are in charge of the remote vehicles where live shots are recorded, often edited, and then sent back to the studio via a microwave transmissioin from the equipment truck.

Some camera operators work on a contract basis and record corporate presentations or weddings, taking a lot of live footage and then editing it into a finished production. People in this profession are often called videographers.


It is increasingly important for camera operators to have a good understanding of computer technology. There are technical certificate programs and diploma programs in this field as well as associates' degrees that get into the entire production process a little more than the certificate programs.

Some professionals who work in editing and production obtain a bachelor's degree. Many in the industry start out as interns working as production assistants in order to learnt the business.


Television, video, and motion picture camera operators and editors held about 47,000 jobs in 2006. About 27,000 were camera operators and film
and video editors held about 21,000 jobs.

Job Outlook

Employment of camera operators and editors is expected to grow 12 percent over the 2006-16 decade, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2016.


Tenth Percentile $21,710.00

Median Salary $41,670.00

Ninetieth Percentile $79,440.00

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

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