What Education and Training Is Needed to Become a Video Editor?

To become a video editor, many professionals will earn a bachelor's degree, perhaps by attending film school. Some will complete apprenticeships and other hands-on training, and many video editors should expect to study in continuing education classes. Schools offering Digital Cinematography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Education and Training Overview

Video editing is a highly technical field and generally requires some education or training. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) reports that most video editors learn their trade through formal education after high school. Many positions for video editors may require applicants to hold bachelor's degrees to be considered.

Important Facts about this Field

Median PayThe median annual wage for film and video editors in 2014 was $57,210. The motion picture industry is the top-paying industry for video editors with an average salary of $82,370.*
Job OutlookEmployment of video editors is not expected to increase much in the coming years. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment will increase by only 3%, which is considered much slower than average.
Key SkillsVideo editors need to be able to communicate effectively, be creative, work well on computers, pay attention to detail, have strong visual skills and coordination, and manage their time well.
Similar OccupationsPublication Editors, Multimedia Artists, Animators, Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians, Producers and Directors


Formal Education

Most video editors get their start after formal training at colleges and universities. A bachelor's degree related to video editing provides prospective editors with a well-rounded education in videography, the technical aspects of editing, camera operation, and artistry. California's Employment Development Department (www.calmis.ca.gov) suggests that film school may also be helpful for people looking to break into video editing.


Video editors begin work as apprentices or assistant editors. They may also pick up work experience at their university or college film department. Video editing students or young professionals may work part-time at cable and television networks or motion picture studios. This training supplements, but doesn't replace, the formal degrees that most video editors have.

Certification and Continued Education

Although video editing is a technical profession, there is no widely accepted certification, and certification is not required for employment in the industry. However, even once they have become part of the field, video editors should expect an ongoing educational experience. The rigorous time demands of the job leave little time for 'on-the-job' training for experienced video editors. They are likely to take formal courses outside the work environment to keep abreast of new developments in the industry.

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