Colleges for Camera Operators

Read about programs that include training in digital video camera operation, including TV, video and film production programs. Find out what you'd learn through a certificate or undergraduate degree program in these fields. Review the coursework and hands-on training you'd complete while learning to become a camera operator. Schools offering Digital Media Production degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Those interested in becoming camera operators have numerous program choices at the undergraduate level. Certificate and associate's degree programs are plentiful, while bachelor's degrees are available too.

Are There Colleges for Camera Operators?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, camera operators - also known as videographers - learn their trade through postsecondary instruction at film schools, colleges, universities or technical institutes. The National Center for Education Statistics has an online database of postsecondary institutions. A search of this database for cinematography, film or video production programs yields nearly 200 accredited schools.

Because of the necessity for hands-on training, online courses in this field are extremely rare. Stand-alone professional development courses may be available through the International Cinematographers Guild.

Are Certificate Programs Available?

You could earn an undergraduate certificate in television production, film and video or digital and film arts. Most programs take 1-2 years to complete and consist of 18-39 credits. Courses can include digital camera operation, cinematography, film editing, post production techniques and lighting.

You may also find schools that offer intensive courses leading to professional certificates in cinematography or digital video production. Because these certificate programs only take 1-3 months to complete, classes may meet five days a week for eight hours a day. Subjects can include Steadicam operation, lens selection, stock footage and camera filters.

Which Schools Offer Certificates for Camera Operators?

The following schools are among those with relevant programs for aspiring camera operators, ranging from specific camera operation programs to broader programs covering other aspects of film and video technology:

  • UCLA offers a Certificate in Cinematography program
  • Red Rocks Community College offers a Camera Operator Certificate program
  • Dallas County Community College offers a Audio Visual Specialist Certificate program

What Are Some Common Degree Programs?

Depending on the school, a 2-year program consisting of 63-67 credits can lead to an Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science or Associate of Arts in Television Production. For the most part, courses are similar to those offered in certificate programs. You'll enroll in general education courses, production workshops and a professional internship. Completion of a capstone project may require the production and presentation of a short film.

You could pursue a 4-year Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Fine Arts in Media Studies, Cinematic Arts or Television Production. You might receive instruction in broadcast writing, sound editing, visual storytelling, directing for television or production management. In some courses, you'll write, direct and edit your own videos. During group projects with other students, you may perform the duties of various members of a production crew.

Which Schools Offer Associate's Degrees for Camera Operators?

Associate's-level programs for camera operators may include studies in digital video editing, lighting, and post production. Here are a few school options:

  • Northcentral Technical College has an associate's degree program in video production
  • Pima Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program in digital and film arts
  • Glendale Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program in digital cinema arts with either a film or a video track

Which Schools Offer Bachelor's Degrees for Camera Operators?

Some bachelor's-level programs may offer various areas of focus, including cinematography, production design, and screenwriting. A few schools with 4-year programs are listed below:

  • Robert Morris University offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree program in television and video production
  • The Academy of Art University offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree program in motion pictures and television
  • Middle Tennessee State University has a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Mass Communication with a concentration in electronic media production and a specialty in video and film production

Students can study to become camera operators via certificate, associate's or bachelor's degree programs. Programs may offer various tracks and specializations, in addition to workshops and internships in the film and video industry.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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