Digital Editor Jobs: Salary and Career Facts

Research what it takes to become a digital editor. Learn about: the duties of this job, the educational requirements and salary range to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Animation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is a Digital Editor?

Digital editors, also known as film or video editors, manipulate recorded moving images into sequences and usually synchronize them with soundtracks. Their job is to take raw footage collected by cameramen and turn it into a coherent, informative and entertaining piece of media. Digital editors generally work closely with directors and producers to ensure that the final product is fitting with their creative vision. Editing is a crucial part of the process of making a film and can make a significant difference to the overall effect. Digital editors need to be creative, knowledgeable about the film industry and have mastery over all standard studio editing equipment.

The following chart provides an overview of the education, job outlook and average salary in this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Video production, film, broadcast, audio and video editing computer software programs
Key Responsibilities Use computer software to manipulate recorded images and sound, add effects to productions, correct problems in assembly
Job Growth 18% (2014-2024)*
Average Salary $80,300 (2015)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Does a Digital Editor Do?

Digital video editors use computer software programs like Avid Media Composer and Final Cut Pro to review, assemble and sequence film clips. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), some of these professionals also edit movie soundtracks (www.bls.gov). Job postings found on Monster.com in April 2011 indicate that video editors may be responsible for inserting sound effects or correcting color flaws.

Editors often work in offices or post-production studios. The BLS notes that many editors are self-employed; these professionals bid for work and negotiate contracts in addition to their regular editing duties.

What Kind of Training Do I Need?

Most video editors need a bachelor's degree in video, film or media production. Bachelor's programs are available through film schools as well as technical colleges and 4-year universities. Some aspiring digital editors combine a bachelor's degree in a related field, like broadcasting, with a certificate in video production to obtain the necessary skills.

Bachelor's program classes often combine didactic and hands-on training. You might take courses like camera operation and maintenance, video image manipulation, stage lighting, advanced editing techniques and storyboarding. Completion of an internship may be required in order to earn your degree. While it's possible to find video, film or media production bachelor's programs online, most are campus-based, allowing students access to expensive camera equipment and professional editing software.

What's the Job Outlook?

The BLS predicted an 18 percent, much-faster-than-average job growth for film and video editors between 2014 and 2024. Job opportunities in this field are often competitive; editors with strong computer skills and work experience have the best chance of securing employment.

In 2015, film and video editors made an average annual salary of $80,300, as reported by the BLS. Those employed in the motion picture and video industries earned an average annual wage of $87,450. During this time, companies in the film and motion picture and radio and television broadcasting industries employed the highest number of film editors.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you have earned a bachelor's degree in video, film or media production, there are a number of career options open to you aside from becoming a digital editor. You may want to consider becoming a camera operator and taking responsibility for capturing clear, high-quality moving images. Another option is to become a director, whose responsibilities extend to essentially all creative aspects of a film project or performance. If you want to find a more hands-on creative role, consider becoming a multimedia artist or animator. Many of these professionals work within the film industry, providing art and animation for a wide range of films and television shows.

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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