Movie Editing Degree Programs and Schools

Movie editors provide an essential element to the post-production process, utilizing their creativity and aesthetic vision to turn raw footage into a finished motion picture. Learn more about job responsibilities, education requirements, professional organizations and career outlook. Schools offering Digital Cinematography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

As a movie editor, you are involved with post-production in motion pictures. Editing programs include courses that will introduce you to editing aesthetics, including experimental creative styles.

Programs Certificates, Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's
Courses Editing Theory, After Effects/Photoshop, Lighting for Film and Video, Advanced After Effects, Final Cut Pro X, Aesthetics of Editing
Schools Colleges, Universities, Technical

Sources: New York Film Academy, Austin School of Film

What Experience Do I Need as a Movie Editor?

Careers in movie editing require varying levels of experience and proven acumen. In the motion picture industry, editors work with apprentices, assistants and various sound editors. While you work closely with film directors, you use your own artistic vision to help create a finished movie. To work in this field, you must understand how to use digital software and aesthetic techniques to manipulate raw footage. Although you do not necessarily need a 4-year degree or advanced degree to work in the motion picture industry, gaining extensive education and experience will help you further your career.

What Are The Education Requirements?

Depending on your career goals, you can obtain a certificate, associate's degree, bachelor's degree or master's degree. Extensive programs will provide you with more experience and exposure to aesthetic theory; they will also provide you with more material for an editing portfolio.

What Will I Learn in Movie Editing Programs?

You will learn the components of movie editing, including the nature of film editing terminology, such as close-ups, cross-cutting, fade out, establishing shots and sequence shots. Editing programs also involve training in digital software programs, such as Avid and Final Cut Pro.

An education in film editing involves post-production projects that will provide you with clips for your portfolio. Students work together to complete all steps of film production, including film editing.

Can Any Organizations Help Me?

The American Cinema Editors (ACE) is an organization that provides internships and student competitions. ACE grants membership to editors once they have established themselves through academic accomplishment or work experience. As a working editor, you may choose to join the Editor's Guild in order to gain access to opportunities and occupational protections in the motion picture industry.

What Are My Career Prospects?

You may wish to gain experience in editing for local television, marketing production, music videos or instructional/training videos. Along with advanced education, these occupations can help you gain experience and develop an eclectic portfolio that can lead to work in the motion picture industry. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projections, movie editors will see an employment increase of 11% in their profession from 2012 to 2022 ( The BLS 2014 statistics show a median salary of $57,210 for movie editors, with the vast amount of employment in California.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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  • The Art Institutes

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