TV News Editor: Career and Salary Facts

Research what it takes to become a TV news editor. Learn about degree requirements, the job outlook and salary to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Radio Broadcasting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a TV News Editor?

Television news editing is a demanding job. News is happening all the time and reporters are calling in stories as they happen. It is the news editor's job to quickly write text, edit videos and prepare the spots for the news program. News editors will have their ears close to police scanners and the phones. They will check in with beat reporters, manage news crews on the streets and put together news stories from their desks. The job can be high pressure when they have to manage personalities, choose the stories to prioritize, and make quick decisions on the spot.

TV news editors work with reporters and producers to create the final videos and stories that appear during a news broadcast. In reviewing the table below, you can find out the typical skills needed to work as a TV news editor, as well as learn about education options and salary data.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Broadcasting or film
Key Skills Computer literacy, attention to detail, creativity, communication, time management
Job Growth (2014-2024) 18% (for all film and video editors)*
Median Salary (2015) $61,750 (for film and video editors)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Job Duties Will I Have as a TV News Editor?

TV station news departments consist of different types of editors: film and video editors that handle footage, or assignment editors that work with reporters. Although different, each of these roles is crucial to the success of a broadcast.

As a film and video editor for a TV news station, you take instruction from those on the production crew. Responsibilities may include, but are not limited to: piecing together shots to create a final clip, following a production script, editing material to a given time slot and utilizing computer editing software.

If you become an assignment editor for a TV station, your duties could include:

  • Managing reporters and news crew
  • Choosing which stories to cover
  • Maintaining professional and community contacts
  • Monitoring scanners and police reports
  • Following local, national and world news
  • Developing unique content ideas
  • Verifying sources

What Education Do I Need?

Most employers require you to have formal education and a bachelor's degree if you're seeking a job as a TV news editor. The most suitable education depends on which area of editing you are interested in: film and video editing or assignment editing. If you're more interested in video editing, there are several viable programs offered through colleges and film schools. Curriculum focuses on video equipment and technology, editing techniques and post-production. If you aspire to become a TV news assignment editor, you should enroll in a mass communication or journalism degree program to receive relevant training in media writing, broadcast journalism and television production.

What Could I Expect to Earn?

Out of approximately 27,660 film and video editors employed in May 2015, only 3,800 of those jobs were in radio and television broadcasting. Additionally, the BLS predicts a growth of 18% from 2014 to 2024 for film and video editors, which is faster than average do to the increase in special effects editors in the field (www.bls.gov). The BLS did not supply an estimate specifically for TV news editors for 2015. However, the average income for film and video editors was given at around $80,000, annually.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Television news editors can find a related career as a film and/or digital video editor. A bachelor's degree is needed for these professionals who work closely with a director in cutting scenes for a production. They may choose to become producers or directors. Directors of live television shows work with sound engineers and cameramen to select shots, monitor microphones and sound equipment. A director could hire actors for thematic programs and run rehearsals, direct the action and motivate the production team. Producers of films and television shows usually handle things with a production team to create sets, take care of special effects, and deal with distribution. You'd need a bachelor's degree for either position to begin.

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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