Television Editor: Salary and Career Facts

Research what it takes to become a television editor. Learn about educational requirements, where you can work, and potential 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 Television Editor?

Television editors work closely with directors to edit a television show's filmed footage. They manipulate footage that has been recorded to create a seamless flow of scenes shot in a logical order. They help improve the way a television program is being presented to its viewers. Their works typically have to be approved by directors and producers. The following chart provides an overview of what you need to know about entering this field.

Degree Required Postsecondary education, such as a bachelor's degree, is preferred
Education Field of Study Film production; television production; broadcasting
Key Responsibilities Select and cut scenes from film; ensure clarity of sound and visual components; team up with director on the vision of the production
Job Growth (2014-2024) 18% (for all film and video editors)*
Median Salary (2015) $61,750 (for all film and video editors)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Do as a Television Editor?

Television editors compile the footage filmed for a particular television program and assemble that footage in the form of a narrative. You might work with a television director to select scenes worthy of inclusion or to cut scenes that are irrelevant. Your main task will be to fulfill the vision of the directors or producers of the television show.

What Educational Programs Are Available?

There is no set educational path that leads directly to a career as a television editor. You may consider enrolling in a certificate, associate's or bachelor's degree program in film or television production; these programs typically include courses in digital, motion picture or video editing. Associate's and bachelor's programs may require completion of a final film project in order to graduate.

Additional courses might cover topics like the structure of the moving image, cinematography and television production. You could also learn how to add special effects and sound clips. Most programs will teach you how to use popular software programs used for film editing like Apple's Final Cut.

Where Will I Find Work in the Field?

If you're interested in working as an editor for television, you may need to move to a major metropolitan area like Los Angeles or New York. You might find work with a post-production studio or television network. Post-production studios take all of the footage after a show is filmed and edit it for content, clarity and sound. You may need to start out as an intern or assistant editor at a post-production studio before you can work your way up to the position of editor.

What Salary Can I Expect to Earn?

More than 27,000 film and video editors worked in the United States in 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). During that year, the median annual salary for film and video editors was $61,750. Roughly 18,000 of these professionals worked in the motion picture and video industries; about 3,800 film and video editors worked in the radio and television broadcasting industry.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you would like to get more involved in the field of television, an alternative career for you would be that of a producer or director. Producers and directors create television programs and other productions such as films to inform, educate and entertain the public. They also produce television commercials to promote products or services. If you have an inclination for creating animation or visual effects, you may be a multimedia artist or animator. Multimedia artists and animators create visual content not only for television but for other media as well such as film, commercials, or online media. Either of these career alternatives requires a bachelor's degree, as well as good communication skills and technical expertise.

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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