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How to Become a Video Editor in 5 Steps

Explore the career requirements for video editors. Get the facts about degree requirements, salary and employment outlook to determine if this is the right career for you.

What Does a Video Editor Do?

Video editors are responsible for creating the final cut of a film, commercial, television show or other type of video. They work with directors to arrange the film and cut scenes together. They must be very organized as they sort all the footage and then they begin editing it using a software program. They may provide feedback to directors regarding what shots they have and what they are missing. Editors may also be employed by individuals to create short videos for weddings or special events. The table below provides more details regarding the education required to become a video editor, along with employment and salary projections.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Broadcasting, film
Key Skills Computer literacy, communication skills, hand-eye coordination, attention to detail
Job Growth (2018-2028)* 14% (for all film and video editors)
Median Salary (2018)* $62,650 (for all film and video editors)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is a Video Editor?

As a video editor, you could work with many different media forms, such as television, motion picture or Internet-based entertainment. Primarily, you would take the raw footage provided by the cinematographer, and edit and combine it with sounds to produce the final version. This final cut would encompass specific concepts and ideas from both the director and your own editing suggestions.

Step One: Join an Audio Visual Club

Many video editors have some basic understanding of video production even before they reach college. Becoming involved in your high school's audio visual (AV) club can help you learn the basic editing techniques that you will build on later into the career. Additionally, AV organizations often provide you a chance to encounter editing tools and software for the first time.

Step Two: Take Computer Classes

Gone are the days when the only way to edit film was by cutting it and taping the pieces together. Today, many cinematographers and editors use digital computer-aided software to bring video to life. Learning computer basics is important for you to understand the editing software needed later on in your career.

Step Three: Graduate With a Bachelor's Degree

A bachelor's degree is the primary method of obtaining the education and skills needed as an editor. A Bachelor of Arts in Film and Video Production program trains you to use the equipment that video editors rely upon in their profession. Examples of coursework would include film theory, script analysis, media ethics, production, feature screenwriting and post-production.

Step Four: Complete an Internship

You will begin your career through an internship during or after college. Completing an internship as a video editor provides you with the opportunity to apply skills, build a resume and obtain professional recommendations. Internships vary in their requirements and job duties. If you were to apply for an internship after college, you may be required to show a portfolio of work, references and understanding of editing software.

Step Five: Become a Video Editor

Becoming a video editor requires current knowledge of the trends in film and video technology. Many video editors move directly into their first salaried position from an internship. As you gain more experience in the field, you may receive recommendations for your previous work, which can lead to more job opportunities.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

There are other careers possibilities for people interested in the world of film. For those who have an interest in sound, there are jobs in broadcast and sound engineering technology. These professionals are responsible for setting up sound recording equipment for films, radio programs, and concerts. Other possibilities include camera operation, photography, and producing.