Video Editor: Career Profile, Employment Outlook and Education Requirements

Video editors manipulate the content of videos, films and soundtracks for eventual viewing as motion pictures or cable and television broadcasts. Video editors typically learn their craft through video editing courses or media arts degree programs. Continue reading for a detailed overview of this career field. Schools offering Digital Cinematography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Video editors manipulate images that entertain or inform an audience. They are responsible for the timing of a film and for selecting the best scenes to tell the story. Most video editors have a bachelor's degree in a field related to film or broadcasting.

Responsibilities Collaborate with directors, research context, arrange and edit scenes, choose the best audio or music for the scenes
Outlook 17% projected growth for 2016-2026
Degrees Bachelor's degree common, master's degrees available as well as workshops and intensives

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Maine Media

What Do Video Editors Do?

Video editors are part of creative production teams that include camera operators, directors, sound technicians, assistants and actors. They are tasked with creating a final, presentable piece of film or video. With new technology, video editors have actually become digital video editors who work mostly on computers, adding sounds, designing scenes and shaping the presentation.

Although the most well-known work environments for video editors are movie and television studios, many have found employment recreating crime scenes at law enforcement agencies or law firms, while others have found work with event planners editing videos of weddings, birthdays, conferences, meetings, and celebrations or ceremonies.

Here is a list of day to day tasks you may have as a video editor:

  • Collaborating on the creative vision for a video with directors and other team members
  • Arranging scenes from raw footage
  • Editing scenes using imaging software
  • Combining graphics with music

What is the Employment Outlook for Video Editors?

Employers often hire video editors who have a bachelor's degree and experience working in the film or television industry. Individuals who work as assistant editors can eventually advance to become full-fledged editors. Because video editors have such a specialized skill set, few branch out to become producers or directors.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts that employment of film and video editors will grow by 17% over the 10-year period of 2016-2026 which is higher than the average for all occupations. Job opportunities may be available in newer media platforms, including mobile devices and online television, as well as in the special effects industry. Most jobs will be located in Los Angeles and New York. As of May 2017, the median annual salary for film and video editors was $61,180, per the BLS.

What are the Education Requirements for Video Editors?

Although not mandatory for employment, many video editors hold a bachelor's degree in film, broadcasting, or a related media subject. High school and postsecondary courses in photography, art, computer systems, and digital camera technology can serve as preparation for becoming a video editor. There are also workshops for post-production editing available that can last from one week to more than twelve weeks for intensives. In a degree program, you may take specialized classes covering subjects like the following:

  • Storyboarding
  • Animation
  • Special effects
  • Audio recording
  • Lighting equipment
  • Postproduction editing

Most programs require many practical projects so you can get valuable experience and build your portfolio. You'll learn how to use video editing software like Avid, Final Cut Pro, and Adobe Premiere. Additionally, your program may teach business skills like media management and small business management.

American Cinema Editors (ACE), an honorary professional society, sponsors a yearly internship for college graduates looking to start a career in film editing. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree and experience using non-linear digital editing equipment. Information about apprenticeship programs for video editors is available through the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and Moving Picture Technicians and the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians.

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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