Film and Video Editors
Schools and Education
- Most film and video editors entering the field today hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in film and video editing, communications or a closely related field.
- In addition obtaining a degree from these types of schools, you’ll also need to have hands-on experience in order to land jobs. This experience will be gained through internships and apprenticeships.
What you study:
You are likely to study the following topics when training to be a film and video editor:
- Digital Editing
- Editing Theory and Practice
- History of Cinema
- Narrative Filmmaking
- Basic Cinematography
You will also take classes that focus on teaching you how to use the particular type of software that is prevalent in the area of film and video editing in which you want to work.
What courses you’ll take
Below are examples of courses that you’ll likely take as a student pursuing a career in film and video editing.
|Film and Video Post-Production||Conversion of film into digital formats; video file types, file organization and disc space management; basic features and usage of industry-standard software, including Avid Media Composer and Final Cut Pro; overview of equipment, technology and project workflow in a film and video post-production studio.||Familiarize students with tools and principles of video editing.|
|Nonlinear Video Editing||Theory, aesthetics (artistic principles) and current stylistic trends in video editing; techniques of nonlinear video editing (editing that uses digital files, rather than destructible film); assembling video clips to construct a narrative; transitions and rhythm in edited videos; critical viewing and analysis of editing in video and film.||Enable students to edit digital video using common software.|
|Audio Editing for Film and Video Post-Production||Arranging and mixing audio tracks in relation to video clips; professional usage of music and sound effects; automated dialogue replacement (ADR, also known as dubbing) and matching audio speech to actors’ mouth movements; foley (recreating sound effects in a studio); assessing and fixing common audio issues.||Prepare students to integrate audio into their video edits.|
|Motion Graphics and Effects||Creation and manipulation of computerized video effects, including 3-D animations, particle effects, artificial zoom, titles and credits; professional use of key frames (precise starting and ending points for visual effects and transitions); video filters and color adjustment.||Provide working knowledge of computer effects in video editing.|
|DVD Production||History and development of the DVD format; trimming and compressing video for DVDs; integrating audio, video and text into DVD menus; integrating DVDs with online digital content; producing and burning professional DVDs, both for industry clients and for commercial distribution.||Get students ready to produce professional-quality DVDs.|
Shows a quick recap of what film and video editors do. Produced for the US Dept. of Labor.
Certifications and Licensing
Film and video editors do not need any licensing or certifications in order to work. However, many film and video editors choose to join professional guilds and unions. These groups can help you secure jobs and ensure that you are paid fairly for your work.
Full-time versus part-time:
If you work on feature-length films and documentaries, you will likely work full time. If you work on shorter feature or commercials, you may be able to work part time.
Most film and video editors work in production facilities at studios. However, you may have the opportunity to do freelance editing projects from your home or private office.
- American Cinema Editors (ACE): ACE is the guild representing film editors in America. On its website, ACE provides information about association activities and new advances in editing technology. The ACE website also offers a directory of its members and links to many of the articles included in its official magazine. This is a great website for students who are looking for internships in film editing.
- Digital Video Professionals Association (DVPA): The DVPA provides a wealth of information and resources for video and film editors who work exclusively in digital formats. DVPA’s website features a special member’s-only area, tech news, training information and public relations assistance. This is a great resource for aspiring and new editors who want to get a jump start in the field.
- The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook: This handbook provides basic information about the careers of film and video editors, including salary range and employment outlook data. The Occupational Handbook is a great starting point for students who are interested in learning more about where careers in film and video editing might take them.
Salaries by City
See typical salaries and ranges for this career below *. Shift click to sort by more than one column — for example first shift-click on state and then shift-click on salary to find best and worst salaries in each state.
|State||City / Region||Typical Salary||Salary Range||Job Count||% of All Jobs|
|AL||Birmingham – Hoover||$43,660||130||0.03%|
|AZ||Phoenix – Mesa – Glendale||$40,850||150||0.01%|
|CA||Los Angeles – Long Beach – Glendale (Metro Area)||$92,610||4,760||0.12%|
|CA||Oakland – Fremont – Hayward (Metro Area)||$63,140||140||0.01%|
|CA||Oxnard – Thousand Oaks – Ventura||$45,810||40||0.01%|
|CA||Sacramento – Arden – Arcade – Roseville||$36,100||50||0.01%|
|CA||San Diego – Carlsbad – San Marcos||$46,020||100||0.01%|
|CA||San Francisco – San Mateo – Redwood City (Metro Area)||$57,720||340||0.03%|
|CA||San Jose – Sunnyvale – Santa Clara||$38,620||50||0.01%|
|CA||Santa Ana – Anaheim – Irvine (Metro Area)||$33,360||150||0.01%|
|CO||Denver – Aurora – Broomfield||$46,130||240||0.02%|
|CT||Bridgeport – Stamford – Norwalk||$43,520||100||0.02%|
|CT||Hartford – West Hartford – East Hartford||$63,530||30||0.01%|
|DC||Washington – Arlington – Alexandria (Metro Area)||$72,550||410||0.02%|
|FL||Fort Lauderdale – Pompano Beach – Deerfield Beach (Metro Area)||$36,140||N/A||N/A|
|FL||Miami – Miami Beach – Kendall (Metro Area)||$42,700||N/A||N/A|
|FL||Orlando – Kissimmee – Sanford||$29,700||320||0.03%|
|FL||Tampa – St. Petersburg – Clearwater||$43,120||90||0.01%|
|FL||West Palm Beach – Boca Raton – Boynton Beach (Metro Area)||$27,940||140||0.03%|
|GA||Atlanta – Sandy Springs – Marietta||$41,480||260||0.01%|
|IL||Chicago – Joliet – Naperville (Metro Area)||$49,350||540||0.01%|
|IN||Indianapolis – Carmel||$29,770||120||0.01%|
|KY||Louisville – Jefferson County||$32,700||60||0.01%|
|LA||New Orleans – Metairie – Kenner||$32,980||50||0.01%|
|MA||Boston – Cambridge – Quincy (Metro Area)||$57,760||180||0.01%|
|MD||Baltimore – Towson||$50,350||110||0.01%|
|MD||Bethesda – Rockville – Frederick (Metro Area)||$58,470||60||0.01%|
|MI||Detroit – Livonia – Dearborn (Metro Area)||$35,200||60||0.01%|
|MI||Grand Rapids – Wyoming||$43,980||40||0.01%|
|MI||Warren – Troy – Farmington Hills (Metro Area)||$49,000||160||0.02%|
|MN||Minneapolis – St. Paul – Bloomington||$37,330||260||0.02%|
|NC||Charlotte – Gastonia – Rock Hill||$30,990||100||0.01%|
|NC||Raleigh – Cary||$37,800||40||0.01%|
|NC||Winston – Salem||$31,120||50||0.02%|
|NJ||Camden (Metro Area)||$62,300||70||0.01%|
|NJ||Edison – New Brunswick (Metro Area)||$52,710||30||0.00%|
|NJ||Newark – Union (Metro Area)||$59,790||40||0.00%|
|NV||Las Vegas – Paradise||$38,090||80||0.01%|
|NY||Albany – Schenectady – Troy||$54,620||N/A||N/A|
|NY||New York – White Plains – Wayne (Metro Area)||$70,030||3,760||0.07%|
|OH||Cincinnati – Middletown||$47,690||120||0.01%|
|OH||Cleveland – Elyria – Mentor||$44,070||70||0.01%|
|OR||Portland – Vancouver – Hillsboro||$35,490||180||0.02%|
|PA||Philadelphia (Metro Area)||$49,110||220||0.01%|
|PR||San Juan – Caguas – Guaynabo||$37,110||70||0.01%|
|SC||Greenville – Mauldin – Easley||$50,000||30||0.01%|
|TN||Nashville – Davidson – Murfreesboro – Franklin||$47,590||300||0.04%|
|TX||Austin – Round Rock – San Marcos||$41,340||120||0.02%|
|TX||Dallas – Plano – Irving (Metro Area)||$38,540||270||0.01%|
|TX||Fort Worth – Arlington (Metro Area)||$34,290||50||0.01%|
|TX||Houston – Sugar Land – Baytown||$32,980||220||0.01%|
|TX||San Antonio – New Braunfels||$34,540||40||0.00%|
|UT||Salt Lake City||$34,700||650||0.11%|
|VA||Virginia Beach – Norfolk – Newport News||$40,830||40||0.01%|
|WA||Seattle – Bellevue – Everett (Metro Area)||$57,600||330||0.02%|
|WI||Milwaukee – Waukesha – West Allis||$52,070||100||0.01%|