The Day-to-Day as a Video Editor
The Video Editor’s job is to tell a story by putting together video and audio footage. This story might be predetermined by their employer or client. Video Editors can work for an agency, media company, for a youtube creator, for a network, or as a freelancer. Most Video Editors are expected to produce at least one or two 5-10 minute videos daily or one longer 15-30 minute video or segment. Their workload depends on the projects they’re working on. Some Video Editors are expected to work nights and weekends during tight deadlines.
The majority of Video Editors work freelance or on a small team. On any given project, a Video Editor can work with a Director, Producer, Graphic Designer, Visual Effects Artist, Post Sound Team, an Assistant Editor, or Composer. The team members are sometimes working remotely or on the same premises but in their own spaces. This makes it the perfect career to work freelance or remotely.
A Video Editor will spend time communicating with clients, spend many hours editing footage, importing and organizing footage, working through multiple phases of cuts from assembly cut to fine cut, or implementing edit requests.
A Freelance Video Editor could work on videos for weddings, indie film projects, or local business commercials. A Youtube Video Editor can find gigs working on adventure videos, vlogs, informative videos, tutorials, and more for a Youtube Creator.
A Video Editor at a media company might cut together promo spots, tv shows, tv movies or documentaries, commercials, interviews, other corporate content, or infomercials. A Video Editor employed at an agency could compile branding videos, smaller commercials, youtube spots, or interviews.
What Skills Should Video Editors Have?
Video Editors are constantly working with deadlines. These deadlines are usually firm, even if the client requests changes. This might mean a fast-paced environment or simply quick-moving phases of some projects. You’ll need to be organized, level-headed, and passionate to stay on top of deadlines and client requests. Video Editors should be skilled storytellers and planners. A Video Editor must be thorough, detail-oriented, and good communicators.
Be prepared to work with many different client personalities and don’t take anything personally. Some will be collaborative, some hands-off, others are more aggressive and somewhat stubborn. You must be okay with receiving and implementing critical feedback, even if it doesn’t align with your own opinion and style. When you’re working on videos for a client, employer, or project run by someone else, you don’t have a choice but to implement their edit requests even if you do not like them. Above all, you want your clients to have confidence and trust in you. Your reputation and skill are your two most important assets in this industry whether your self- or agency- employed.
With video projects, especially movies, changing timelines and scope are to be expected. Be ready for your schedule to change, possibly even to work nights and weekends at times. If you’re working freelance, you may need to write scope, change fees, and hours limitations into your contracts to provide yourself some boundaries on ever-changing projects.
Most Video Editors will need to be proficient in Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro as well as Adobe After Effects. They’ll need to be able to understand basic color correction and general visual media principles, have a sense for music and sound effects, know how to pace and time audio and video clips, and visualize written word through video and music. Having a basic understanding of most Adobe Creative Suite Applications, Avid Media Composer, Soundtrack Pro, DVD Studio Pro, and Blender might also be preferred by some employers.
Learn the Skills You Need to Become a Video Editor
Video editing is most commonly the use of digital software to manipulate and organize video and sound files into a final deliverable. Video Editors use software like Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, Filmora, and others to create videos that compel, convert, inform, or tell a story.
After Effects is a computer software application developed by Adobe used to create visual effects and motion graphics. After Effects is used in the process of creating films, video games, television series, and other videos. It is most commonly used for keying, tracking, compositing, and animation.
Premiere Pro is a timeline-based video editing software application developed by Adobe. Premiere Pro is used to edit videos for film, tv, and the web.
Final Cut Pro
Final Cut Pro is a series of video editing software owned and distributed by Apple. Final Cut Pro allows users to edit complex project with large frame sizes, high frame rates, and effects that was engineered for speed.
Video Editor Salaries
A Video Editor in the United States makes, on average, $52,602 annually, according to Indeed.com.
Salaries for Video Editors vary by region within the the United States. Listed below are some Video Editor salaries for specific areas with the United States compared with the average national salary:
- U.S. Average $52K source n/a
Los Angeles, CA
New York City
Orange County, CA
- U.S. Average $52K source n/a
Typical Qualifications to Become a Video Editor
Some Video Editors have a degree in film and television studies, media production, or film and media, but a degree is not required to become a video editor. A high school diploma is usually required, though. Most professional Editors are a part of the Editors Guild but it is not necessarily a required membership. Video Editors are most often evaluated on their portfolio and reputation rather than their education.
Searching for Video Editor Jobs
A Video Editor can find a job at a media company, design agency, as a freelancer, or working for a Youtube Creator. These positions will each have their own different working environments and teammates. Freelancing as a Video Editor is extremely common and sometimes provides more opportunity for better salaries. On the other hand, Video Editing jobs at networks will usually yield better benefits. Network jobs will usually not guarantee job security though and will require working your way through lower echelon positions over time.
Video Editors can find jobs on these sites:
There are freelance Video Editor gigs on these sites:
Tips to Become a Video Editor
Reputation and technical skills are a Video Editor’s most valuable assets. Getting written client testimonials, perhaps through LinkedIn or a portfolio website, is ideal. Consistently networking, even before the job search begins, is a must over a Video Editor’s entire career. A new Video Editor should make a website featuring their portfolio as early as possible.
It helps to begin working freelance even if you’re searching for a full-time or part-time position to gain experience, grow your portfolio, and get client testimonials. To build your portfolio on a budget, you can use open-source software, free stock footage, your own footage, edit a student or community film, or work on a film for a charity. Alternatively you can find a job as a production assistant, assistant video editor, or an apprenticeship to get exposure to the industry.
What Job Titles Would a Video Editor Hold?
A Video Editor might find their place at a media company, network, design agency, as a freelancer, or working for a Youtube Creator. These positions will each provide different working environments and teammates. Freelancing as a Video Editor is quite common and often provides more opportunity for better income more quickly. On the other hand, Video Editing jobs at networks will usually yield better benefits. Network jobs will usually not guarantee job security though and will require working way through lower echelon positions over time.
Video Editors can look for these job titles:
- Video Editing Intern
- Assistant Video Editor
- Youtube Video Editor
- Video Editing Apprentice
- Junior Video Editor
Additional Video Editor Resources
- Video Editor Job Description
- What Software Do Video Editors Use?
- Best Cities for Video Editors
- Is Video Editing a Good Career?
- Is Video Editing Right For Me?
- What Degree Do You Need to Become a Video Editor?
- Video Editor Career Path
- Video Editor Certifications
- How to Become a Video Editor Without a Degree
- How to Become a Freelance Video Editor
- How to Become a Video Editor in 3 Months
- Video Editor Interview Questions
- Video Editor Resume Guide & Tips
- Video Editor Cover Letter
- Video Editor LinkedIn Profile Guide & Tips
- Where and How to Secure Video Editor Freelance Jobs
- Video Editor Portfolio Website Guide & Tips
- Video Editor Job Outlook
Video Editors may find careers like Motion Graphics Designer, 2D or 3D Animator, or Graphic Designer appealing as well. These careers all use Adobe Creative Suite and visual design skills which many Video Editors are already at least familiar with. To pivot into positions like these, Video Editors might learn Adobe Photoshop and Cinema 4D. They’ll find similar required skills like storyboarding, organization, deadline work, and critical feedback in these careers. They might find higher salaries and better freelance opportunities though since networking and reputation are not as strong of influence in these other industries as they are in film.
Salary Comparison to Video Editor
Graphic designers work with both digital and physical media to create art that communicates and inspires. Using graphics, text, colors, and animations, graphics designers develop media assets for branding, advertising, and messaging. Graphics designers can work for agencies or themselves. They create a wide variety of design elements, such as brochures, infographics, marketing material layouts, and design elements for print, video, or web use.Learn about becoming a Graphic Designer
Motion Graphics Designer
Motion Graphics Designers, sometimes referred to as MoGraph professionals, use visual effects and animation to create artwork for: television, film, tech devices, software, live-video, video games, applications, and the web.Learn about becoming a Motion Graphics Designer
Video managers take assets from ideation to post-production. Beginning with storyboards and scripts, video managers help guide the development of media assets of all kinds. Some video producers create digital ads, and others produce television shows or movies.Learn about becoming a Video Manager
2D animators develop storyboards, characters, and backgrounds to bring stories to life in 2D. Working with software such as Adobe After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, and 2D animators provide creative support to art directors in a variety of industries. 2D animators can work for studios or design firms, or as freelance independent contractors.Learn about becoming a 2D Animator
3D animators take ideas and turn them into three-dimensional images and animations. Using their understanding of human and animal movement, 3d animators can create rich, realistic experiences. 3d animators work on movies and games, as well as some websites and online media. 3d animators create amusement park experiences such as those at Walt Disney World or Universal Studios.Learn about becoming a 3D Animator