Understanding the difference between certificates of completion and professional certifications is critical for Video Editors looking to optimize their resume and further their careers. The right choice between these two qualifications depends on your career goals, as they signal different kinds of expertise to potential employers and clients.

Key Insights

  • Video Editors can earn a certification for a specific software program after passing a proctored exam. Alternatively, they can earn a certificate of completion after successfully finishing a series of courses about video editing or a related subject.
  • A career as a Video Editor involves compiling, editing, and producing different types of audio and visual content into a coherent and unique form of media, often using applications like Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro.
  • Although a degree can enhance understanding and provide a solid foundation for a career in video editing, many have broken into the field through certificate courses, internships, and apprenticeships. A compelling portfolio and practical skills are often prioritized over formal education.
  • Certificates are completion-based programs that help Video Editors refine their skills and demonstrate their expertise to potential employers. On the other hand, certifications require mastering subjects through exams administered by a third party.
  • While certifications can be an asset, they are not always necessary for Video Editors. They are particularly beneficial for those intending to become instructors or influence the development of video editing software programs.
  • Noble Desktop provides comprehensive training programs for prospective Video Editors, including certificates in Video Editing, Video Editing and Motion Graphics, and Motion Graphics.

Video Editor Certifications

Many Video Editors pride themselves on sharing a unique artistic perspective and message. However, employers and clients seeking to hire you to realize their vision may worry that you need more technical skills or work experience to complete the job. While relying on your resume and cover letter to describe how you built your skills can go a long way in the job application process, many employers will also look for more quantifiable indications of your credentials. Acquiring certificates of completion and professional certifications is an excellent way to signal your expertise to potential employers and clients.

So, what is the difference between these two qualifications? Technical schools and other educational institutions usually issue certificates of completion when a student successfully passes a broad series of courses about video editing or a related subject. In contrast, Video Editors can earn a certification in a specific software program by landing in a particular score range on an exam or other evaluation method, typically proctored by a third party. While there are benefits to both qualifications, the level of time and work needed to acquire each will differ. Keep reading to learn which skill indication will best help you be competitive in the job market and achieve the job of your dreams.

What is a Video Editor?

If you’re looking for a career that combines your artistic and organizational skills into a cohesive, creative experience, consider pursuing training as a Video Editor. Video Editors are responsible for compiling, editing, and producing different types of audio and visual content into a coherent and unique form of media. They frequently work with advertisers, filmmakers, directors, social media companies, and other visual media fields to create seamless and compelling narratives. 

Video Editors use professional-grade applications such as Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro to transform raw footage shot onsite or at a soundstage into the modern movie masterpieces we see on our screens today. Editing includes smoothing the transitions between camera angles, removing background noises, and adding sound and visual effects. Video editors also transform ordinary greenscreens and tennis balls into fantastical landscapes and mythical figures. 

Read more about the responsibilities of a Video Editor.

Do I Need a Degree to Become a Video Editor?

The question of whether you need a degree to become a Video Editor is often debated. Although having a degree can give you an edge in terms of theoretical knowledge and industry recognition, it's not always a strict requirement for getting into this field. Many employers prioritize practical skills, creativity, and a compelling portfolio over formal education. However, having a degree in a relevant field, like film studies, communication, or graphic design, can undoubtedly enhance your understanding and provide a solid foundation for your career.

Still, there are other ways to break into this field. Learning independently through live online classes or certificate courses is one route that many successful Video Editors have taken. This approach allows you to learn at your own pace and focus on acquiring the specific skills you need. Likewise, internships and apprenticeships can provide hands-on experience and opportunities to network. Remember, consistently refining your skills and building an impressive portfolio showcasing your technical prowess and creative vision is the most important thing. This, combined with the determination to learn and improve, can lead you on a successful path in video editing, with or without a degree.

Read more about if you need a degree to become a Video Editor.

Certifications vs. Certificates: What’s the Difference?

Certificates and certifications are excellent ways to refine your video editing skills and prepare for the career you seek. Each type of qualification requires a different skill set and expertise level to complete successfully. The financial and time commitment and skills necessary to acquire them also differ. Certificates are generally completion-based programs ideal for video editors looking to refine and demonstrate their skills to potential employers. On the other hand, certifications demonstrate subject mastery through exams administered by a third party. Video Editors earn certifications in software programs relevant to video editing when they plan to design software or become full-time instructors. These professional qualifications will help you stand out in the job market. However, most Editors earn them on very different timelines. 

Video Editors can usually earn certificates of completion by taking two months of classes full-time or four months of classes part-time. These classes cover several software programs necessary to become a full-time Video Editor, including Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, and Cinema 4D. Certificate programs are relevant to video editors at all experience levels and a great way to develop a professional network and portfolio. Many Video Editors even use certificate programs as a study tool as they prepare to complete their certification exams. 

Software companies usually design certification exams for editing programs in collaboration with third-party testing organizations. Adobe, the developer of programs relevant to Video Editors such as Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Audition, allows users to become Adobe Certified Professionals in these and other software programs. These exams are designed to judge a video editor’s ability to operate professionally. They cover technical and interpersonal skills through written questions and the completion of sample projects. Video Editors planning to take these exams usually have 150 to 400 hours of experience learning about and using these programs. 

Do Certifications Matter for Video Editors?

Many professionals assume that having the highest education and degree qualification inherently equals being more competitive in the job market. Depending on the type of job that you decide to pursue, a certification in a video editing program may not be beneficial and just be an unnecessarily costly investment. Certification exams can cost thousands of dollars, and passing them requires a holistic understanding of a program, not just the tools and skills necessary to produce specialized visual media. As they prepare for the certification exam, video editors develop the skills they’ll need for their future careers. But they also risk spending too much time on career-irrelevant preparation that could be better spent developing their professional network or marketing to potential clients. 

Most video editors can find meaningful work without acquiring a certification. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Instructors teaching Premiere Pro and other software must be certified to qualify for these video editing teaching positions. Software developers or those who want to influence the long-term development of video editing software programs will also benefit from the detailed knowledge necessary to pass the certification exam. Most certification guidelines recommend that users have at least 150 to 400 hours of training with the program before attempting the exam. Pursuing a certification in video editing or a related program may be much more beneficial if you feel like you cannot commit to this much time. 

How to Get Certified as a Video Editor

Video Editors frequently become certified in a specific software program rather than certified solely as video editors. The first step to becoming a certified professional is to identify which video editing software would be most suitable for your intended career path. For example, many video editors planning to work with smaller production companies focus on becoming an Adobe Certified Professional in Digital Video Using Adobe Premiere Pro. In comparison, those intending to create videos for social media may pursue an FCP Certified VideoPro Certification for Final Cut Pro. 

Regardless of your chosen program, give yourself adequate time to prepare for the exam. Most software companies post a comprehensive exam guide and practice tests that help you identify your strengths and weaknesses with the program. Many Video Editors enroll in program-specific certificate programs to build their technical skills and general style through the help of trained professionals and colleagues. These certificate programs can help you pace your time and study to ensure you have the skills to pass the exam without burning out or cutting corners. 

Top Certifications & Certificates for Video Editors

Acquiring a certificate or certification to enrich your video editing skills and career can be a significant commitment. Fortunately, Video Editors have multiple options for certificates and certifications to help chart their career paths. It is essential to consider qualifications, program costs, time commitments, and historical outcomes for acquiring certification when choosing the most suitable certificate or certification program. Considering these factors, here is a list of the top Certification and Certificate programs for Video Editors:


1. Adobe Certified Professional in Digital Video Using Adobe Premiere Pro

2. Final Cut Pro Certification 

3. Adobe Certified Professional in Visual Effects and Motion Graphics 

**Please note that completing two or more Adobe Certified Professional Certifications qualifies users to earn a Specialty Credential. 

Noble Desktop’s Certificate Programs 

1. Video Editing Certificate in NYC or Live Online 

2. Video Editing and Motion Graphics Certificate in NYC or Live Online 

3. Motion Graphics Certificate in NYC or Live Online 

Key Takeaways