Discover the dynamic role of a Video Editor, a profession at core of every motion picture production. Learn about their responsibilities, necessary skills, potential career paths, and income possibilities.

Key Insights

  • Video Editors are responsible for transforming raw footage into a polished final product for viewers, working with different professionals in the process.
  • These professionals can work in a variety of industries, including film and television companies, advertising agencies, and social media platforms.
  • Job requirements for Video Editors often include technical training and certifications in film editing programs such as Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects.
  • The average salary of a Video Editor ranges from $60,000 to $72,000 per year, dependent on their experience and skill level.
  • Video Editors are distinguished from Motion Graphics Designers in that they generally work on the broader picture of the visual story, while the latter adds detail and realism.
  • Noble Desktop offers comprehensive training opportunities for aspiring Video Editors, from on-demand, live online, and in-person learning to certification programs.

Video Editor Job Description

Video Editors play a foundational role in the production of any motion picture. Responsible for assembling, correcting, and polishing visual and audio media into the final product to be distributed to audiences, Video Editors frequently build their careers through formal education and professional experience. Video Editors are prominent in most industries, advertising their products or services on any platform. Professionals can expect to make between $28,000 to $81,000, depending on their educational background and experience level. Keep reading to learn more about pursuing an exciting career path as a Video Editor! 

What is a Video Editor?

Lights! Camera! Action! Most people are familiar with the image of actors on a set, multiple cameras collecting footage from different angles, and technicians running around ensuring that the soundstage is lit correctly and that the boom mic captures crisp audio. But how is this raw footage transformed into the cinematic masterpieces you see on your screen? That is where professional Video Editors step in. 

Video Editors work with Cinematographers, Directors, Screenwriters, and other visual media professionals to transform source footage and audio into a cohesive final product. The project size and complexity of the visual medium will largely depend on the type and size of the organization that employs the Video Editor. For example, a Video Editor working for a small independent company may work alone on the auditory and visual elements of an advertisement, video essay, or film. In contrast, a Video Editor working for a more prominent advertising, film, or television company may provide a specific function on a larger team. A Video Editor working for a blockbuster film company like Marvel or Paramount would likely be responsible for adding sound and visual effects, color correcting, and cleaning up mistakes in audio and video recordings. 

The location and duration of a Video Editor’s average work week will also depend on the organizational structure of their employer. Especially during busy production seasons, a Video Editor can expect to work 40 to 60 hours a week on various editing projects. While freelance workers may be able to choose which projects they would like to commit to, most professionals will have to abide by the deadlines and needs of their employers. With the expectations of these long work hours and increased accessibility of collaborative video editing programs like, many employers now allow their employees to work remotely and avoid the expense and demands of commuting to and from work. 

Job Requirements

Filmmakers and visual media professionals pursue video editing through several educational and employment routes. Some may follow this career path after completing a degree in filmmaking or a related creative field. While filmmaking graduates may have the educational background to pursue a video editing career, many discover they do not have the professional experience or technical skills to compete in the job market. Others may pursue a video editing career without formal training. Professions available to these novice filmmakers tend to be few and highly competitive without the opportunity to pursue or negotiate higher pay levels. 

Video Editors who build their careers through educational and professional experiences are poised to reap the highest professional and financial rewards in multiple industries. Technical training and certifications in film editing programs such as Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, and Cinema 4D can help novice and experienced video editors stand out from less skilled applicants. Many technical training programs help professionals make practical career moves, including creating a professional demo reel or portfolio, networking, project development, and career services. 

Job Responsibilities


Video Editors are the modern-day jack of all trades. These multipotential professionals must balance the technical training required to use video editing software with the ability to be adaptable and organized and to work independently and in a group in a fast-paced environment. If these skills seem overwhelming to learn all at once, fear not! Several career development and certificate programs can help you identify the skills you need to be a successful Video Editor.

Many employers prefer or subscribe to different computer applications relevant to video editing. A background in video editing applications like those offered by Adobe Creative Cloud, Blender, Cinema 4D, and Final Cut Pro can help you be eligible for more career opportunities and stand apart from your competition. Technical schools and training programs offer users a variety of on-demand, live online, and in-person learning opportunities that can help them navigate these programs and build robust portfolios showcasing their creative and technical skills.

Why Do Businesses Need Video Editors?

Video Editors are needed in any industry that advertises to, educates, or entertains multiple audiences. Video editors transform products and ideas into digestible content, from commercials to social media posts to human resources tools. These different forms of visual media shape a business's culture and creative brand, positioning video editors as key contributors who must work with multiple departments to create and convey an accurate image of the corporation or business to those within and outside the organization. 

Most businesses are divided into discrete departments that handle a specific aspect of the organization. Video Editors frequently transcend these departmental divides and can use their storytelling skills to unite these disparate departments. Video Editors who work for news organizations and other fast-moving and mass-producing corporations must be able to produce easily digestible content covering complex topics on tight deadlines, keeping the organization’s production powerhouse moving forward consistently. Video Editors are frequently the glue that holds a company together when navigating the creative and productive demands of fast-paced industries. 

Where Do Video Editors Usually Work?

Video Editors are more relevant than ever in the cultural context where successful advertising and brand recognition are inherently intertwined with almost every business's longevity and sustainability. Consequently, Video Editors can work in many different industries throughout their careers, ensuring working diversity in their day-to-day lives. Depending on their interests, a Video Editor may choose to create special effects or work with directors to capture their overarching vision in the film industry, influence product or service sales through an advertisement agency, or share ideas through social media platforms like TikTok or YouTube. 

Video Editors are in such high demand that many have the power and opportunity to choose their working environment and develop their own schedules. Those looking for the highest job security and longevity may decide to work for larger corporations. Full or part-time employment with larger corporations generally offers less creative freedom and project choice but more consistent wages and project management opportunities. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses even allow workers the option to work at home or onsite. 

Many Video Editors also have the option to work freelance or as independent contractors. Freelance work allows them to choose their preferred projects and schedules, giving the artists more agency over their schedules and tasks. While individual projects may pay more through freelance work, these working environments have a higher risk of job fluctuation and periods of unemployment that may be less than ideal for professionals looking for long-term stability. 

Video Editor Salary and Job Outlook

If you are a creative person pursuing your passion, you are probably very familiar with family members wondering if “you are going to be able to get a job in that field.” Luckily, Video Editors are needed in most public-facing industries with the rise of streaming platforms, social media, and other visual forms of advertisement and communication. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that video editor jobs will grow faster than the national average over the next ten years, especially as more professionals retire and more industries seek new ways of engaging audiences. 

Depending on experience level and familiarity with the latest version of editing software, a Video Editor can easily expect to make $60,360 to $72,000 per year, with states such as New York, New Hampshire, California, and Connecticut offering the highest wages. Many Video Editors have at least a bachelor’s degree in filmmaking or cinematography. Nevertheless, professionals can still be eligible for higher salaries by learning new editing programs and refining their skills. The motion picture and video industries are frequently the largest employers of Video Editors, followed by cable, radio, sound recording, and independent artists and contractors. 

How Long Does it Take to Become a Video Editor?

The time and education required to become a Video Editor depend on your ultimate career goals. Many growing media production companies hire entry-level Video Editors who can demonstrate their proficiency with Adobe Premiere Pro and other film editing software even if they do not have a filmmaking or related degree. While these jobs are a great way to build your artistic portfolio, many Editors may feel financially and professionally limited in these positions. A college graduate lacking the professional experience to be competitive in the field may also be initially limited to freelance jobs while looking for a part-time or full-time job. 

One of the best ways to ensure employment as a Video Editor in the short and long term is to pursue various educational and professional experiences in multiple industries. A four-year college degree may give you the theoretical knowledge to navigate or launch a video production business. Nevertheless, many job opportunities will expect applicants to have at least two to five years of professional experience to be considered for a competitive-wage job. Many Video Editors complete relevant certificate programs or acquire certifications that can signal their expertise to potential employers while working lower-wage jobs that allow them to gain professional and portfolio-building experience. These training programs may add to your workload during these initial training years but will ultimately help you reach your long-term career goals. 

Video Editor vs. Motion Graphics Designer 

Video Editors work closely with several visual media professionals when designing, clipping, and producing different videos and films. Of all these professionals, Video Editors share the closest training and software overlap with Motion Graphics Designers. Well-versed in software programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, and Cinema 4D, Motion Graphics Designers create title cards, animation, and special effects throughout a video project.

Despite sharing many of the same software skills, Video Editors and Motion Graphic Designers frequently work at different levels of a video project. While Video Editors work on the visual story as a complete picture, Motion Graphic Designers add the details and realism that allow these films to capture and hold audiences’ attention. While both roles are equally important in video-making, prospective Filmmakers and Editors should consider which area they prefer before committing to one job over another.

Learn the Skills to Become a Video Editor at Noble Desktop

Are you excited to begin your video editor career but need help figuring out where to start? Don’t stress! Noble Desktop is here to help! Noble Desktop offers many resources relevant to Video Editors at each leg of their professional journey. Professionals looking for a road map to entering or building their careers can explore training opportunities and career paths through Noble Desktop’s Learn Video Editing page. Editors looking for a comprehensive overview of educational and practical training opportunities offered live online and in-person should check out Noble Desktop’s Video Editing Topic page. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the video editing profession and relevant editing applications that professionals regularly use. 

Video Editors use various professional-grade applications to design and create their projects. But how do you determine which programs to add to your tool kit? Noble Desktop provides a comprehensive archive of learning resources that detail the functionality, level of learning difficulty, and cost of learning different applications. Foundationally, most professionals are well-versed in video editing software such as Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro. If you are already established in the field and looking to gain a competitive edge in the job market, consider learning more about motion graphics software like After Effects or 3D animation and modeling through Cinema 4D

As you explore these sophisticated visual graphics programs, you will likely recognize that learning these intricate programs on your own can be a lonely and complicated process. Luckily, Noble Desktop offers live online and in-person courses for Video Editors at all stages of their careers. For example, professionals ready to dive into the video editing field may want to enroll in a Premiere Pro Bootcamp or After Effects in a Day course. These fast-paced classes are an excellent way to rapidly build your video editing skills with the guidance of an experienced instructor. Video editors looking to diversify their portfolios and demonstrate their skills to potential employers can pursue a Video Editing Certificate or a Video Editing and Motion Graphics Certificate. Students gain robust hands-on experience through small class sizes and project-based learning opportunities. Noble Desktop even offers a free retake option so students can refresh their skills and maximize their retention within a year of their class.

Key Takeaways