Discover your potential career prospects and earning potential as a Video Editor. Learn how factors such as education, experience, location, and industry affect your salary, and understand the specific roles and responsibilities of video editing.
- Video Editors can expect to make an average of $60,000 a year, with compensation increasing based on education and experience.
- Video Editors primarily use professional-grade applications like Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro to edit, compile, and produce various types of audio and visual content.
- The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the video editing field will continue to grow much faster than other industries over the next decade.
- Most hiring managers prioritize video editing experience and software proficiency, although a bachelor's degree is usually required for entry-level positions.
- The salary of a Video Editor can range from $40,000 for entry-level positions to $100,000 annually for experienced professionals working for large production companies.
- Positions like Performance Marketing Senior Video Editor, Program Manager, and Director of Video Production require eight to ten years of experience in the video editing profession and offer salaries ranging from $80,000 to $190,000 a year.
Video Editor Salary: How Much Do Video Editors Make?
When video editing was strictly the purview of the television and film industries, many young people were discouraged from this career path as it was difficult to break into and required as much luck as skill. Fortunately, the meteoric rise of streaming platforms and social media means plentiful video editing opportunities for building a successful career. Most Video Editors make an average of $60,000 a year, with opportunities for pay increases and career advancement commensurate with education and experience. Understanding the average pay scale for Video Editors can also give you an advantage during compensation discussions in interviews and contract negotiations. Learn more about the factors that impact your pay as a video editor and how you can build a better life for yourself and your family while pursuing your creative 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.
What Affects Your Pay as a Video Editor?
One of the most common questions when considering work in a creative field is, “Can I make decent money doing that?” The short answer is yes, of course. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the video editing field will continue to grow much faster than other industries over the next decade. However, there are ways to ensure you have the credentials and work experience necessary for your salary to maintain an upward trajectory. Consider the following factors when building your video editing career:
The impact of formal education on a Video Editor’s salary varies. The BLS Occupational Outlook website shows that most entry-level video editing jobs require a bachelor’s degree. However, many successful Video Editors launch their careers through alternative means of training rather than a four-year college or university. Most contracting and production companies prioritize video editing experience and evidence of software proficiency over a film or media bachelor’s degree; however, if you plan to work for an advertising agency, you will likely need a degree in marketing or a related field.
The need for continuing education can be ongoing, even after acquiring an entry-level job. Software companies regularly update their programs and produce new software, requiring Video Editors to stay up-to-date on these changes and keep their skills sharp. Video Editors looking to keep their credentials current must also prepare for their certification exams every two to three years. Enrolling in a video editing certificate program is a great way to maintain these qualifications. Taught by trained professionals, these courses help keep your skills competitive in this ever-changing job market.
More than education, most hiring managers often look for experience in a job candidate. Multiple avenues exist for building your video editing experience, and the choice often depends on your personal and financial circumstances. For example, unpaid internships with large production companies offer excellent opportunities to learn the necessary skills to succeed from the top professionals in the industry. However, this may not be a practical choice if you don’t have another income source.
Many aspiring Video Editors pursue freelance work. Sites such as Upwork, Freelancer, and Workana can help market your portfolio and connect you with potential clients. Freelance work is a great way to build your professional profile and network while exploring the benefits and limitations of being self-employed. However, a note of caution before entering the freelance market: many freelance websites, like those listed above, charge a fee to post your profile or take a percentage of any job you complete. So, research before settling on a freelance site to ensure you are fairly compensated for your work.
A common choice for novice Video Editors after earning a degree or video editing certificate is pursuing entry-level work. These jobs offer an excellent opportunity to explore the video editing profession to determine your preferred industry. While these jobs tend to pay lower wages and have less creative freedom, they are an invaluable way to build your experience in the video editing industry and make professional connections.
Video Editors are often presumed to be associated with the glamorous blockbuster film industry. In reality, Video Editors work in multiple industries for companies of varying sizes and disparate wages based on the size and reputation of the business. Larger advertising agencies and film studios generally pay a much higher salary than a small non-profit business. However, working for a larger company will likely require more compromise of your artistic vision as you will be one of many contributors to different projects. Working with a smaller business often affords you more creative control over your work and more variety in your workday.
Being self-employed does not necessarily guarantee artistic or financial freedom either. Freelancers and other self-employed Video Editors may be able to set their rates, but they may also have to pay fees to the profile-hosting platform that allows clients to see their work. Independent workers must also set competitive rates, which may result in a significantly less stable income than working for an established business.
Many aspiring Video Editors imagine pursuing their careers amidst the glamor of a big city. Big cities offer more job opportunities and higher salaries than smaller ones; however, there is a trade-off as locations such as New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco have higher living costs and longer commute times. Today, video editing jobs are often partially or fully remote, resulting in a worker exodus to remote areas with lower living costs. Considering the benefits and limitations of big-city vs. small-town living can help save you time and money in the long run.
After mastering fundamental tools and techniques, Video Editors can begin specializing their skills to access more niche jobs. Video Editors with excellent communication skills may pursue advertising and other marketing fields. Those who enjoy creating original illustrations and other forms of visual art may gravitate toward animation, motion graphics, or special effects. And if you thrive at creating content for the internet, you may find lucrative work with YouTube influencers. Proper training and experience can set you apart, regardless of your passion.
Pay Range for Video Editors
Considering the above factors, what might your salary look like throughout your career? Unpaid internships aside, most entry-level video editing jobs pay between $40,000 and $50,000 per year, with much higher salaries likely at large companies in big cities where the cost of living is high.
Mid-level workers with two to five years of experience can earn approximately $60,000 annually. Professionals at the higher end of these wages have likely taken advantage of continuing education opportunities, acquired specialized skill sets, and learned how to negotiate with their supervisors. These individuals keep current with the expected wages in their industries and ensure they bring these numbers to any contract negotiations.
After defining your unique identity as a Video Editor and an Artist for over a decade, you should be ready to start negotiating for a significant pay increase. Many skilled Video Editors working for large production companies like Netflix or Paramount can expect to earn $80,000 to $100,000 annually. Landing at companies like these requires continuing education and specialized training. Nevertheless, a proper plan can prepare you for an incredible career.
Highest-Earning Job Titles for Video Editors
Video Editors’ salaries vary depending on location, experience level, and seniority within a company. For example, a Performance Marketing Senior Video Editor working in a competitive environment like California can expect to earn between $80,000 and $112,000 a year working full-time. Program Managers overseeing video production and other forms of advertising make similar wages at $80,000 to $100,000 annually. Directors of Video Production generally earn the highest wages, typically between $110,000 to $190,000 a year. Remote and in-person options allow you to control your work environment at any wage level.
The positions mentioned are among many in the video editing industry, all requiring professionals with unique qualifications. Nevertheless, they share many fundamental requirements. Higher-paying jobs require eight to ten years of experience in the video editing profession, particularly in supervisory and project management positions. Video Editors in this bracket should also be skilled in Adobe Creative Cloud programs and familiar with other types of video editing software. An excellent client and employee collaboration record is essential for anyone looking for these management positions.
Learn the Skills to Become a Video Editor at Noble Desktop
Are you excited to begin your video editor career but unsure 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.
- Many employers use education and experience as determining factors when hiring Video Editors.
- Video Editors tend to make between $40,000 to $100,000 annually. Employers adjust salaries based on talent, experience, and education.
- Freelance Video Editors can set their rates. Nevertheless, they frequently have to pay a fee to the website that hosts their profile and portfolio.
- Noble Desktop offers several certificate programs and software classes to help you take your career to the next level.