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Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operator

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What Does it Take to Be a Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operator?

Career Description Operate television, video, or motion picture camera to record images or scenes for various purposes, such as TV broadcasts, advertising, video production, or motion pictures.

A Day in the Life of a Video Camera Operator

  • Write new scripts for broadcasts.
  • Prepare slates that describe the scenes being filmed.
  • Direct studio productions.
  • Reload camera magazines with fresh raw film stock.
  • Design graphics for studio productions.
  • Test, clean, maintain, and repair broadcast equipment, including testing microphones, to ensure proper working condition.

Things a Video Camera Operator Should Know How to Do

When polled, Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

  • Medical Videographer
  • Television News Photographer
  • Electronic News Gathering Camera-Person (ENG Camera-Person)
  • Video Specialist
  • Commercial Producer

Is There Going to be Demand for Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators?

In the United States, there were 25,100 jobs for Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operator in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 7.2% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,800 new jobs for Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operator by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 2,600 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Video Camera Operator are Georgia, Utah, and New Mexico. Watch out if you plan on working in Alaska, Maine, or Wisconsin. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Video Camera Operator Average Salary

The typical yearly salary for Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators is somewhere between $25,790 and $102,470.

Salary Ranges for Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators

Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators who work in District of Columbia, New York, or Oregon, make the highest salaries.

How much do Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $44,610
Arizona $61,580
Arkansas $57,420
California $77,540
Colorado $55,220
Connecticut $48,560
District of Columbia $77,770
Florida $50,600
Georgia $59,110
Hawaii $59,780
Illinois $45,340
Indiana $40,610
Iowa $36,580
Kansas $42,940
Kentucky $38,670
Louisiana $47,800
Maine $39,790
Maryland $57,780
Massachusetts $52,380
Michigan $58,090
Minnesota $45,600
Missouri $50,150
Montana $32,940
Nevada $49,770
New Hampshire $32,020
New Jersey $62,690
New York $86,430
North Carolina $57,390
North Dakota $42,690
Ohio $55,600
Oklahoma $46,550
Oregon $68,100
Pennsylvania $46,350
South Carolina $48,230
South Dakota $30,480
Tennessee $51,140
Texas $57,360
Utah $50,810
Vermont $40,610
Virginia $55,410
Washington $65,400
West Virginia $46,700
Wisconsin $42,110

Tools & Technologies Used by Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Email software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver
  • YouTube
  • Google Drive
  • Apple Final Cut Pro
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Adobe Systems Adobe AfterEffects

Becoming a Video Camera Operator

Individuals working as a Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operator have obtained the following education levels:

Video Camera Operator Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become a Video Camera Operator?

Video Camera Operator Work Experience

Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators Sector

Video Camera Operator Sectors

Below are examples of industries where Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators work:

Video Camera Operator Industries

Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those thinking about becoming a Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operator might also be interested in the following careers:

Those who work as a Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operator sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:

References:

Image Credit: via CC0 Public Domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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