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Camera Operators, Television, Video, and Motion Picture

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Life As a Video Camera Operator

Job 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.

What do Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators do On a Daily Basis?

  • View films to resolve problems of exposure control, subject and camera movement, changes in subject distance, and related variables.
  • Adjust positions and controls of cameras, printers, and related equipment to change focus, exposure, and lighting.
  • Reload camera magazines with fresh raw film stock.
  • Read and analyze work orders and specifications to determine locations of subject material, work procedures, sequences of operations, and machine setups.
  • Edit video for broadcast productions, including non-linear editing.
  • Assemble studio sets and select and arrange cameras, film stock, audio, or lighting equipment to be used during filming.

Video Camera Operator Required Skills

These are the skills Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators say are the most useful in their careers:

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.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.

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.

  • Motion Picture Cameraman
  • Video Specialist
  • Field Producer
  • Production Technician
  • Camera Person

Are There Job Opportunities for Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators?

In the United States, there were 25,100 jobs for Camera Operators, Television, Video, and Motion Picture in 2016.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 7% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,800 new jobs for Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators 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 Camera Operators, Television, Video, and Motion Picture are Texas, Georgia, and California.

Watch out if you plan on working in Wisconsin, Minnesota, or Maine. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Video Camera Operator Salary

The average yearly salary of a Video Camera Operator ranges between $25,790 and $102,470. The median salary is $54,570.

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

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for jobs of this type in different U.S. states.

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

New York

$86,430

District of Columbia

$77,770

California

$77,540

Oregon

$68,100

Washington

$65,400

New Jersey

$62,690

Arizona

$61,580

Hawaii

$59,780

Georgia

$59,110

Michigan

$58,090

Maryland

$57,780

Arkansas

$57,420

North Carolina

$57,390

Texas

$57,360

Ohio

$55,600

Virginia

$55,410

Colorado

$55,220

Massachusetts

$52,380

Tennessee

$51,140

Utah

$50,810

Florida

$50,600

Missouri

$50,150

Nevada

$49,770

Connecticut

$48,560

South Carolina

$48,230

Louisiana

$47,800

West Virginia

$46,700

Oklahoma

$46,550

Pennsylvania

$46,350

Minnesota

$45,600

Illinois

$45,340

Alabama

$44,610

Kansas

$42,940

North Dakota

$42,690

Wisconsin

$42,110

Vermont

$40,610

Indiana

$40,610

Maine

$39,790

Kentucky

$38,670

Iowa

$36,580

Montana

$32,940

New Hampshire

$32,020

South Dakota

$30,480

What Tools do Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators Use?

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

  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Adobe Systems Adobe AfterEffects
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Office
  • YouTube
  • Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign
  • Microsoft Word

How to Become a Video Camera Operator

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

Video Camera Operator Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Video Camera Operator Work Experience

Who Employs Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators?

Video Camera Operator Sectors

Similar Careers

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

  • Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers

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

  • Radio and Television Announcers

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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