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Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operator

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What You Need to Know About Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operator

Job Description & Duties 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.

Life As a Video Camera Operator

  • View films to resolve problems of exposure control, subject and camera movement, changes in subject distance, and related variables.
  • Confer with directors, sound and lighting technicians, electricians, and other crew members to discuss assignments and determine filming sequences, desired effects, camera movements, and lighting requirements.
  • Write new scripts for broadcasts.
  • Operate television or motion picture cameras to record scenes for television broadcasts, advertising, or motion pictures.
  • Prepare slates that describe the scenes being filmed.
  • Set up cameras, optical printers, and related equipment to produce photographs and special effects.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Video Camera Operator?

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.

  • News Camera Person
  • Motion Designer
  • Commercial Producer
  • Operations Technician
  • Video Producer

What Kind of Video Camera Operator Job Opportunities Are There?

There were about 25,100 jobs for Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operator in 2016 (in the United States). 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. There will be an estimated 2,600 positions for Video Camera Operator per year.

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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.

Salary for a Video Camera Operator

The salary for Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators ranges between about $25,790 and $102,470 a year.

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

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators in different U.S. states.

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

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:

  • 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

How to Become a Video Camera Operator

Are there Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators education requirements?

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

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Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators Sector

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

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You May Also Be Interested In…

Those interested in being a Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operator may also be interested in:

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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