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Film, Video & Photographic Arts

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Film, Video & Photographic Arts Major

Film, video and photographic arts is a major that typically falls into the Visual & Performing Arts category.

There are 195 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in film, 509 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 138 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 17 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a Film Degree?

Film, video and photographic arts runs middle of the road when it comes to popularity, ranking #47 out of all the majors we track. In 2017, about 10,900 graduates completed their bachelor’s degree in this major. Roughly 45.7% of the graduates are women, and 54.3% are men.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of film majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 6.2%
  • Black or African American: 7.2%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 15%
  • White: 55.5%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 7.1%
  • Other Races: 9%
Film, Video & Photographic Arts Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in film. About 7.1% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending film majors to the U.S. are China, South Korea and India.

What Will You Learn as a Film, Video & Photographic Arts Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to film to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Film Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

Important Knowledge Areas for Film, Video & Photographic Arts Majors

Skills for Film Majors

Film majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

Important Skills for Film, Video & Photographic Arts Majors

Abilities for Film Majors

A major in film will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

Important Abilities for film Majors

What Can You Do With a Film Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with film:

Careers Related to Film, Video & Photographic Arts
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Program Directors



Art, Drama, and Music Professors



Technical Directors/Managers



Camera Operators, Television, Video, and Motion Picture






Film and Video Editors






Directors- Stage, Motion Pictures, Television, and Radio



Communications Professors



Film, Video & Photographic Arts Major Salary

Average salaries range from $62,000 to $87,000 for careers related to film. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for a Film Major  ( 62000 to 87000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

Your salary will be largely dependent on the career path you follow and what area of the country (or world) you work. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Film, Video & Photographic Arts Major Jobs

Some careers associated with film require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

How much education do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to film have obtained the following education levels.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Film, Video & Photographic Arts
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma


High School Diploma or Equivalent


Post-Secondary Certificate


Some College Courses


Associate's Degree or Equivalent


Bachelor's Degree


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate


Master's Degree


Post-Master's Certificate


First Professional Degree


Doctoral Degree


Post-Doctoral Training


Online Film, Video & Photographic Arts Programs

There are 509 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in film, video and photographic arts, with 16 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Many learners are drawn to online programs due to the ease of use and flexibility. Students should be warned that those who enroll in online programs can take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to drop out.

Is a Film, Video & Photographic Arts Major Worth It?

The median salary for a film grad is $78,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 101% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $783,800 after 20 years!

film, video and photographic arts salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: {} via License

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