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Film, Video & Photographic Arts Major

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Film, Video & Photographic Arts

10,779 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
1,981 Master's Degrees Annually
#47 in Popularity
$78,090 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Film, Video & Photographic Arts Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many film, video and photographic arts graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 10,968
Master’s Degree 1,981
Associate’s Degree 1,508
Basic Certificate 1,202
Undergraduate Certificate 922
Graduate Certificate 62
Doctor’s Degree 41

What Film, Video & Photographic Arts Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to film and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Film Majors

Film majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills for Film Majors

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

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  • 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.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Abilities for Film Majors

As a film major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

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  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

What Can You Do With a Film, Video & Photographic Arts Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with film:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Art, Drama, and Music Professors 12.0% $69,960
Camera Operators, Television, Video, and Motion Picture 7.2% $54,570
Communications Professors 10.0% $68,910
Directors- Stage, Motion Pictures, Television, and Radio 12.2% $71,680
Film and Video Editors 17.0% $62,650
Producers 12.2% $71,680
Program Directors 12.2% $71,680
Technical Directors/Managers 12.2% $71,680

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Film, Video & Photographic Arts?

10,968 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
46% Percent Women
34% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
Film, Video and Photographic Arts runs middle of the road when it comes to popularity, ranking #47 out of all the undergraduate majors we track. In 2018, about 10,779 graduates completed their bachelor’s degree in this field. Roughly 46% of the graduates are women, and 54% are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

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

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Film Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 682
Black or African American 789
Hispanic or Latino 1,644
White 6,087
International Students 779
Other Races/Ethnicities 987

Geographic Diversity

Film appeals to people across the globe. About 7.1% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • South Korea
  • India
  • Brazil
  • Mexico

How Much Do Film, Video & Photographic Arts Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The median early-career salary of film, video and photographic arts students with a bachelor’s degree is $22,250 a year according to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $20,500 (25th percentile) and $25,050 (75th percentile).

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Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a film degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Film majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $61,750 to $86,830 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Film, Video & Photographic Arts Major  ( 61750 to 86830 )
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with film may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. 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.

Find out what the typical degree level is for film careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 1.8%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 10.5%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 4.0%
Some College Courses 8.5%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 11.4%
Bachelor’s Degree 35.6%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 0.2%
Master’s Degree 17.9%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 0.4%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 1.3%
Doctoral Degree 8.6%
Post-Doctoral Training 1.0%

Online Film, Video & Photographic Arts Programs

In the 2017-2018 academic year, 638 schools offered some type of film, video and photographic arts program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 137 4
Certificate (1-2 years) 89 2
Certificate (2-4 Years) 9 3
Associate’s Degree 195 8
Bachelor’s Degree 16 2
Post-Baccalaureate 137 4
Master’s Degree 138 8
Post-Master’s 5 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 17 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Film, Video & Photographic Arts Worth It?

The median salary for a film grad is $78,090 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 96% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $763,800 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to film.

Major Number of Grads
Fine & Studio Arts 41,431
Design & Applied Arts 37,428
Music 27,188
Drama & Theater Arts 17,242
General Visual & Performing Arts 5,302
Arts & Media Management 4,811
Dance 3,063
Other Visual Art 910
Crafts, Folk Art & Artisanry 199

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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