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Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operator

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All About Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators

Occupation 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.

Life As a Video Camera Operator

  • Instruct camera operators regarding camera setups, angles, distances, movement, and variables and cues for starting and stopping filming.
  • Prepare slates that describe the scenes being filmed.
  • Stay current with new technologies in the field by reading trade magazines.
  • Download exposed film for shipment to processing labs.
  • Use cameras in any of several different camera mounts, such as stationary, track-mounted, or crane-mounted.
  • Compose and frame each shot, applying the technical aspects of light, lenses, film, filters, and camera settings to achieve the effects sought by directors.

What Every Video Camera Operator Should Know

Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

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.

Types of Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operator

  • Advanced Electronic Field Production Specialist (Advanced EFP Specialist)
  • News Camera Operator
  • Producer
  • Floor Director
  • Motion Picture Camera Operator

Video Camera Operator Job Outlook

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 25,100 jobs in the United States for Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operator. 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.

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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

Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators make between $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.

How much do Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators make 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 & Technology do Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators may use on a daily basis:

  • 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:

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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

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

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Similar Careers

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

Are you already one of the many Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operator in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:

References:

Image Credit: via CC0 Public Domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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