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Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operator

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What is a Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operator?

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.

Life As a Video Camera Operator

  • Write new scripts for broadcasts.
  • Set up and perform live shots for broadcast.
  • Observe sets or locations for potential problems and to determine filming and lighting requirements.
  • Instruct camera operators regarding camera setups, angles, distances, movement, and variables and cues for starting and stopping filming.
  • Read and analyze work orders and specifications to determine locations of subject material, work procedures, sequences of operations, and machine setups.
  • Label and record contents of exposed film and note details on report forms.

Video Camera Operator Skills

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.

Types of Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operator

  • Movie Shot Camera Operator
  • News Cameraman
  • Wild Life Photographer
  • Field Producer
  • Motion Picture Cameraman

Is There Job Demand for Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators?

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. 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.

How Much Does a Video Camera Operator Make?

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 each U.S. state?

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?

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

Learn what Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operator education requirements there are.

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

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Where Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators Are Employed

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The table below shows the approximate number of Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators employed by various industries.

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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:

Career changers with experience as a Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operator sometimes find work in one of the following fields:

References:

Image Credit: via CC0 Public Domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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