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Motion Picture Projectionist

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What is a Motion Picture Projectionist?

Job Description & Duties Set up and operate motion picture projection and related sound reproduction equipment.

Daily Life Of a Motion Picture Projectionist

  • Set up and inspect curtain and screen controls.
  • Remove full take-up reels and run film through rewinding machines to rewind projected films so they may be shown again.
  • Set up and adjust picture projectors and screens to achieve proper size, illumination, and focus of images, and proper volume and tone of sound.
  • Install and connect auxiliary equipment, such as microphones, amplifiers, disc playback machines, and lights.
  • Project motion pictures onto back screens for inclusion in scenes within film or stage productions.
  • Perform regular maintenance tasks such as rotating or replacing xenon bulbs, cleaning lenses, lubricating machinery, and keeping electrical contacts clean and tight.

Motion Picture Projectionist Required Skills

Below is a list of the skills most Motion Picture Projectionists say are important on the job.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

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.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Types of Motion Picture Projectionist

  • Machine Operator
  • Cinematographer
  • Booth Supervisor
  • Cinema Operator
  • Spray Booth Operator

Motion Picture Projectionist Employment Estimates

There were about 5,800 jobs for Motion Picture Projectionist in 2016 (in the United States). There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Motion Picture Projectionist. The BLS estimates 600 yearly job openings in this field.


The states with the most job growth for Motion Picture Projectionist are Utah, Washington, and Florida. Watch out if you plan on working in Alabama, Wisconsin, or Maine. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Motion Picture Projectionist Make?

The salary for Motion Picture Projectionists ranges between about $17,890 and $38,890 a year.


Motion Picture Projectionists who work in Hawaii, New York, or California, make the highest salaries.

How much do Motion Picture Projectionists make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $21,000
Arizona $26,030
California $31,730
Colorado $25,490
Florida $23,770
Georgia $23,990
Hawaii $37,580
Illinois $26,390
Iowa $18,390
Kansas $23,010
Kentucky $21,530
Louisiana $21,700
Massachusetts $31,400
Michigan $28,760
Montana $26,150
Nebraska $26,700
New Jersey $29,540
New York $43,420
Ohio $24,340
Oklahoma $20,160
Oregon $25,880
Pennsylvania $20,310
Tennessee $25,920
Texas $26,630
Utah $22,800
Washington $26,420
Wisconsin $23,270

What Tools & Technology do Motion Picture Projectionists Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Motion Picture Projectionists may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Web browser software

Becoming a Motion Picture Projectionist

What kind of Motion Picture Projectionist requirements are there?


How Long Does it Take to Become a Motion Picture Projectionist?


Where Motion Picture Projectionists Work


Motion Picture Projectionists work in the following industries:


Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those who work as a Motion Picture Projectionist sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:


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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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