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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.

Motion Picture Projectionist Responsibilities

  • Observe projector operation to anticipate need to transfer operations from one projector to another.
  • Prepare film inspection reports, attendance sheets, and log books.
  • Open and close facilities according to rules and schedules.
  • Insert film into top magazine reel, or thread film through a series of sprockets and guide rollers, attaching the end to a take-up reel.
  • Splice separate film reels, advertisements, and movie trailers together to form a feature-length presentation on one continuous reel.
  • Set up and adjust picture projectors and screens to achieve proper size, illumination, and focus of images, and proper volume and tone of sound.

What a Motion Picture Projectionist Should Know

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.

  • Film Projector Operator
  • Machine Operator
  • Movie Projectionist
  • Cinema Operator
  • Moving Picture Operator

Motion Picture Projectionist Job Outlook

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 5,800 jobs in the United States for Motion Picture Projectionist. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Motion Picture Projectionist. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 600 job openings in this field each year.


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.

Motion Picture Projectionist Salary

Motion Picture Projectionists make between $17,890 and $38,890 a year.


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

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Motion Picture Projectionists 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 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

How do I Become a Motion Picture Projectionist?

Education needed to be a Motion Picture Projectionist:


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


Where Motion Picture Projectionists Work


The table below shows the approximate number of Motion Picture Projectionists employed by various industries.


You May Also 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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