Film and Video Editing Degree Programs, Schools And Training

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Film And Video Editors - Career Information

Film And Video Editors picture    Film And Video Editors image

Film and Video Editors

As key members of a film staff, Film and Video Editors are highly skilled technicians who, through editing, are responsible for the quality and distinctive technical elements of a soundtrack, film, or video. They work with agencies or production companies in the motion picture, cable, and broadcast television industries.

Typically, any one scene is shot many times and from different angles. It is the Editor's responsibility to view each scene and select, combine, and sequentially reassemble the best performance, photography, timing, and consistency. Before an Editor can begin their work, however, they:

  • study the script
  • learn the story line
  • collaborate with directors and producers
  • understand the scenes that the director determines to be the most critical
  • learn the producer's film goals

Having a clear understanding of expectations is crucial for an Editor, as it drives how they will do their job to successfully meet the vision of the film's creators.

Today, most television and film Editors use computers, computer software, and non-linear digital editing systems (enables random/direct access to any frame in a video clip) to perform their job. Such systems and technologies provide an Editor with the flexibility to make a variety of edits (e.g., reassemble and/or remove parts of a film and move scenes to various locations) to produce a fluid, impactful, and entertaining story. While using computers provides tremendous advantages, some Editors still cut film or videotape and reassemble them; an Editor may guide/oversee individuals who perform these tasks.

In their work, Editors also determine and insert dialogue, music, and sound and special effects (using editing equipment), and work with professionals who specialize in these areas. Once all edits are completed, required corrections are made, and several more review and edit cycles are done until final approvals have been reached.

Editors who specialize in specific areas of television or film may work on editing music videos, commercials, or educational/instructional films. Others may specialize in the creation of soundtracks (i.e., the audio portion of a film; music and/or dialogue) and larger projects such as documentaries or feature-length movies.

Job Characteristics

Editors generally work on a set schedule during a 40-hour workweek, but may work long and/or irregular hours in order to meet deadlines, which may extend their workweek to 60 hours. Any overtime work is typically paid at time-and-a-half, or double-time. Furthermore, Editors generally receive up to four times their hourly rate for work performed over 12 consecutive hours on holidays and weekends. It is not uncommon for an Editor to be without work between projects.

Editors always work indoors in projection rooms, cutting rooms, and shooting stages, all of which are well lit and ventilated. While they often work with co-workers (sharing the same office space), they generally spend much of their editing time working alone; they also collaborate with the film creators.

While July through February is peak-hiring season for the television industry, there is no peak-hiring season in the motion picture industry. Employment in this industry varies greatly due to weather conditions, release dates, and actor commitments. Educational and industrial film Editors generally do not experience fluctuations in hiring.

Most Editors are members of the Motion Picture and Editors Guild (MPEG) - a Local 700 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE).

Requirements for this job include:

  • Sitting for long periods of time.
  • Using hands and fingers, sometimes quickly, to handle controls, tools, and objects.
  • Repeating the same movements.
  • Hearing sounds and detecting/recognizing their differences.
  • Clearly understanding speech.
  • Recognizing differences between varying levels of brightness, shades, and colors.
  • Focusing on one sound while ignoring others.
  • Assessing distances between objects.
  • Adjusting equipment controls or body movements in order to maintain pace with speed changes for objects in motion.

An individual in this profession is expected to possess and/or display many of the following skills, traits, and attributes:

  • Reliability
  • Responsibility
  • Initiative
  • Persistence
  • Cooperation
  • Originality
  • Creativity
  • Sound judgment
  • Independence
  • Team player
  • Deductive reasoning
  • Eye and attention for details
  • Tolerance for stress
  • Communication skills
  • Flexibility and adaptability

The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (USDL BLS), which combines employment forecasting for Editors with camera operators, projects that employment is "expected to grow 12 percent over the 2006-16 decade, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2016." They further anticipate that "television, video, and motion picture camera operators and editors can expect keen competition for job openings." This is due to the large number of people looking to enter the motion picture and broadcasting industries, where the majority of these professionals are employed.

Film School

Individuals in this profession generally learn their skills through formal, postsecondary training programs from universities, colleges, or vocational schools. Achievement of a bachelor's degree is generally required and must include film courses in all aspects of filmmaking; this is most helpful for apprentice Film Editors. While not an education requirement, having attended film school can be of great value. Additionally, having worked in the film department in a college or university is also considered most helpful in gaining experience and skills.

There are also Editors who gain their experience as an assistant or apprentice under the tutelage of an experienced Editor. Training in this fashion typically takes several years. Regardless, new Editors in a job (i.e., those with skills), generally receive on-the-job training that can take up to three months.

It is important that Editors, at all levels of experience, keep abreast of the various changes and technological advancements in this profession. As such, they may be required to attend formal film editing courses since there is little to no time to learn new advancements while on-the-job.

Certification and licensure is not a requirement for individuals in this profession.


Major Employers

According to the USDL BLS, who group television, video, and motion picture camera operators and Editors in the same category, most individuals are "employed by independent television stations, local affiliate stations of television networks or broadcast groups, large cable and television networks, or smaller independent production companies."

Schools for Film And Video Editors are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

The Top Cities tab shows employment statistics for Film and Video Editors by major metro area.

The Top Industries tab shows which industries have the most jobs for Film and Video Editors, along with salary data by industry.

The Browse Schools tab lets you search for schools by field of study, degree level, and location.

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Metro Areas Rated for Popularity for:
Film and Video Editors

Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Film and Video Editors relative to the population of the city, as of 2008. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A Relative Popularity of 1.0 means that the city has an average number of the particular job, for its population, compared to the rest of the US. Higher numbers mean proportionally more jobs of that type.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Metro Area Jobs Salary


Birmingham 80 $51680 0.8
Hoover 80 $51680 0.8


Anchorage 0 $36360 0


Phoenix 290 $39650 0.78
Mesa 290 $39650 0.78
Scottsdale 290 $39650 0.78


Little Rock 60 $33450 0.94
North Little Rock 60 $33450 0.94
Conway 60 $33450 0.94


Sacramento 50 $0 0.29
Roseville 50 $0 0.29
Arden 50 $0 0.29
Arcade 50 $0 0.29
San Diego 130 $0 0.49
Carlsbad 130 $0 0.49
Los Angeles 10150 $92610 8.99
Long Beach 10150 $92610 8.99
Anaheim 10150 $92610 8.99
San Francisco 490 $61500 1.11
Oakland 490 $61500 1.11
Hayward 490 $61500 1.11
San Jose 110 $0 0.54
Sunnyvale 110 $0 0.54
Santa Clara 110 $0 0.54


Denver 160 $45560 0.59
Aurora 160 $45560 0.59
Lakewood 160 $45560 0.59


Hartford 60 $57600 0.52
West Hartford 60 $57600 0.52
East Hartford 60 $57600 0.52
Bridgeport 250 $0 2.99
Stamford 250 $0 2.99
Norwalk 250 $0 2.99


Jacksonville 50 $36720 0.4
Cape Coral 40 $26730 0.8
Fort Myers 40 $26730 0.8
Orlando 320 $35590 1.44
Kissimmee 320 $35590 1.44
Sanford 320 $35590 1.44
Miami 690 $39150 1.42
Fort Lauderdale 690 $39150 1.42
West Palm Beach 690 $39150 1.42
Tampa 80 $37330 0.35
St. Petersburg 80 $37330 0.35
Clearwater 80 $37330 0.35


Atlanta 0 $47690 0
Sandy Springs 0 $47690 0
Roswell 0 $47690 0


Urban Honolulu 0 $44270 0


Boise City 40 $35800 0.7


Indianapolis 70 $37050 0.38
Carmel 70 $37050 0.38
Anderson 70 $37050 0.38


Baton Rouge 0 $56040 0
New Orleans 220 $0 1.95
Metairie 220 $0 1.95


Portland 50 $35110 1.13
South Portland 50 $35110 1.13


Baltimore 70 $40230 0.28
Columbia 70 $40230 0.28
Towson 70 $40230 0.28


Detroit 320 $53270 0.85
Warren 320 $53270 0.85
Dearborn 320 $53270 0.85
Lansing 40 $46680 0.91
East Lansing 40 $46680 0.91


Las Vegas 230 $44110 1.26
Henderson 230 $44110 1.26
Paradise 230 $44110 1.26

New York

Kingston 30 $48250 2.81
Rochester 70 $23180 0.73

North Carolina

Raleigh 50 $31300 0.44


Akron 30 $31990 0.46
Cleveland 90 $65340 0.45
Elyria 90 $65340 0.45
Columbus 130 $48500 0.65


Oklahoma City 110 $34010 0.89
Tulsa 60 $28880 0.69


Eugene 30 $28960 1.08


Pittsburgh 90 $47600 0.39
Lancaster 40 $28640 0.94


Knoxville 60 $33450 0.78
Nashville 370 $63460 2.08
Davidson 370 $63460 2.08
Murfreesboro 370 $63460 2.08
Franklin 370 $63460 2.08


Austin 130 $51770 0.68
Round Rock 130 $51770 0.68
Houston 250 $29160 0.42
The Woodlands 250 $29160 0.42
Sugar Land 250 $29160 0.42
Dallas 190 $46750 0.28
Fort Worth 190 $46750 0.28
Arlington 190 $46750 0.28
San Antonio 60 $47240 0.33
New Braunfels 60 $47240 0.33


Salt Lake City 120 $52180 0.9


Charlottesville 0 $85630 0
Richmond 50 $53450 0.44


Seattle 190 $50930 0.52
Tacoma 190 $50930 0.52
Bellevue 190 $50930 0.52
Spokane 40 $36880 0.81
Spokane Valley 40 $36880 0.81


Madison 40 $45360 0.48
Milwaukee 70 $47090 0.4
Waukesha 70 $47090 0.4
West Allis 70 $47090 0.4
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Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Film and Video Editors

We currently do not have any stories for this career in our database.

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Most Popular Industries (as of 2008) for:
Film and Video Editors

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Industry Jobs Percent Salary
Movie And Music 12,830 69% $55,960
Media And Broadcasting 3,010 16% $39,940
Professional And Technical Services 1,110 5% $41,700
Electronics And Computer 430 2% $27,880
Performing Arts And Sports 370 1% $52,130
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Film And Video Editing Schools by State

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Film and Video Editors.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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