Mapping Your Future logo

Career Profile: Film and Video Editors

Edit moving images on film, video, or other media. May work with a producer or director to organize images for final production. May edit or synchronize soundtracks with images.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 33,000 people employed as film and video editors in the United States. The median annual salary is $67,300. Entry level employees earn approximately $34,870 per year and senior employees earn approximately $152,720 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Organize and string together raw footage into a continuous whole according to scripts or the instructions of directors and producers.
  • Edit films and videotapes to insert music, dialogue, and sound effects, to arrange films into sequences, and to correct errors, using editing equipment.
  • Select and combine the most effective shots of each scene to form a logical and smoothly running story.
  • Review footage sequence by sequence to become familiar with it before assembling it into a final product.
  • Set up and operate computer editing systems, electronic titling systems, video switching equipment, and digital video effects units to produce a final product.
  • Trim film segments to specified lengths and reassemble segments in sequences that present stories with maximum effect.
  • Cut shot sequences to different angles at specific points in scenes, making each individual cut as fluid and seamless as possible.
  • Review assembled films or edited videotapes on screens or monitors to determine if corrections are necessary.
  • Discuss the sound requirements of pictures with sound effects editors.
  • Verify key numbers and time codes on materials.
  • Manipulate plot, score, sound, and graphics to make the parts into a continuous whole, working closely with people in audio, visual, music, optical, or special effects departments.
  • Program computerized graphic effects.
  • Study scripts to become familiar with production concepts and requirements.
  • Supervise and coordinate activities of workers engaged in film editing, assembling, and recording activities.
  • Piece sounds together to develop film soundtracks.
  • Confer with producers and directors concerning layout or editing approaches needed to increase dramatic or entertainment value of productions.
  • Determine the specific audio and visual effects and music necessary to complete films.
  • Mark frames where a particular shot or piece of sound is to begin or end.
  • Record needed sounds or obtain them from sound effects libraries.
  • Conduct film screenings for directors and members of production staffs.
  • Develop post-production models for films.
  • Collaborate with music editors to select appropriate passages of music and develop production scores.
  • Estimate how long audiences watching comedies will laugh at each gag line or situation to space scenes appropriately.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
33,000
Annual Openings:
4,700
Increase in Openings by 2030:
33%
Annual Salary Range:
$34,870 - $152,720
Education Requirements:
Bachelor's degree