Television, Video and Motion Picture Camera Operators: Salary, Job Description, How To Be One and More

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Television, Video and Motion Picture Camera Operators jobs information
pros and cons of being a Television, Video and Motion Picture Camera Operator

Television, Video and Motion Picture Camera Operators

Other names for this job might include Advanced Electronic Field Production Specialist (Advanced EFP Specialist), Animation Camera Operator, Broadcast Engineer, Camera Engineer, Camera Operator, Camera Person, Cameraman, Cinematographer, Commercial Producer, Commercial Production Editor


  • $59360
    Salary
  • 68%
    Job satisfaction
  • Medium
    Becoming one
  • Low
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank

C+



Camera Operators: Know It All In 1 Minute


In this career summary, you will find out what the job of A Camera Operator is about and what it is like.

After reading this, you will have a good idea on what the job is about and decide if this is the right career for you.



Job description

Television, Video and Motion Picture Camera Operators 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.

  • Operate television or motion picture cameras to record scenes for television broadcasts, advertising, or motion pictures.
  • Compose and frame each shot, applying the technical aspects of light, lenses, film, filters, and camera settings to achieve the effects sought by directors.
  • Edit video for broadcast productions, including non-linear editing.
  • Adjust positions and controls of cameras, printers, and related equipment to change focus, exposure, and lighting.

Read more about what does A Camera Operator really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.


Become one

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Salary

Average salary
$59360 per year

Hourly wage
$28.54 an hour


Camera Operators with little to no experience tend to make between $25070 and $34200 while the more experienced ones make over $72190 per year.

Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual
NY$41.96$87280
DC$41.71$86760
CT$37.12$77210
CA$34.32$71390
OR$31.15$64790

1 of the easiest ways to increase your salary as A Camera Operator is to move to a higher paying state like NY. Right now, the highest paying states for Camera Operators are NY, DC, CT, CA and OR.

However a higher pay at NY doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at NY might be 2x higher than where you are currently at now.

3 other factors that can increase your salary as A Camera Operator is the degree you hold, the industry you work in and lastly the company you work for (bigger companies like the Fortune 500 companies tend to pay more).

Find out how much do successful Camera Operators make and if their salary is high when compared to all the other careers.


Requirements

Recommended degree level
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)

We asked other Camera Operators what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Associates degree followed by Bachelors degree.

Other than that we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Radio and Television Broadcasting Technology/Technician
Audiovisual Communications Technologies/Technicians, Other
Cinematography and Film/Video Production
Documentary Production

Another popular question from our readers is what makes A Camera Operator successful or would they be good in this career.

Well, we found that most successful Camera Operators have these 5 skillsets.

Active Listening
Speaking
Coordination
Critical Thinking
Operation and Control

In addition to that, 1 common characteristic among successful Camera Operators is they are good at Dependability. Here are the top 5 common characteristics.

Dependability
Adaptability/Flexibility
Attention to Detail
Cooperation
Stress Tolerance
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

Read more about what it really takes to become A Camera Operator and the degree, training and education you need


Pros and Cons

Here are some reasons why you should and shouldn’t choose A Camera Operator as your career.

PROS
Suitable for people who likes practical and handson work
Suitable for people who wants to work in a supportive work environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous workrelated skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
CONS
Not suitable for people who likes to start and carry out projects
Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)


There will be pros and cons for all jobs. The point is how much do the pros outweigh the cons to you.

A pro to you might be a con to Bob. A pro to Bob might be a con to you. We suggest reading about this career framework that can help you to find out what type of careers are right for you.



What is the job like

Job satisfaction
68%

Is this job meaningful
49%


Working hours
More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule
Irregular (Changes with weather conditions, production demands or contract duration)


On a normal working week Television, Video and Motion Picture Camera Operators work More than 40 hours per week.

68% of Camera Operators said they were satisfied with their job and 49% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Builders and The Artists


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the careers require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

They also like working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.



How we can help

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Rank: C+
Salary: $46040

They set up, or set up and operate audio and video equipment including microphones, sound speakers, video screens, projectors, video monitors, recording equipment, connecting wires and cables, sound and mixing boards, and related electronic equipment for concerts, sports events, meetings and conventions, presentations, and news conferences. May also set up and operate associated spotlights and other custom lighting systems.
Rank: D
Salary: $39000

They format and proof text and images submitted by designers and clients into finished pages that can be printed. Includes digital and photo typesetting. May produce printing plates.
Rank: C
Salary: $42310

They set up, operate, and maintain the electronic equipment used to transmit radio and television programs. Control audio equipment to regulate volume level and quality of sound during radio and television broadcasts. Operate transmitter to broadcast radio or television programs.
Rank: C
Salary: $75090

They edit moving images on film, video, or other media. May edit or synchronize soundtracks with images.
Rank: B
Salary: $58670

They operate machines and equipment to record, synchronize, mix, or reproduce music, voices, or sound effects in sporting arenas, theater productions, recording studios, or movie and video productions.






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Career type

Art, Entertainment and Sports
Audio and Video Technology and Film, Journalism and Broadcasting, Performing Arts

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Related to Television, Video and Motion Picture Camera Operators Career Information

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Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/media-and-communication/film-and-video-editors-and-camera-operators.htm
http://www.editorsguild.com/

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Television, Video and Motion Picture Camera Operators
Written by: Stanley Tan
Camera Operators 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.
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