hourly pay for Television, Video and Motion Picture Camera Operators
do Television, Video and Motion Picture Camera Operators make a lot of money

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

  • $63200
  • 68%
    Job satisfaction
  • Medium
    Becoming one
  • Low
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank


How Much Do Camera Operators Make In 2018

In this salary guide, you will find out how much do Television, Video and Motion Picture Camera Operators make.

After reading this, you will be able to make a decision if working as a Television, Video and Motion Picture Camera Operator will suit your financial goals (e.g: buying a home, BMW or just your target salary goal).

Average salary

Annual salary
$63200 per year

Hourly wage
$30.380 per hour

One of the most popular questions we get from our readers here at OwlGuru is how much do Camera Operators make per year and what is their hourly wage.

According to BLS, the average annual salary of Camera Operators is $63200. Their salary can also be as low as $26940 if you’re still a newbie with no experience to over $109200 if you have a ton of experience under your belt.

The typical hourly pay is $30.380 and can range from $12.950 to $52.500 which also depends if you’re a newbie or a professional.

Just like any other job, the salary of A Camera Operator will vary based on your education and experience level.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.
Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of A Camera Operator to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank.

This compares the salary of all careers and we give them a rank of A, B, C or D depending on how high or low is their average salary.

After comparing how much do Camera Operators make with other careers, they have a salary rank of B.

Become one

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Salary range

Highest (Top 10%)$52.500$109200
Senior (Top 25%)$37.210$77410
Middle (Mid 50%)$26.480$55080
Junior (Bottom 25%)$18.060$37570
No experience (Bottom 10%)$12.950$26940

Entry-level Camera Operators who starts out at $37570 can expect to make $55080 after 3-5 years of experience in the field.

The bottom 10% makes less than $12.950 per hour while the top 10% makes over $52.500 per hour.

While the median wage is $55080 per annum or $26.480 per hour.

Depending on who you work for, you might also get overtime pay.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.

Highest paying industries

Industry nameHourly wageAnnual salary
Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers52.97110180
Performing Arts, Spectator Sports, and Related Industries36.9976930
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation35.9274720
Cable and Other Subscription Programming33.1969020
Federal Executive Branch32.1766900
Federal government, including the US Postal Service32.1766900
Employment Services31.0364550
Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services30.5663570
Motion Picture and Video Industries30.5163460
Motion Picture and Sound Recording Industries30.4963420
Newspaper, Periodical, Book, and Directory Publishers28.4559170
Publishing Industries (except Internet)28.1558540
Computer Systems Design and Related Services27.5157210
All industries, private ownership only27.3356850
All industries27.1756510
Spectator Sports27.1756510
Photographic Services27.0156180
Business Schools and Computer and Management Training (including private, state, and local government schools)26.855740
Business schools and computer and management training - Privately owned26.855740
Administrative and Support Services26.5555220
Sector 56- Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services26.5255160
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services26.4755060
Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services26.3454800
Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)25.9253920
Other Information Services25.8953840
Federal, State, and Local Government25.8753810
Federal, State, and Local Government, excluding state and local schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service25.8753810
Newspaper Publishers25.7453550
Health Care and Social Assistance (including private, state, and local government hospitals)25.2452490
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)25.0852160
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, Privately owned25.0852160
Junior colleges, Local government owned25.0452090
Hospitals, Privately owned24.9651920
Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods24.5851130
Federal, state, and local government, including government owned schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service24.5351030
State Government, excluding schools and hospitals24.3750680
Wholesale Trade24.3550640
Educational Services, Local government owned24.350550
Management of Companies and Enterprises23.8549600
Junior Colleges (including private, state, and local government schools)23.7149310
Nonstore Retailers23.6549200
Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses23.6549200
Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services23.5548990
Elementary and Secondary Schools, Local government owned23.4648800
Broadcasting (except Internet)23.4148680
Elementary and Secondary Schools (including private, state, and local government schools)22.9947810
Promoters of Performing Arts, Sports, and Similar Events22.5246830
Television Broadcasting22.3146410
Radio and Television Broadcasting22.2546280
Educational Services, Privately owned21.8645460
Educational Services (including private, state, and local government schools)21.8345400
Business Support Services21.6745070
Retail Trade21.444510
Colleges, universities, and professional schools, Privately owned21.3644430
State government, including schools and hospitals21.0543770
Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations20.7343120
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools (including private, state, and local government schools)20.6242890
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)20.3442310
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services20.342220
Educational Services, State government owned20.2842190
Local government, including schools and hospitals20.2242060
Colleges, universities, and professional schools, State government owned20.2142030
Religious Organizations19.4840520
Wired Telecommunications Carriers19.1739880
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals19.0839680
Radio Broadcasting18.3238110

Not all industries pay the same for Television, Video and Motion Picture Camera Operators.

One of the easiest way to increase your salary is to change industries and find a higher paying one.

Highest paying states


Another simple way to boost your pay as A Camera Operator is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like NY doesn’t mean you will make more overall. This is because the expenses at NY may be 2x higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to the BLS, the highest paid / most successful Camera Operators are in the states of NY, DC, CT, CA and OR. The average salary in NY is $87280.

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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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