How Much Do Camera Operators Make in 2021 (including Starting Salary)

Stan T.Career, SalaryLeave a Comment

Annual Salary, Salary Range, and Highest Paying States and Industries

Camera Operators

Camera Operators operate television, video, or film camera to record images or scenes for television, video, or film productions.

Becoming One
Associate's degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth


Table of contents
  1. Average salary
  2. Starting salary
  3. Salary rank
  4. Salary range
  5. Highest paying states
  6. Highest paying industries

Average salary

Annual salary
$67590 per year
Hourly wage
$32 per hour

Starting salary

Entry-level annual salary
$29,140 to $39,550 per year
Entry-level hourly wage
$14 to $19 per hour

Entry-level Television, Video and Motion Picture Camera Operators with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $29,140 to $39,550 per year or $14 to $19 per hour. Similar to any other job, their salary will increase as they gain experience.

Salary rank

Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of Television, Video and Motion Picture Camera Operators to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank. We compared the salary of all careers then we gave them a rank of A, B, C, or D depending on where their average salary sit in comparison to other careers.

Salary range

Level Hourly Annual
Highest (Top 10%) $59 $123,220
Senior (Top 25%) $39 $81,580
Middle (Mid 50%) $28 $57,200
Junior (Bottom 25%) $19 $39,550
No experience (Bottom 10%) $14 $29,140

Highest paying states

State Hourly Annual
NY $53 $109,310
CA $39 $80,240
NJ $35 $72,620
DC $34 $70,440
MD $32 $66,270
OR $30 $62,260
WA $30 $61,500
HI $29 $60,300
VA $29 $59,810
RI $28 $58,000

Another simple way to increase your salary as a Television, Video and Motion Picture Camera Operator is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like NY doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the expenses at NY might be much higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to BLS, the highest paid Camera Operators are in the states of NY, CA, NJ, DC and MD.

Highest paying industries

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Performing Arts Companies $160820 $77.32
Motion Picture and Video Industries $80920 $38.90
Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers $78090 $37.54
Federal Executive Branch $76660 $36.86
Scientific Research and Development Services $71370 $34.31
Rental and Leasing Services $68210 $32.79
Cable and Other Subscription Programming $67310 $32.36
Individual and Family Services $66070 $31.76
Other Information Services $65220 $31.35
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals $62780 $30.18
Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services $62400 $30.00
Radio and Television Broadcasting $62280 $29.94
Employment Services $61880 $29.75
Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses $61200 $29.42
Religious Organizations $61060 $29.35
Promoters of Performing Arts, Sports, and Similar Events $58890 $28.31
Management of Companies and Enterprises $58410 $28.08
Credit Intermediation and Related Activities $58130 $27.95
Spectator Sports $56560 $27.19
Business, Professional, Labor, Political, and Similar Organizations $56080 $26.96
Computer Systems Design and Related Services $54150 $26.04
State Government $53790 $25.86
Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services $53590 $25.76
Professional and Commercial Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers $53380 $25.67
Business Support Services $53180 $25.57
Telecommunications $52130 $25.06
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools $51660 $24.83
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services $51510 $24.76
Newspaper, Periodical, Book, and Directory Publishers $51500 $24.76
Other Schools and Instruction $49980 $24.03

Explore Other Careers

Don’t know which career to pursue?

Take the career quiz to find careers that match your personality type. Take The Career Quiz

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.