According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), film and video editors take footage shot by camera operators and organize it into a final product. They collaborate with producers and directors to create the final production. Most editors have one or more assistants who support the editor by keeping track of each shot in a database or loading digital video into an editing bay. Assistants also may do some of the editing tasks. Because digital filming is the norm these days, nearly all editing work is done on a computer, and editors often are trained in a specific type of editing software.
Film and video editors typically work in a studio or office setting, says the BLS. They often work in editing rooms by themselves, or with producers and directors, for many hours at a time. Cinematographers and operators who film movies or TV shows may film on location and be away from home for months at a time, and the hours can be grueling. In fact, according to the BLS, film and video editors that work in motion picture industry may have long, irregular hours while filming. However, most film and video editors will agree that the long hours are worth it. Besides the excitement that comes with finally viewing their finished product on the big screen, film and video editors earn a handsome salary, especially in places such as California and New York.
As of March 30, 2016, the mean annual wage for film and video editors was $80,300. The median annual wage was $61,750. The lowest paid film and video editors earned $26,270 annually, and the highest paid editors earned $155,840 annually.
The ten highest paying states for film and video editors are:
- California: $108,610 (mean annual wage)
- New York: $78,020
- District of Columbia: $75,360
- New Jersey: $69,630
- North Dakota: $67,850
- Tennessee: $64,420
- Colorado: $61,920
- Illinois: $61,080
- Virginia: $58,550
- Michigan: $58,360
The ten lowest paying states for film and video editors are:
- Florida: $42,960 (mean annual wage)
- Arizona: $42,310
- Alaska: $40,470
- Kansas: $39,780
- North Carolina: $39,500
- Arkansas: $38,590
- South Carolina: $38,450
- Maine: $34,320
- Idaho: $34,260
- Oklahoma: $32,250
In addition to Florida, the states with average salaries ranging from $42,960 to $48,990 per year are Utah, Montana Of these states, Montana, Texas, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. Of this group, Montana had the highest annual mean wage at $48,990 and Florida had the lowest at $42,960.
The states with average salaries ranging from $50,100 to $53,390 per year are Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Minnesota, Montana, Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, Massachusetts, and Maryland. Of this group, Georgia had the highest annual mean wage at $53,390. At $50,100, Massachusetts had the lowest.
So, which state has the best pay for film and video editors? That would be California. The worst? Oklahoma.
Awesome Animation Fact: Peanuts is the most syndicated comic strip in the U.S. Created by Charles M. Schulz, Peanuts appears in 2,620 newspapers in 75 different countries. The globally popular comic strip also expanded into film, TV, books, and merchandise.