Film & Video Editor

Film Editor Career - woman editing film in front of two video monitors

What you need to know


Film and video editors manipulate images that entertain or inform an audience. Editors take footage shot by camera operators and organize it into a final product.

What is does a film editor do?

Film and video editors and typically work in studios or in office settings. Nearly all editing work is done on a computer, and editors often are trained in a specific type of editing software.

Some of the things video editors might do:

  • Edit footage for television programs, motion pictures, music videos, documentaries, or news and sporting events
  • Organize and edit digital footage with video-editing software
  • Collaborate with a director to determine the overall vision of the production
  • Discuss editing techniques with a director to improve a scene
  • Edit a scene based on the director’s vision
What skills are needed?
  • Communication skills. Video editors must communicate with other members of a production team, including producers and directors, to ensure that the project goes smoothly.
  • Computer skills. Video editors must use sophisticated editing software.
  • Creativity. Video editors should be able to imagine what the result of their filming or editing will look like to an audience.
  • Detail oriented. Editors look at every frame of film and decide what should be kept or cut in order to maintain the best content.
  • Visual skills. Video editors must see clearly what they are filming or editing in the post-production process.
What is the pay?

The average pay for film and video editors in the United States ranges from $37,060 to $138,910 as of May 2021.

The specific pay depends on factors such as level of experience, education and training, geographic location, and specific industry.

What is the career outlook?

Overall employment of film and video editors is projected to grow 29 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.

The number of online-only platforms, such as streaming services, is likely to increase, along with the number of shows produced for these platforms. This growth may lead to more work for film and editors.

What education is required to become a film editor?

Most editor positions require a bachelor’s degree in a field related to film or broadcasting, such as communications. Many colleges offer courses in cinematography or video-editing software. Coursework involves a mix of film theory with practical training.

Editors may complete a brief period of on-the-job training. Some employers may offer new employees training in the type of specialized editing software those employers use. Most editors eventually specialize in one type of software, but beginners should be familiar with as many types as possible.

Discover some of the courses you will take pursuing a degree in Communications or Film and Media.