Home page

Film and Video Editors

At a Glance

  • Put the most interesting parts of a film together
  • Often use computers instead of editing by hand
  • Often specialize in one area
  • May work long, irregular hours to meet deadlines
  • Usually have a bachelor's degree

Career summary

Film and video editors edit film, video, and other media.

#no directly matching wois occ, closest is 9826, but only part of it applies. No alt titles., checked 2/25/15 lh

Before they do any editing, film and video editors review the script with reporters, producers, and directors. They discuss the story line and what scenes the director thinks are most important. Editors need to know what the reporters, producers, and directors expect of the film so that they can edit it to match the creators' vision.

Once the edits are made, film and video editors review the film and correct errors. Editors go through the review and edit cycle several times until they are satisfied with the result. They may add dialogue, music, and special effects. They work closely with people who specialize in audio, visual, music, and special effects.

Film and video editors often specialize in certain types of television or film. They may edit:

Related careers

This career is part of the Arts, Audio/Visual Technology, and Communications cluster of careers.

Related careers include:

Job duties

Task list

The following list of tasks is specific to film and video editors.

Common work activities

Film and video editors perform the following tasks. These tasks are common to many careers.

Work requirements

Working conditions

In a typical work setting, film and video editors:

Interpersonal relationships

Physical work conditions

Work performance


Physical demands

Film and video editors frequently:

It is important for film and video editors to be able to:

It is not as important, but still necessary, for film and video editors to be able to:

Skills and abilities

Film and video editors need to:


Reason and problem solve

Manage oneself, people, time, and things

Work with people

Perceive and visualize

Education and training

Educational programs

The programs of study listed below will help you prepare for the occupation or career cluster you are exploring.

Programs of study directly related to this occupation

Other programs of study to consider


To work as a film or video editor, you typically need to:

Education after high school

Most film and video editors have 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. In these programs, you learn about film theory and receive practical training.

While formal education is important, you learn to edit by doing it. Proven ability is most important. Employers look for creative people who have the necessary technical skills. It is helpful to have an understanding of digital cameras and editing software.

Work experience

Participate in a film club in high school or college, if your school has one. Many schools have a film or video studio where you can learn to create and edit short programs.

Try to participate in an internship with a film company or television station while you are in school. Work in one of these settings is good background even if you are not involved in editing.

On-the-job training

New editors generally receive on-the-job training, regardless of how they gained their skills. Training usually lasts up to three months.

Helpful high school courses

In high school, take classes that prepare you for college. A college preparatory curriculum may be different from your state's graduation requirements.

You should also consider taking some advanced courses in high school. This includes Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses if they are available in your school. If you do well in these courses, you may receive college credit for them. Advanced courses can also strengthen your college application.

Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this career include:

Many film and video editors are self-employed. If you want to run your own business some day, you should consider taking these courses as well:

The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.

You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.

Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Here are examples of activities and groups that may be available in your high school or community.

Things to know

Film and video editors get hired mainly on the basis of their reputation. Employers look for film and video editors who understand film. They also look for editors who are open to others' suggestions. They especially look for editors with strong visual understanding who pay close attention to detail. Film and video editors who do good work may be asked to work repeatedly with certain directors and producers. Film and video editors should be able to work creatively and cooperatively with others while editing projects.

Costs to workers

Some film and video editors are required to join a union and pay an initiation fee and monthly dues. Some workers join professional associations or trade groups, which may have annual dues.

Job listings

Listed below are links to job categories from the National Labor Exchange that relate to this career. Once you get a list of jobs, you can view information about individual jobs and find out how to apply. If your job search finds too many openings, or if you wish to search for jobs outside of Washington, you will need to refine your search.

To get a listing of current jobs from the WorkSource system, go to the WorkSource website (external link).


Film and video editors (SOC 27-4032)

Pay Period
Washington Hourly $16.21 $22.34 $29.11 $44.77 $58.36
Monthly $2,809 $3,872 $5,045 $7,759 $10,114
Yearly $33,710 $46,460 $60,560 $93,110 $121,380
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Hourly $18.34 $24.59 $30.55 $46.96 $59.98
Monthly $3,178 $4,261 $5,294 $8,138 $10,395
Yearly $38,145 $51,149 $63,558 $97,679 $124,747
    Spokane-Spokane Valley Hourly $12.90 $14.19 $23.50 $31.03 $48.36
Monthly $2,236 $2,459 $4,073 $5,377 $8,381
Yearly $26,823 $29,514 $48,880 $64,539 $100,576
    Vancouver Hourly $13.65 $16.98 $23.27 $36.68 $49.44
Monthly $2,366 $2,943 $4,033 $6,357 $8,568
Yearly $28,407 $35,326 $48,393 $76,299 $102,837
United States Hourly $15.36 $20.78 $30.12 $48.09 $81.75
Monthly $2,662 $3,601 $5,220 $8,334 $14,167
Yearly $31,940 $43,230 $62,650 $100,020 $170,040

Wages vary by the number of projects editors complete. Working on a film may keep an editor busy for months. However, unless they have lined up other projects, editors may go without pay until they find another project.

Film and video editors who work full time for a film or production company usually receive benefits. Common benefits include paid vacation and health insurance. Self-employed film and video editors must provide their own insurance.

Employment and outlook

Washington outlook


The table below provides information about the number of workers in this career in various regions. It also provides information about the expected growth rate and future job openings.

Film and Video Editors (SOC 27-4032)

Location Current employment Growth over 10 years Annual openings
Washington 331 32.9% 16.1% 57
    Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum Counties 14 28.6% 15.2% 2
    Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston Counties 21 9.5% 14.1% 2
    King County 197 46.7% 19.6% 41
    Snohomish County 56 8.9% 12.4% 6
    Spokane County 20 5.0% 13.9% 2
United States 39,800 13.8% 5.2% 4,700

National employment

About 27% of film and video editors are self-employed.

Major employers:

National outlook

Job growth is expected to be much faster than average for this occupation. American films are in demand all over the world, so film companies will continue to produce as many films as possible. In addition, cable and Internet video media create more opportunities for film editors.

This occupation is attractive to many people. Thus, there will be a lot of competition for jobs. Those with experience at a TV station or movie production set and experience with specialized editing software will  will have the best opportunities.

Other resources

American Journalism Review (external link)
American Society of Cinematographers (external link)
PO Box 2230
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Artist Trust (external link)
1835 - 12th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122
Broadcast Education Association (external link)
1771 N Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036-2891
IATSE Local #15 (external link)
2800 First Avenue, Suite 231
Seattle, WA 98121
International Animated Film Society (external link)
National Association of Broadcasters (external link)
1771 N Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
National Endowment for the Arts (external link)
400 - 7th Street SW
Washington, DC 20506
Society for Cinema & Media Studies (external link)
640 Parrington Oval
Wallace Old Science Hall, Room 300
Norman, OK 73019
Society of Professional Journalists (external link)
Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center
3909 North Meridian Street, Suite 200
Indianapolis, IN 46208
TV Jobs (external link)
Washington Filmworks (external link)
1411 4th Avenue, Suite 1000
Seattle, WA 98101


Career cluster

Career path

O*Net (external link) occupation

O*Net job zone (external link)

DOT occupations

Holland occupational clusters