Do video editors make good money? – Filmmaking Books

“Most of the people we talked to made $75/hr or more as video editors,” Ms. O’Leary says, “They did a good job of getting the project to a high quality.”

The problem is that “video editors are going off and doing things for clients and doing an incredible amount of work in a very short amount of time,” she says. She believes that video editors “would be better off working for something like a digital marketing agency, where you are working for years in order to get good results.”

As the technology that enables video editing has gotten better, so have salaries. The amount video editors earn has increased from $15/hr in 2008 to $17/hr a year later, according to the Society of Professional Journalists’ (SPJ) 2011 survey that involved nearly 2,000 editors. The average video editor salary for this year’s survey was $88,000 annually. In 2005, the average video editor took home $61,000 annually.

According to the SPJ survey, more than a third of editors have a job where a significant portion of their income is based on their YouTube skills. The number and variety of jobs depends strongly on what kind of work a videographer does for a living. Among video producers and videographers, the percentage of editors who work “from home” varies from 50 percent to 85 percent.

“I work at HomeBox, which we’ve been a part of for the last eight years, but I don’t necessarily need to go out and do a video for a living,” says Chris, a video producer who lives in Vancouver and does videos for clients. “I just need something that makes me happy doing what I do every day.”

Another common career transition for videographers is from documentary to documentary style, which often involves editing videos on a budget.

“I got into this by accident, and I did a lot of work that is now paying people,” says David, who uses a DSLR camera and takes a lot of travel to work in remote places. In the process, he has “lended a lot of my own skills to the industry.”

“I worked with the guys who shot the documentary that showed President Barack Obama and President George W. Bush playing in the Olympics. We had our hands on every photo, every shot, every shot we took,” David says, and that work has helped him land a steady income that allows him to focus on other projects, like a documentary about the effects of

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