In the modern media landscape, video content is king. We can watch videos on our laptops, smartphones, and televisions. We can stream them from the internet or from social media channels like Facebook and Instagram. For many of us, a video is a more engaging way to learn about a new product or service than reading a series of paragraphs on a website.
This is why businesses everywhere need video editors to help them create compelling videos that will capture people’s attention, inform them about the company’s products and services, and encourage them to take action.
Video editing is a creative process that takes a lot of patience and attention to detail. It requires a person to have strong technical skills and an intuitive understanding of the tools, software, and techniques used to create a video. It also requires a certain creativity that makes it possible for a video editor to translate a script into a cohesive, visually appealing production.
Read on to learn more about what it’s like to be a video editor and what it takes to become one yourself.
Video Editor Job Duties
Job duties and responsibilities for a video editor may include:
- Editing audio and video content for multiple platforms, including streaming media such as live events, social media or websites
- Ensuring that the video’s audio is properly synced with the video itself
- Adding captions, titles, and subtitles where necessary
- Applying special effects, such as graphics or animation, to specific scenes in a video to enhance the overall presentation
- Transferring projects from analog to digital format using editing equipment
- Creating multimedia presentations that combine audio, visual, graphics and animation elements including special effects to meet the client’s needs
- Working with project managers, directors, producers, and other team members to ensure that the final product meets all of the production goals
Video Editor Salary & Outlook
The median annual wage for video editors is $55,141. The top earners make over $95,000. Those earning higher wages tend to work in the motion picture industry.
Job opportunities for video editors will grow much faster than average over the next decade. This is due to the increasing popularity of media and entertainment products like movies, television shows, and documentaries. Video editors will be needed to edit these products into a consumable format.
Video Editor Job Requirements
The requirements for a video editor include:
Education: Video editors will need to earn a bachelor’s degree from a film school, university or college program. Courses students complete may include digital storytelling, visual storytelling, composition and storytelling techniques, production, sociology of media, film theory, scriptwriting and editing. Some schools may require an internship in order to graduate.
Training: Video editors should expect to undergo on-the-job training to learn the tools and techniques necessary to use for this position. Training may include detailed instructions on how to edit videos and tutorials on program functions. Employers may also teach employees how to work together as a team and how to collaborate.
Certifications: Video editors can choose to pursue optional certifications to demonstrate their skills and professionalism. The American Graphics Institute (AGI) offers a Video Editing Certificate, and Adobe offers several certifications for video editors for the use of its tools and software.
Video Editor Skills
A video editor requires a variety of skills to do his or her job well. Some of these skills include:
Technical expertise: Video editors must have an understanding of digital video, audio, and computer technology.
Artistic abilities: Visual artistry is required in order to manipulate the images that appear on the screen.
Analytical thinking: Video editors must possess strong analytical skills in order to analyze footage and edit it into a cohesive whole. They must also be able to notice mistakes and inconsistencies when editing video clips together.
Attention to detail: This is a detail-oriented profession that requires you to pay close attention to the smallest details in your videos.
The ability to multi-task: Video editors may have several projects going at once, so they must be able to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously.
Strong communication skills: A video editor must be able to explain technical issues clearly and concisely so that all parties involved understand what is expected of them. This includes speaking with clients about their expectations for the finished product.
Video Editor Work Environment
Video editors work in a variety of places, such as newsrooms and production studios. Some may work alone or with others. The kinds of equipment they use vary depending on what kind of editing they do. They spend most of the day at their computer working.
They may have to travel occasionally to shoot footage in different locations. Video editors also often have to attend meetings and focus groups during the day and evening to get feedback for projects.
Video editors often work long hours with many late nights, evening shifts, weekends, and holidays. This is especially common during production season, which usually begins with a very heavy workload and deadlines. Most videographers have flexible schedules to be available for rush jobs or last-minute requests.
Video Editor Career Advancement
Once you’ve established yourself as a video editor, you’ll likely want to take on more responsibility. Your boss may promote you to a supervisor position. This position requires you to manage several video editors, manage the budget, and ensure projects are completed on time.
You can also move into a managerial role, working directly with the creative director and the CEO to determine the next big projects for your company. In this position, you will be responsible for all video projects, including design, production, and distribution. As a manager, you will also need to manage a team of video editors and ensure they have the proper equipment and training to complete the job.
Video Editor Trends
Here are three trends influencing how video editors work. Video editors will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.
Rise of Collaborative Editing
In addition to an increase in consumer interest in collaborative video editing, online tools have made it easier than ever for anyone to create high-quality videos that are customized to their needs. As a result, the number of amateur videos being created is growing rapidly. People are leveraging free or low-cost editing software and sites like YouTube to share their work with a global audience.
Automation of Editing Software
The technology behind video editing is becoming increasingly sophisticated, with AI-powered programs capable of doing some or all of the work for editors. For example, the AI technology behind video editing software Avid Xpress Pro can make it easier to process and manipulate audio and video files. This can help editors save time and energy when editing complex projects.
Live Streaming Video
A study by Deloitte found that 40% of Americans are interested in live streaming video services like Facebook Live. This has become increasingly popular as consumers shift their media consumption to mobile devices. This change towards streaming on the go will require professional video editors to adopt new strategies and workflows for both their working and personal lives.
How to Become a Video Editor
1. Planning Your Career Path
In order to be a successful video editor, it’s important to consider your interest in storytelling. Video editors take raw footage and transform it into a cohesive piece that tells a story. This can be accomplished through editing techniques such as camera angles, graphics, and sound effects. The most successful video editors are able to bring life to their work through careful planning and creative thinking.
You’ll need to be proficient in the tools used to create and edit videos. Many people choose to learn on their own using online tutorials or other resources; however, it is important to consider how much time this will take before committing to such an approach.
2. Writing a Resume
While the best resumes for video editors highlight their technical skills, it is also important to include your ability to work with people. You can describe these skills by describing past projects and highlighting the relationships you developed with coworkers or clients. If you’re just starting out in the industry, be sure to include any training courses that you have taken related to this position.
To highlight your technical experience, be sure to list all relevant certifications and software that you are proficient at using. While listing your work history, be sure to mention specific projects where you were able to demonstrate your technical skills.
3. Applying for Jobs
To find a job as a video editor, it’s helpful to start by examining what types of videos you’d like to work on. Are you interested in documentaries? Music videos? Educational films? Knowing this will help guide your search. You can also build your portfolio and create a website where you can share your work. Make sure to link to your site on your social media accounts, and be active on video-editing communities such as FCP.co and Creative Cow. If you want to get more involved in the industry, consider getting involved with local film festivals and attending conferences and meetups for filmmakers.
4. Ace the Interview
To prepare for a video editor interview, you will need to do some research on the company. Find out what kind of projects they have worked on and find examples of their work that can give you a gauge of the style of work they prefer, as well as the industry trends they follow.
As you prepare, think about your strengths and develop a list of specific examples from past work experience to back up your claims.
If the employer requests a portfolio, it is a good idea to create several sample videos and edit them together to show a variety of skills. Be sure to ask for feedback on your work during the interview.