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Video editor Film editor

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Video editors bring together images and sound for use in film, TV and online.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £18,000 to £45,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements, but you’ll usually need experience of editing software like Final Cut Pro, Media Composer or Premiere Pro.

You could:

  • do paid or unpaid work experience at a production company or edit suite
  • create and edit student, charitable or community film productions
  • move into video editing from an entry level role like TV production runner
A ‘showreel' or online profile of productions you’ve worked on would be helpful.

It might help you get in if you do an HND, foundation degree, degree or postgraduate course in film and television studies, or film, video and media production.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • a good sense of timing and visual awareness
  • a mixture of practical and creative skills
  • a high level of attention to detail
  • the ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines
  • patience and concentration
  • IT skills

3. What you'll do

You’ll be part of a post-production team working with material recorded by camera and sound crews, and will add any extra effects. 

You’ll work on projects like films, TV programmes, corporate videos, commercials and music videos.

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • agreeing a finished ‘look’ for the final footage
  • transferring film or video footage
  • using editing software
  • keeping a clear idea of the storyline
  • creating a 'rough cut'
  • digitally improving picture quality
  • creating DVDs or formatting footage to view online

4. Salary

Starter: £18,000

Experienced: £20,000 to £35,000

Highly Experienced: £45,000

You could work freelance, and be paid a fee for each contract.

The Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU) has information on current pay guidelines.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

Your hours will depend on the production you’re working on. You may work standard office hours or shifts.

You’ll need to be flexible and work at short notice if necessary. 

You may also work much longer hours, in some cases up to 60 hours a week, to meet project deadlines.

You’ll work in studios and editing suites. You’ll spend long periods on a computer.

6. Career path and progression

Once established, you might use an agent to find work and negotiate your fees.

You could set up your own company.

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Last updated: 13 September 2018