Salary for Television, Video, and Film Camera Operators

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Also known as:  Cinematographer, Electronic News Gathering Camera Operator, Motion Picture Camera Operator, Movie Shot Camera Operator, News Camera Operator, News Videographer, Television Camera Operator, Video Camera Operator helps find better paying jobs across all specialties and locations. Sign up in our career community today!

Television, video and motion picture camera operators operate cameras for the production of live and pre-recorded programming, and films. They control numerous aspects of the filming process, including the composition, framing, lighting, and focus of shots. These professionals may consult with directors, technicians, electricians and numerous other crew members in order to achive the director's desired effects. They may edit some film or video, and are often responsible for the maintenance and repair of cameras and related equipment. Additionally, these professionals may be required to operate cameras, photoprinters and other devices to create special effects and produce still images as needed. A high school diploma or the equivalent is the minimum education requirement for this occupation.

A Television, Video, and Film Camera Operator can get an average wage on a scale from $29,140 to $123,220 depending on education and experience. Camera Operators usually get a salary of sixty-seven thousand five hundred and ninety dollars on a yearly basis.

Camera Operators receive the highest compensation in New York, where they can earn an average job salary of about $109,310. People working these jobs are paid at the highest average level in Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation, where they can earn average pay scales of $76,510.

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The national wage distribution is shown below. To overlay local salaries for a Television, Video, and Film Camera Operator , please select your state.
Annual salary
Hourly rate
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The annual compensation for this career has gone up since 2004. Salaries have increased by an average of 64.16 percent nationwide in that time.


Television, Video, and Film Camera Operators tend to make the most in the following industries:

Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
Health Care and Social Assistance
Finance and Insurance
Management of Companies and Enterprises
Administrative, Support and Waste Management Services

In general, they earn less within the industries below:

Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Educational Services
Wholesale Trade
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
Other Services (except Public Administration)
Public Administration
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