Video Editor Job Description

Learn about a career as a video editor.

Editing is the final process in the video production process. Video editors digitize and arrange video footage in a way that ensures flow and continuity. Video editing is usually done on expensive and sophisticated computer software that requires high-speed computer systems to operate. Video editors also ad effects, music and correct any visual, flow or color problems present in the video footage.

Education and Training

No formal degree in video production is required to be a video editor. However, a formal degree or coursework in video production is highly beneficial for a video editor. A video editor must have working video editing and motion graphics software. Knowledge of graphic design and color theory is recommended for editing and color correction of screen images.


An editor’s creativity and personal style is an important asset. Video editors must have an excellent eye for creative detail when assembling hours of footage into a flawless video. A good editor is able to use her own style within the perimeters of a diverse range of projects. Video editors also need to know manage conflict well. Video production is a collaborative process, and because video editing is the final phase in the video production process, a video editor needs to be able to navigate the complex arena of collaboration.


Video editor positions are highly competitive, which means that salaried editing positions are hard to come by. This means that many video editors are freelancers. Just like any freelance-based career, there are really busy seasons and really slow seasons. Freelance video editors usually don’t get paid by the hour, but by the project. The ability to complete projects quickly benefits the freelance video editor, but this may mean working non-stop until a project is finished. It can be high-stress work at times.

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a film and video editor is just over $50,000 annually, with the highest 10 percent of video editors earning over $112,000 per year.

Career Outlook

According to the latest edition of the Occupational Outlook Handbook released annually by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, prospective video editing jobs are expected to grow by 12 percent, which is about the average for all occupations included in the handbook.