Being a video editor is a lucrative and creatively satisfying job. Here's how to do that.

Would you like a job in the media and entertainment sectors? Although it might not be the first occupation that comes to mind, video editor jobs are currently in high demand. 

As Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, HBO Max, and other streaming giants compete for domination, more and more TV and film material is being produced, and it all needs editing. The Bureau of Labour and Statistics in the USA has predicted that the field will expand by 11% from 2018 to 2028 as a result.

Could this perhaps be your path to a creative career (or job change)? Continue reading as we go over all the information you require to work as a video editor in 2023. Also, make sure to check out our list of the top video editing skills.

1. The work of a video editor

The task of editing and combining segments of video footage, audio footage, visual effects, graphics, music, sound effects, and other elements in post-production using specialised computer software to produce polished, final content is known as video editing. It is crucial to the creation of all kinds of video content, such as movies, TV shows, commercials, music videos, documentaries, newscasts, sporting events, social media videos, virtual reality experiences, and more. 

Professional editing involves considerably more intricate processes than the simple changes you could apply to your vacation GoPro footage or a piece of video for YouTube. One 20-minute episode of a reality TV show, for instance, may need a typical video editor to sift through footage from four or five cameras that ran for more than 20 hours each.

The majority of video editors have been working from their home computers during the pandemic, despite the fact that this work is typically done in an office. In either case, you probably won't spend much time on location, at least not until you advance to a very high level as a video editor and your work begins to converge with additional managerial and directing responsibilities.

2. The annual salary of a video editor

Right now, there is a high demand for competent video editors, and this trend is expected to continue. The compensation for video editors, which are comparable to some of the higher paying occupations in the creative sectors, reflect this fact. 

The National Careers Service in the UK places the salary range between £18,000 (for new starters) and £45,000. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, the average pay for film and video editors in the US as of May 2019 ranged from $26,560 to $110,790.

3. Qualifications for a video editor

A video editor must be skilled with specialised software since it is necessary for the process. But more importantly than merely being a technical problem, video editing also requires creativity. In order to best express that tale visually, you must be able to visualise what the finished product should appear to an audience, thus you need to have a solid understanding of both aesthetics and storytelling. 

Given the fast-paced nature of the profession, it is unsuitable for creative types who prefer to work only when inspired. A good video editor must be focused, pay close attention to detail, and have a strong work ethic. Additionally, you must have strong problem-solving skills because video editing frequently poses insurmountable challenges, such as figuring out how to shave off 30 seconds from a section without losing some crucial aspects of the story.

In order to guarantee that filming goes well and content is provided by the deadline, a video editor frequently needs to communicate with other members of the production team, including the director.

4. What training is required to become a video editor?

To work as a video editor, you don't need a degree. Some employers specifically promote graduates from related fields, so earning a degree in a field like cinema and television studies, media production, or film and media won't hurt you in any way. However, in general, your ability to perform the job is what employers are most concerned with.

And this is the issue. Experience is frequently required for entry-level work, raising the age-old dilemma of "How do I get experience without a job?" In a highly competitive environment, the answer basically comes down to "By exploring every avenue you possibly can." 

5. How to become a video editor and acquire experience

As a video editor, education and practise go hand in hand. Naturally, you can't begin working as a video editor without training because you first need to learn how to operate the programme and comprehend the fundamental ideas and procedures involved in video editing. However, work experience is a crucial component of training because studying video editing on the job is the only way to truly understand it because it is such a collaborative process.

In the beginning, you will need to enrol in some kind of official course (although there are some video editors who are completely self-taught). You might want to pursue a Level 3 or Level 4 Diploma in Creative Media Production in the UK, for example, as this could be situated at a college or university. In the alternative, you could choose the flexibility an online course can provide if you are unable to afford the time and money required for full-time education. Of course, you'd want to make sure it was a good one, and just because something is pricey doesn't guarantee that it's good. Ask the course providers for proof that graduates obtain employment in the industry; if they remain silent, you'll have your answer.

Additionally, you'll need to learn how to use video editing software, which will definitely require some independent study even if it's a requirement for your course. When you're ready, you should start looking for experience anywhere you can. Although it would be ideal, most aspiring video editors will need to go elsewhere for internships, apprenticeships, and job placements. The dream would be to get a training programme offered by a broadcaster like the BBC.

Sending out numerous inquiries, along with the greatest showreel you can put together, to production firms, advertising agencies, design studios, and others will probably be required to accomplish this. You will also probably have to endure numerous rejections. 

In all honesty, it will also need that you support yourself while working a significant amount of hours for no pay. This is not ideal and severely discriminates against those from impoverished origins, much like the situation in other creative industries. However, it is regrettably the current reality in this intensely competitive profession. On the bright side, long-term perseverance should be rewarded with satisfying and artistically gratifying employment and respectable pay.