Salary of a Movie Editor

A movie editor is responsible for putting together film and sound recordings in a manner that matches the desires of the filmmaker. He will cut and paste sections of film to ensure correct continuity, sync sound with the visuals, and integrate soundtrack elements. A movie editor usually works for a motion picture production company or independently. His salary reflects his employment circumstances.

  1. Average Salary

    • In a report on occupational wages in America published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2009, the mean annual salary for a film editor was listed as $63,680, equivalent to an hourly rate of $30.62. The highest-earning 10 percent of editors received an average of $112,960, while the lowest-earning 10 percent achieved $25,400.

    Salary by Employer

    • The analysis conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics also demonstrated how salary levels can vary depending on which part of the industry a film editor works in. The biggest employer, the motion picture industry, also had the highest mean salary at $70,330. In contrast, movie editors who worked independently achieved an average annual salary of $57,890.

    Salary by Location

    • Salary comparison website conducted a survey of film editor salaries in January 2011 an found that geographical location also affects salary levels. Given that they are the two primary hubs of movie production in the country, it is perhaps no surprise that California and New York provided the highest and broadest range of salaries: $37,917 to $74,272 and $37,717 to $77,353. Georgia offered the lowest average income: $32,236 to $48,987.

    Salary by Experience

    • The amount of experience a movie editor has also plays a large part in determining his salary levels. found that the average annual wage for an editor who had been working for less than 12 months was between $23,107 and $35,375. Five to nine years of experience lifts the figures to between $34,534 and $55,504, while editors who have achieved 20 years or more in the field could earn between $51,278 and $97,404.

    Job Outlook

    • The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects demand for movie editors to rise by between seven and 13 percent in the decade between 2008 and 2018, which is about the average rate of growth across all American professions. It also expects large numbers of individuals to seek to enter the field during that time. Therefore, salary levels may continue to vary considerably. Editors seeking to maximize their earning capacity should develop advanced computer skills as digital technology is becoming more prevalent in the movie industry.

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