Video Editing Payrates


What Is the Average Pay for a Freelance Video Editor?
by Rick Suttle, Demand Media

Freelance video editors earn higher salaries as they gain experience and get jobs with top movie companies.

Vast increases in online and corporate training videos have kept freelance video editors busy in the 21st century. Some are equally busy helping Hollywood movie companies convert major motion pictures to DVDs and edit scenes with digital video software. And since these professionals work on a per-project basis, they must also promote themselves through advertising, brochures and networking. Most freelance video editors gain experience by working for manufacturers, news or entertainment companies as video editors. They typically earn incomes well above-average compared to other occupations.
Income and Qualifications
Freelance video editors earned average annual incomes of $79,000 as of 2013, according to the job website Their incomes come exclusively from the profits they earn from various projects. Most have bachelor’s degrees in film or broadcasting like their counterparts who are full-time employees. Freelance video editors must be highly flexible in the hours they work, which can lead to more assignments. Other key qualifications for the job include creativity, hand-eye-coordination, attention to detail, communication and computer skills.
Salary by State or District
A freelance video editor can earn more in certain states or districts. In 2013, they earned the highest average incomes of $124,000 annually in the District of Columbia, according to They also made relatively high incomes in Massachusetts, New York and California at $95,000, $92,000 and $89,000 per year, respectively. Those working in Illinois earned incomes closer to the national average for freelance video editors — $82,000 annually. And freelance video editors made $73,000 and $72,000, respectively, in Texas and Florida.
Contributing Factors
Freelance video editors usually earn more with experience, as they know how to better find assignments. They might also have established clients who use them multiple times per year, which adds to their incomes. As with other video editors, those who freelance might also make more working on projects in certain industries. The movie industry tends to pay more than corporations who need videos for training or other purposes, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS. Moreover, freelance video editors likely make more in New York or California, where there are more movie and production companies.
Career Outlook
Jobs for film and video editors, including freelancers, are expected to increase 2 percent in the next decade, according to the BLS, which is much slower than average. Freelance video editors who work with corporations should target higher growth industries, including health-care and wireless. Those working with movie companies will probably find more projects in California, New York, Illinois, Texas and other places where movies are filmed and converted to other formats: DVDs.

About montyedits

San Francisco based film and video editor.
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