film/video editer

job description

The majority of film/video editors are employed on a freelance basis, working on short-term contracts for post-production studios, television companies and corporate employers. Editors may work on a variety of productions including feature films, television programmes, music videos, corporate training videos or commercials.

Typical work activities

Digital technology, specialist computer software and high-quality digitisation of sound and pictures have effectively replaced the traditional manual method of cutting film. Depending on the product, an editor may be very involved in creating the narrative, structure and tone of the programme or film. In some situations, they may be given creative freedom while in others they may be needed merely to operate the machine.


salary and conditions

  • Range of typical starting salaries: £18,000-£25,000 for those employed by a television or post-production studio. This is not typically an entry level/graduate job; entrants start at a lower-paid level, which can be around the national minimum wage, working as runners and then assistant editors before reaching this post.
  • Range of salaries with experience: £20,000-£35,000.
  • Range of typical salaries at senior levels: £37,000-£70,000. The higher end of this scale will only be available to senior editors working on high-status projects.
  • The majority of editors work as freelancers and are paid on a contract basis. Rates vary, so it is best to check with the broadcast entertainment cinematography and theatre union. or individual companies for current freelance rates.