Video Editor Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Video Editor, or Video Production Editor, is responsible for reviewing audio and visual footage and using computer software to organize clips into a cohesive unit. Their duties include splitting or combining video clips, adding appropriate sounds or graphics and watching the finished product to catch mistakes before submitting it for review.

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Video Editor Duties and Responsibilities

A Video Editor is tasked with taking the raw footage shot by a film crew and director and turning it into the final product. This means following an outline, script or shot list and assembling the footage into one cohesive video or film. Often in video and film work, there are many camera angles and takes recorded. It is the responsibility of the Video Editor to review all the footage and create the best output by cutting and connecting various footage, adding sound effects and graphics and fine-tuning the completed video or film.

Examples of tasks a Video Editor may need to perform include: 

  • Assembling raw footage and transferring or uploading to a computer
  • Following a script, screenplay or outline
  • Inputting sound to enhance footage, which may include selecting music and writing voice-overs
  • Inputting graphics to enhance footage
  • Digitally splicing film and video and synchronizing them into one rough cut file
  • Improving and correcting lighting, coloring and faulty footage
  • Working closely with directors to present a final product that matches his or her vision

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What Does a Video Editor Do?

Video Editors typically work for news broadcast stations, content marketing agencies, corporations or as self-employed individuals to create educational or entertainment-driven content. They work closely with Videographers, Directors and technical personnel to condense footage and present it in an appropriate way. Their job is to edit video footage while keeping the Director’s overall vision in mind. They may also be responsible for communicating with production crews if they need additional footage to complete their edits.

Video Editor Skills and Qualifications

A successful Video Editor will be a creative individual with a background in media, art, communication, photography, videography and/or technology. An ideal Video Editor has a combination of all in order to understand all elements of producing a finished quality film or video. While a college degree is not necessary, it is helpful. A Video Editor must have experience in working with film and video and training in video production and editing software, such as Final Cut Pro, are extremely helpful.

Here are several skills and qualifications a Video Editor should have:

  • Training in multimedia and communications helpful
  • Proficiency in editing software programs
  • General understanding of computers and digital equipment and knowledge of new and cutting-edge technology
  • Ability to take and follow direction, while also having a creative eye for improvements

Video Editor Salary Expectations

The average salary for a Video Editor is $16.78 per hour. Video Editors often work long hours and may be hired full-time, part-time or on a contractual basis.

Additionally, all types of Video Editor salaries vary depending on where the employee lives and how much experience they have and can increase as they gain skills and experience.

Video Editor Education and Training Requirements

Video Editors do not require a college degree but should have a high school diploma or GED. A Bachelor of Fine Arts in communications, media, visual art, film, television, multimedia or graphic design would be extremely helpful for a Video Editor to have.

Video Editor Experience Requirements

Video Editors must have training that translates into experience working with raw footage and technology to create a visually captivating product. They may receive on-the-job training, shadowing another Video Editor until comfortable enough to complete tasks on their own. Previous experience working with graphics, sound, digital editing tools and video is extremely helpful. They should also have basic computer skills.

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Frequently asked questions about Video Editors


What is the difference between a Video Editor and a Film Editor?

The difference between a Video Editor and a Film Editor is the content they edit and their work environments. For example, Video Editors usually work for marketing agencies, new stations or TV productions. Because of this, Video Editors tend to create short-form content like commercials, TV segments or shows and PSAs. In contrast, Film Editors specialize in editing movies, which means they usually work for media corporations or film studios to create long-form content. Video Editors and Film Editors also differ in the time-frames they have to complete their work. 

For example, Video Editors may have a few weeks or less to turn in a finished product. In contrast, Film Editors may need over a year to carefully edit hours of footage into a condensed running time.


What are the daily duties of a Video Editor?

On a typical day, a Video Editor starts by reviewing upcoming deadlines and scheduling their work activities accordingly. They meet with the production staff and other creative professionals to review video objectives and receive feedback on their edits. Throughout the day, Video Editors work on editing one or multiple projects at a time. This requires them to use video production software to fit music or sound effects to video clips and incorporate graphics. Video Editor also take time to speak with coworkers and get their opinion on a project before deciding on changes.


What qualities make a good Video Editor?

A good Video Editor has a keen attention to detail, enabling them to catch potential errors in video footage or production layouts. This is important as it allows them to edit out repeated scenes, unnecessary objects or typos in graphics that could affect the video’s quality and cause delays later on. They value continued education and always look for ways to enhance their knowledge of video production tools and software programs. Further, a good Video Editor always makes sure that their final edit aligns with the key themes or objectives that their employer wanted.


Who does a Video Editor report to?

A Video Editor usually reports to different roles depending on their job environment. For example, a Video Editor working specifically for a content marketing agency may report to the Digital Content Editor or Firm Manager. In contrast, a Video Editor who works for a corporation may report to the Marketing Department Manager or the Advertising Department Manager. Video Editors working as self-employed individuals typically report to their clients, while those working for broadcast stations or shows can report to the Director of the production.

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