Camera Operators, Television, Video, and Motion Picture
SOC: 27-4031.00


Operate television, video, or motion picture camera to record images or scenes for various purposes, such as TV broadcasts, advertising, video production, or motion pictures.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
25,400 employed

Projected (2024):
25,900 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Advanced Electronic Field Production Specialist (Advanced EFP Specialist)
  • Animation Camera Operator
  • Broadcast Engineer
  • Camera Engineer
  • Camera Operator
  • Camera Person
  • Cameraman
  • Cinematographer
  • Commercial Producer
  • Commercial Production Editor
  • Creative Services Director
  • Director
  • Director of Photography
  • Editor
  • Electronic News Gathering Camera Operator
  • Electronic News Gathering Camera-Person (ENG Camera-Person)
  • Field Producer
  • Floor Director
  • Live Truck Operator
  • Live Truck Technician
  • Master Control Operator (MCO)
  • Media Technician
  • Medical Videographer
  • Motion Designer
  • Motion Picture Camera Operator
  • Motion Picture Cameraman
  • Motion Picture Photographer
  • Movie Shot Camera Operator
  • Movie Shot Cameraman
  • News Camera Operator
  • News Camera Person
  • News Cameraman
  • News Photographer
  • News Reel Cameraman
  • News Videographer
  • Newscast Director
  • Operations Technician
  • Optical Effects Camera Operator
  • Photo Journalist
  • Photographer
  • Photojournalist
  • Producer
  • Production Assistant
  • Production Manager
  • Production Technician
  • Special Effects Designer
  • Studio Camera Operator
  • Studio Technician
  • Technical Director
  • Television Camera Operator
  • Television Cameraman
  • Television News Photographer
  • Television Producer
  • Television Production Assistant
  • Television Production Technician
  • Title Camera Operator
  • Truck Operator
  • Video Camera Operator
  • Video Coordinator
  • Video Editor
  • Video Operator
  • Video Photographer
  • Video Producer
  • Video Specialist
  • Videographer
  • Videotape Editor
  • Wild Life Photographer

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed


    Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.


    Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • Fine Arts
  • History and Archeology
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Operate television or motion picture cameras to record scenes for television broadcasts, advertising, or motion pictures.
  • Compose and frame each shot, applying the technical aspects of light, lenses, film, filters, and camera settings to achieve the effects sought by directors.
  • Operate zoom lenses, changing images according to specifications and rehearsal instructions.
  • Use cameras in any of several different camera mounts, such as stationary, track-mounted, or crane-mounted.
  • Adjust positions and controls of cameras, printers, and related equipment to change focus, exposure, and lighting.
  • Confer with directors, sound and lighting technicians, electricians, and other crew members to discuss assignments and determine filming sequences, desired effects, camera movements, and lighting requirements.
  • Observe sets or locations for potential problems and to determine filming and lighting requirements.
  • Instruct camera operators regarding camera setups, angles, distances, movement, and variables and cues for starting and stopping filming.
  • Label and record contents of exposed film and note details on report forms.
  • Read charts and compute ratios to determine variables such as lighting, shutter angles, filter factors, and camera distances.
  • Set up cameras, optical printers, and related equipment to produce photographs and special effects.
  • View films to resolve problems of exposure control, subject and camera movement, changes in subject distance, and related variables.
  • Reload camera magazines with fresh raw film stock.
  • Read and analyze work orders and specifications to determine locations of subject material, work procedures, sequences of operations, and machine setups.
  • Receive raw film stock and maintain film inventories.
  • Prepare slates that describe the scenes being filmed.
  • Download exposed film for shipment to processing labs.
  • Edit video for broadcast productions, including non-linear editing.
  • Set up and perform live shots for broadcast.
  • Assemble studio sets and select and arrange cameras, film stock, audio, or lighting equipment to be used during filming.
  • Test, clean, maintain, and repair broadcast equipment, including testing microphones, to ensure proper working condition.
  • Stay current with new technologies in the field by reading trade magazines.
  • Set up and operate electric news gathering (ENG) microwave vehicles to gather and edit raw footage on location to send to television affiliates for broadcast.
  • Direct studio productions.
  • Design graphics for studio productions.
  • Write new scripts for broadcasts.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Audio equalizers
  • Automatic film processors
  • Cable compression crimp tools
  • Circumaural headphones
  • Digital light meters
  • Digital multimeters
  • Directors' viewfinders
  • Distortion analyzers
  • Electronic field production EFP cameras
  • Gun solder irons
  • Hex key sets
  • Iris rod wrenches
  • Measuring tapes
  • Mobile mountings
  • Movie production cameras
  • Pencil solder irons
  • Portable cranes
  • Portable video monitors
  • Precision nut drivers
  • Real-time spectrum analyzers
  • Remotely controlled cameras
  • Satellite broadcasting trucks
  • Straight blade screwdrivers
  • Studio cameras
  • Studio lighting
  • Television signal generators
  • Torx driver sets
  • Videocamera lens filters
  • Videocamera tripods
  • Waveform monitors
  • Wireless audio/video AV receivers
  • Wireless audio/video AV transmitters
  • Zoom lenses
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe AfterEffects
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Premiere Pro software
  • Apple Final Cut Pro
  • Apple Final Cut Studio
  • Avid Technology 2D Character Generator
  • Email software
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Word

  • arts design entertainment sports and media

    industry stats

    SOC: 27-0000

    Total Employed: 1,843,600

    Average Annual Salary: $56,980