A camera operator must operate and handle motion picture cameras to film scenes connected to TV transmission, promotions, and motion movies. Also, you are to decide on camera positions, create good shots, and give suggestions. You have to regularly carry out tests and ensure the tools are clean, to create an appropriate working setting. As a camera operator, you have to cooperate with electricians, directors, and sound and lighting technicians. This is to improve the operations and decide filming arrangements. Additionally, you must execute all quality checks associated with the efficacious sustenance of the camera as well as keep all sectors connected to the studio and costume room. Occasionally, you would have to go to several locations for shots or film scenes and also prepare and organize equipment for the operation. Your job requires you to gather and edit unrefined film on the location to transfer it to television associates for broadcast.

The educational requirement is GED or a high school degree as this job does not necessarily require a university education. Also, you must demonstrate outstanding creativity, multi-tasking, and organizational skill. Furthermore, you must be able to operate calmly under pressure and for a long period. As a camera operator, you will earn an annual average salary of $45,595 or $21.92 per hour.

What Does a Camera Operator Do

There are certain skills that many camera operators have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed creativity, detail oriented and hand-eye coordination.

Learn more about what a Camera Operator does

How To Become a Camera Operator

If you're interested in becoming a camera operator, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 67.8% of camera operators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 3.0% of camera operators have master's degrees. Even though most camera operators have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Camera Operator

Camera Operator Career Paths

Average Salary for a Camera Operator

Camera Operators in America make an average salary of $43,609 per year or $21 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $74,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $25,000 per year.
Average Camera Operator Salary
$43,609 Yearly
$20.97 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Camera Operator

The role of a camera operator includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general camera operator responsibilities:

  • Composes and frames shots, applying the technical aspects of light, lenses
  • Responsible for operation of television cameras for a live broadcast, teleprompter
  • Camera operation on projects gear organization&maintenance; fill various crew positions as needed sit in on meetings with clients collaborate ideas with others running auditions scout locations requirements must have good people skills, having ability to communicate with staff&clients; be proficient in multiple camera systems know other crew positions to include: lighting, sound, grip,

There are several types of camera operator, including:



As an operator, it's your job to know how specific equipment or machines work. You should know how to install and repair certain machinery as well as knowing how to use tools to help with the manufacturing process.

Operators often spend their time checking in on equipment and making sure it's properly working. Every problem that is detected, you'll often call upon an operators to come and save the day. They're essentially the superhero in an office setting.

In most cases, operators work full-time, normal hours. But when a client needs help, you'll need to be available. which means that sometimes duty calls at night or on the weekends.

  • Average Salary: $37,928
  • Degree: High School Diploma



The Rule of Thirds. Exposure. White Balance. What do these have in common? They're used widely by photographers who are just trying to get the most creative and best angle to perserve a specific image.

Photographers work in a variety of spaces. Sometimes they travel. Some work in studios. Others work in laboratories. While it's not necessary for photographers to have a postsecondary education, many take classes so they understand the art of photography.

  • Average Salary: $33,968
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree



Producers work for the entertainment industry. They secure resources and coordinate logistical arrangements for the making of a film, television show, or theatre performance. They make sure production expenses do not go over the budget, that deliverables are ready on time, and the finished products meet the expectations of investors.

They are responsible for hiring staff, coordinating creative work, preparing and presenting funding applications, monitoring and approving post-production work, and performing managerial tasks such as scheduling, planning work phases, and taking care of the marketing of the completed product.

If you want to be a producer, you should start with a college education in film or theatre or cultural management. It is not obligatory, though. Being a producer is all about finding creative ways to get something done, and there is never one path that always works. Many actors, writers, or other creative people who are now producers just started working on their own personal projects and discovered the know-how along the way.

  • Average Salary: $72,202
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Camera Operator Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active camera operator jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where camera operators earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Camera Operator Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
3New Jersey824$46,699
5New York374$63,438
8Rhode Island146$36,467
15North Carolina102$37,199
28South Carolina51$40,393
40West Virginia19$42,977
42New Mexico12$54,709
45North Dakota8$39,389
46New Hampshire8$41,267
47South Dakota7$41,481

Camera Operator Education

Camera Operator Majors

Camera Operator Degrees


67.8 %


18.6 %

High School Diploma

7.5 %

Top Colleges for Camera Operators

1. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition




2. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




3. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




4. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition




5. Texas State University

San Marcos, TX • Private

In-State Tuition




6. Minnesota State University - Mankato

Mankato, MN • Private

In-State Tuition




7. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




8. American University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition




9. Loyola Marymount University

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




10. Brigham Young University

Provo, UT • Private

In-State Tuition




Top Skills For a Camera Operator

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 23.7% of camera operators listed video production on their resume, but soft skills such as creativity and detail oriented are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Camera Operator Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Camera Operator templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Camera Operator resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Camera Operator diversity

Camera Operator Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among camera operators, 22.8% of them are women, while 77.2% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among camera operators is White, which makes up 62.4% of all camera operators.

  • The most common foreign language among camera operators is Spanish at 59.3%.

Online Courses For Camera Operator That You May Like

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2. Cameras, Exposure, and Photography


Welcome to Course One of Photography Basics and Beyond: From Smartphone to DSLR! In these first 4 Modules you will gain the knowledge and the confidence that will help you make good choices as you consider qualities of the camera you own, and the qualities of the other types of digital cameras you might be considering. You will learn about the basic functions that most digital cameras have in common. You will also go beyond the "technical" matters and learn about how you can make exciting...

3. Photography Beginners: DSLR Photography Camera Settings


Photography settings - learn how to get the most from your DSLR camera and improve your photography!...

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Best States For a Camera Operator

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a camera operator. The best states for people in this position are New York, California, New Mexico, and Texas. Camera operators make the most in New York with an average salary of $63,438. Whereas in California and New Mexico, they would average $60,272 and $54,709, respectively. While camera operators would only make an average of $53,963 in Texas, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. New York

Total Camera Operator Jobs: 374
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. California

Total Camera Operator Jobs: 596
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Texas

Total Camera Operator Jobs: 271
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Camera Operators

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Top Camera Operator Employers

Most Common Employers For Camera Operator

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
2Kean University$61,267$29.467
3National Football League$59,336$28.538
6Fox News$51,408$24.7214
7TCT Network$43,603$20.967
8NBC Holdings$40,645$19.549
9Synergy Sports Technology$40,174$19.318
10Rush Media Company LLC$40,132$19.299

Camera Operator Videos