Camera Operator

Frame shots and run video cameras under the Film Director's guidance.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$20,000 – $81,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Camera Operators do?

A Camera Operator physically operates a video camera when shooting film or video footage. Camera Operators can work on films, documentaries, and television. Your general responsibilities, if you are a Camera Operator, are to get good shots and keep your movements smooth.

You make your artistic and creative imprint on a film by choosing what shots and angles to take. To do this well you should understand how to frame and choreograph shots. Strong storytelling skills and a eye for dramatic angles are beneficial to possess.

The extent of the creative imprint you make depends on the production; the camera work in independent productions, for example, is essential in capturing the overall feel and tone of the film, whereas the camera work for the evening news is rather routine.

As a Camera Operator you generally work under a Director of Photography, who sets the guidelines for what creative freedoms you should be looking to exercise. If you are looking to become a filmmaker, you should understand this trade and be well versed in the techniques that are available.

Should I be a Camera Operator?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Cameraman, Camera Operator, First, Camera Operator, Head, Camera Operator, Second, Camera Operator, Television See More

    How to become a Camera Operator

    Most Camera Operators have a Bachelor's degree or an Associate's degree. Chart?chd=s:bz9kaa&chl=no+college+%2818%25%29|certificate+%2817%25%29|associate%27s+%2841%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2824%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,18,41
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