Film Developer

Operate machines to develop still or motion-picture films.
picture of Film Developer

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$17,000 – $37,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Film Developers do?

Operates machine to develop still or motion-picture film: Pulls reel of motion-picture film or rack of film strips through trapdoor into darkroom. Examines film to determine type processing required, utilizing knowledge of film developing techniques. Feels edges of film to detect tears and repairs film, using hand stapler. Mounts film in guide slot of developing machine according to length of time required for processing and pulls lever to lower film into processing position. Flips switch to start machine that transports film through series of solutions and into drying cabinet to develop and dry film. Observes film passing through machine to determine density of image and adjusts machine controls to shorten or lengthen path of film through solutions according to observation. May be designated according to type film developed as Negative Developer; Positive Developer.


Should I be a Film Developer?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • Also known as: Film Developing Machine Operator

    How to become a Film Developer

    Film Developers generally graduate from high school and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate’s degree to increase your chances of finding a good job. Check out these schools offering Film Developer-related education!
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