Underwater Cameraman

Film underwater scenes for movies or TV shows.
picture of Underwater Cameraman

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$20,000 – $81,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Underwater Cameramen do?

The ocean contains a staggering number of strange and dangerous animals, which people are endlessly curious about. Since they can’t all dive to see the critters firsthand, they do the next best thing: watch documentaries about life underwater. An Underwater Cameraman captures those images.

As an Underwater Cameraman, you’re told what sorts of plants and animals the Director wants to capture on film at the start of a project. Sometimes, you’re given a location for your shoot, while other times, you’re asked to come up with your own locations based on your knowledge of where those animals live.

When you arrive at the location, you strap on your scuba diving gear and get your camera ready. You may shoot the images alone, or you may work with a crew of other Underwater Cameramen.

For some shoots, you simply look for the creatures and then capture them on film. As you swim from place to place, you also take images of water and light that the Director can use for atmosphere. You keep your camera steady during your shoots, and don’t whip about from side to side.

In other shoots, you set up a cage to stand in and you put bait at the edge of your cage. When predator species arrive, you film them as they eat the dead fish. These are thrilling shoots, to be sure, but you’re often thankful when they’re over and you’re safely on land again.

When filming is complete, the Underwater Cameraman sends the footage to the Director for approval. You include detailed notes about where you were when each shot was taken, and what time and day the filming took place.

Should I be an Underwater Cameraman?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • 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.
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.

  • Also known as: Movie Shot Cameraman, News Cameraman, News Reel Cameraman, Underwater Camera Operator

    How to become an Underwater Cameraman

    Most Underwater Cameramen 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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