Summary Report for:
27-4031.00 - Camera Operators, Television, Video, and Motion Picture
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.
Sample of reported job titles: Camera Operator, Cameraman, Floor Director, Master Control Operator (MCO), Photojournalist, Production Assistant, Production Technician, Studio Camera Operator, Television News Photographer, Videographer
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- 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.
- Edit video for broadcast productions, including non-linear editing.
- 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.
- Set up and perform live shots for broadcast.
- Set up cameras, optical printers, and related equipment to produce photographs and special effects.
- 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.
- Use cameras in any of several different camera mounts, such as stationary, track-mounted, or crane-mounted.
- Observe sets or locations for potential problems and to determine filming and lighting requirements.
- View films to resolve problems of exposure control, subject and camera movement, changes in subject distance, and related variables.
- Stay current with new technologies in the field by reading trade magazines.
- Operate zoom lenses, changing images according to specifications and rehearsal instructions.
- Download exposed film for shipment to processing labs.
- Reload camera magazines with fresh raw film stock.
- 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.
- 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.
- Direct studio productions.
- Receive raw film stock and maintain film inventories.
- Read and analyze work orders and specifications to determine locations of subject material, work procedures, sequences of operations, and machine setups.
- Read charts and compute ratios to determine variables such as lighting, shutter angles, filter factors, and camera distances.
- Prepare slates that describe the scenes being filmed.
- Design graphics for studio productions.
- Desktop publishing software — Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign
- Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
- Electronic mail software — Email software
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Creative Cloud ; Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator ; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Video creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe AfterEffects ; Apple Final Cut Pro; Avid Technology 2D Character Generator; YouTube (see all 6 examples)
- Web page creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Automated film processor — Automatic film processors
- Camera harnesses — Mobile mountings
- Camera lens — Zoom lenses
- Camera lens filter — Videocamera lens filters
- Camera tripods — Videocamera tripods
- Cinematographic cameras — Movie production cameras
- Digital camcorders or video cameras — Electronic field production EFP cameras; Remotely controlled cameras; Studio cameras
- Distortion meter — Distortion analyzers
- Electronic viewfinder — Directors' viewfinders
- Equalizers — Audio equalizers
- Frequency analyzers — Real-time spectrum analyzers
- Headphones — Circumaural headphones
- Hex keys — Hex key sets
- Lightmeters — Digital light meters
- Multimeters — Digital multimeters
- Nut drivers — Precision nut drivers
- Oscilloscopes — Waveform monitors
- Outside broadcasting van — Satellite broadcasting trucks
- Radio frequency transmitters or receivers — Wireless audio/video AV receivers; Wireless audio/video AV transmitters
- Screwdrivers — Straight blade screwdrivers
- Signal generators — Television signal generators
- Soldering iron — Gun solder irons; Pencil solder irons
- Specialty wrenches — Iris rod wrenches
- Stage or projection or studio lighting system — Studio lighting
- Tape measures — Measuring tapes
- Torx keys — Torx driver sets
- Video monitors — Portable video monitors
- Wire lug crimping tool — Cable compression crimp tools
- Workshop cranes — Portable cranes
- Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Telecommunications — Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
- Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
Detailed Work Activities
- Operate still or video cameras or related equipment.
- Determine technical requirements of productions or projects.
- Edit audio or video recordings.
- Set up still or video cameras or related equipment.
- Collaborate with others to determine technical details of productions.
- Operate communications, transmissions, or broadcasting equipment.
- Convert data among multiple digital or analog formats.
- Select materials or props.
- Maintain recording or broadcasting equipment.
- Inspect sets or exhibits.
- Coordinate activities of production personnel.
- Label production materials.
- Manage content of broadcasts or presentations.
- Direct productions or performances.
- Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products.
- Review details of technical drawings or specifications.
- Research new technologies.
- Create computer-generated graphics or animation.
- Write informational material.
- Work With Work Group or Team — 82% responded “Extremely important.”
- Contact With Others — 74% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 71% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 77% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 59% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Time Pressure — 72% responded “Every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 57% responded “Every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 68% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 47% responded “Extremely important.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 48% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 59% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 40% responded “Some freedom.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 46% responded “Extremely important.”
- Telephone — 56% responded “Every day.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 34% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 37% responded “Important results.”
- Spend Time Standing — 53% responded “About half the time.”
- Deal With External Customers — 41% responded “Extremely important.”
- Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 36% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 46% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 29% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Level of Competition — 29% responded “Moderately competitive.”
- In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 41% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 49% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 44% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 34% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 32% responded “High responsibility.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 33% responded “About half the time.”
- Consequence of Error — 25% responded “Serious.”
|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.|
|Related Experience||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.|
|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.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
Interest code: RA Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2018)||$26.24 hourly, $54,570 annual|
|Employment (2016)||25,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2016-2026)||Average (5% to 9%)|
|Projected job openings (2016-2026)||2,600|
|Top industries (2016)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2018 wage data and 2016-2026 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2016-2026). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Guild of Court Videographers
- International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
- National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians - Communications Workers of America
- National Press Photographers Association
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Film and video editors and camera operators
- Society of Broadcast Engineers
- Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
- The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
- Wedding and Event Videographers Association International