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, Master Control Operator (MCO), News Videographer, Production Assistant, Production Technician, Studio Camera Operator, Television News Photographer, Truck Operator, 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
- Compose and frame each shot, applying the technical aspects of light, lenses, film, filters, and camera settings to achieve the effects sought by directors.
- Operate television or motion picture cameras to record scenes for television broadcasts, advertising, or motion pictures.
- 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.
- Operate zoom lenses, changing images according to specifications and rehearsal instructions.
- Observe sets or locations for potential problems and to determine filming and lighting requirements.
- Set up and perform live shots for broadcast.
- Use cameras in any of several different camera mounts, such as stationary, track-mounted, or crane-mounted.
- Test, clean, maintain, and repair broadcast equipment, including testing microphones, to ensure proper working condition.
- Edit video for broadcast productions, including non-linear editing.
- Instruct camera operators regarding camera setups, angles, distances, movement, and variables and cues for starting and stopping filming.
- Assemble studio sets and select and arrange cameras, film stock, audio, or lighting equipment to be used during filming.
- Read and analyze work orders and specifications to determine locations of subject material, work procedures, sequences of operations, and machine setups.
- View films to resolve problems of exposure control, subject and camera movement, changes in subject distance, and related variables.
- Direct studio productions.
- Set up cameras, optical printers, and related equipment to produce photographs and special effects.
- Read charts and compute ratios to determine variables such as lighting, shutter angles, filter factors, and camera distances.
- 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.
- Write new scripts for broadcasts.
- 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 — Google Drive ; 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
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- 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.
- Telecommunications — Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
- 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.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- 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.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- 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.
- 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).
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- 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.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- 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.
- 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).
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- 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.
- 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.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- 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.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- 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.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- 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.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Detailed Work Activities
- Determine technical requirements of productions or projects.
- Operate still or video cameras or related equipment.
- Edit audio or video recordings.
- Coordinate activities of production personnel.
- Set up still or video cameras or related equipment.
- Collaborate with others to determine technical details of productions.
- Inspect sets or exhibits.
- Select materials or props.
- Review details of technical drawings or specifications.
- Operate communications, transmissions, or broadcasting equipment.
- Maintain recording or broadcasting equipment.
- Manage content of broadcasts or presentations.
- Direct productions or performances.
- Write informational material.
- Create computer-generated graphics or animation.
- Label production materials.
- Research new technologies.
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 95% responded “Every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 84% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 86% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 80% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 52% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 33% responded “Very important.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 64% responded “Every day.”
- Time Pressure — 68% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 64% responded “Every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 72% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 42% responded “Very important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 31% responded “Very important results.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 59% responded “Some freedom.”
- Deal With External Customers — 38% responded “Extremely important.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 40% responded “Extremely important.”
- Consequence of Error — 34% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 25% responded “Very little freedom.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 36% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 30% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 37% responded “Never.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 35% responded “Limited responsibility.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 33% responded “Less than half the time.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 33% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 36% responded “Less than half the time.”
- In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 34% responded “Every day.”
- Level of Competition — 30% responded “Moderately competitive.”
|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.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- 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.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- 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 wage data for Camera Operators, Television, Video, and Film.
|Median wages (2019)||$26.52 hourly, $55,160 annual|
|Employment (2018)||29,400 employees|
|Projected growth (2018-2028)||Faster than average (7% to 10%)|
|Projected job openings (2018-2028)||3,200|
|Top industries (2018)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019 wage data and 2018-2028 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2018-2028). "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