Camera Operators


Arts, Audio/Visual Technology, and Communications > Camera Operators >
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Camera Operators

Camera Operators - At a Glance

Camera operators use motion picture, TV, or video cameras to film a wide range of subjects.

Quick Facts:  Camera Operators
WagesEarn $47,270 per year
EmploymentVery small occupation
10 Year GrowthMore slowly than average
Annual OpeningsVery few

Preparation 

Preparation

The Preparation section describes the education, training, and experience you need to prepare for work in an occupation. This section covers the types of formal and informal training programs you should take. In addition, this topic covers the amount of experience you need to enter an occupation.

For more information see the Preparation topic.

A camera operator typically needs to:

  • have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • have a bachelor's degree in camera operation or videography

Working Conditions 

Working Conditions

The Working Conditions section describes an occupation's characteristics. This section covers the conditions and settings that workers in an occupation are exposed to. This list also shows characteristics that a worker needs to do well in the occupation.

For more information see the Working Conditions topic.

In a typical work setting, camera operators:

  • Have a high level of social interaction. They spend most of their time with directors, technicians, assistants, and subjects.
  • Usually work indoors, but often work outdoors for certain projects.
  • Must be sure that all details of the job are done and their work is exact. Filming errors could waste time and money.
  • May travel to film on location when filming TV programs or movies.

Wages 

Wages

The Wage section tells you how much money most workers in an occupation earn at the state level. Annual wage data appear for most occupations. The annual wage is based on working full time, 12 months of the year.

The wage graph provides two types of information about wages - the median wage and the wage range.

The median wage is represented by the vertical line inside the shaded bar. Half of all workers in the occupation earn an amount below the median wage and half of workers earn an amount above the median wage. Move your cursor over the bar to see the median wage value.

The wage range is represented by the shaded bar, a range that half of all workers in the occupation earn. 25% earn less than the low amount and 25% earn more than the high amount. Move your cursor over the bar to see the wage range values.

If the graph does not display a median wage it is because it is representing several occupations. In this case, the median wage range displays in the wage statement.

For more information see the Wages topic.

In Illinois, camera operators earn a median wage of $47,270 per year.

$0 $50 $100 $150 $200
Illinois

$ amounts are in thousands of dollars.

Employment and Outlook 

Employment and Outlook

The Employment and Outlook section gives you information about the size of an occupation, whether it is growing or declining in size, and how many job openings there may be each year.

There are five size categories for occupations in CIS: very small, small, medium, large, and very large. Similarly, five categories are used for the number of job openings: very few, few, moderate, high, and very high.

Five categories are also used for growth: declining, more slowly than average, average, faster than average, and much faster than average. The growth rate tells you how rapidly an occupation is expected to grow in comparison to all other occupations. This information is an estimate. No one can predict exactly how many jobs will be available. The rate of growth of an occupation is determined by several factors. A few major factors are the state of the economy, competition, technological advances, and environmental rules.

For more information see the Employment and Outlook topic.

In Illinois, 661 camera operators work in this very small occupation.

LocationEmployment10 Year GrowthAnnual Openings
Illinois661
Very small
3.5%
Slow
64
Very few
Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.