How to Become a Videographer

Videographer Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year $49,250
Avg. Pay / hour $23.68
Education 2-4 Years
Job Outlook 12%

When you become a videographer, your role is to capture special events on film.

The term videographer usually refers to professionals who film private events such as weddings, birthdays, or births.

Some videographers will make promotional films for businesses.

If you have a good aesthetic awareness, are technologically skilled, and enjoy working with people then you might like to become a videographer.

Being a part of some of the most special and intimate events in people’s lives can be very rewarding.

Many who work as videographers are self-employed.

While your technical skills are essential, it’s also important to have strong communication skills.

After all, you’ll have to attract and sign on your clients in order to keep yourself busy.

Education Requirements to Become a Videographer

There is no formal requirement to become a videographer.

In fact, there are a few different pathways you might take to embark on this career path.

The first is to study a course in videography.

You could attend a program at a community college, or you might just attend a few short courses to learn your skills.

Here you will learn essential skills like operating a camera, choosing lighting, and video editing.

The other way you might like to take is to teach yourself to become a videographer.

This is certainly the more common pathway taken.

Many videographers start out by simply pursuing an interest, and end up making a career for themselves.

To do this, you would need to start by investing in some equipment, such as a camera, lights, and video editing software.

It’s fine to start out with the basics, then buy the more expensive and complicated gear later.

Read books and websites on videography, and most importantly, practice.

Volunteer to make videos for your friends and family free of charge.

If they’re happy with the finished product, you work will spread as well as your reputation.

You might also like to advertise your services by creating a website or advertising in a local paper.

Videographer Job Description

When you become a videographer you are enlisted by an individual or company to video a special event.

Sometimes a videographer will come armed only with a tripod and video camera, other times they may have a extensive set up including lighting, and even work in a studio.

Sometimes a videographer will start a job by having a casual chat with a client about their needs.

Other times they may receive a comprehensive brief.

They may need to place a proposal on a job, or simply make a verbal agreement.

On the day of a shoot, a videographer will arrive early to set up and get a feel for a location.

They will then take their footage, making sure they capture all the important aspects of an event.

A videographer will usually edit the footage and compile it for a client and may add music or sound effects, for example.

They will usually deliver the finished product on DVD.

More videographers are helping businesses with their web presence using sites like YouTube.

Videographer Salary and Career Path

The path to become a videographer depends on you.

While there are a few salaried roles in the industry, most are self-employed.

Most videographers start by making movies for friends, then gain more work as word of mount spreads.

As you gain experience and skill, you could expect to get more work, bigger jobs, and more money.

Some videographers may start firms and employ others.

Some may go on to become camera operators or cinematographers.

Others may go on to work in other areas of the media.

The median salary of a videographer is $50,000 a year.

Being employed on a contract basis means that your earnings may fluctuate and are definitely not secure.

Some similar jobs to that of videographer you might be interested in include:

  • Photographer
  • Camera operator
  • Video editor
  • Cinematographer
  • Sound engineer
  • Broadcast engineer
  • Graphic designer

If you’re passionate about video and film then you might like to become a videographer.

If videography is a hobby of yours, it might be time to make it a career.

Getting a start might be difficult, but your talents will be recognized in time, and plenty of opportunity should follow.

BLSThe below information is based on the 2021 BLS national averages.

  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary


Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
District of Columbia$82,110
New Hampshire$44,050
New Jersey$94,830
New Mexico$42,430
New York$90,920
North Carolina$58,150
North Dakota$43,480
South Carolina$47,220
South Dakota$38,780
West Virginia$37,450
Puerto Rico$31,490

The top earning state in the field is New Jersey, where the average salary is $94,830.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

New Jersey - $94,830
New York - $90,920
District of Columbia - $82,110
Connecticut - $73,910
Washington - $71,550
* Salary information based on the May 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Camera Operators, Television, Video, and Film, OCC Code 27-4031, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a videographer?

Videographers capture moments on some type of electronic media and are responsible for small scale video production.

Unlike a cinematographer that focuses on major motion pictures, a videographer creates short films, documentaries, commercials, and records various live events.

Freelance videographers are able to choose what projects they want to work on, while corporate videographers make videos that should be promoting the company they work for.

This might be not only about filming commercials but also recording some important corporate events.

The main responsibility of a videographer is to operate the camera.

However, they might also be accountable for sound and lighting, the repair of equipment and, ultimately, editing.

A videographer can be working alone or with a team of sound and light technicians.

How much do videographers make?

The average hourly rate of a videographer is around $17.

Those who are just getting started can earn around $13.5 per hour.

In case you have quite a lot of experience in the field, you can expect to earn $30 and more per hour.

The salary would certainly depend on the region and whether or not you are a freelancer.

However, an entry-level salary will typically be around $28.000 per year.

Top-level videographers can earn over $60.000 annually.

How much does it cost to become a videographer?

Videography requires technical skills.

That’s why aspiring videographers usually go for 4-year universities to acquire the necessary knowledge.

A year at a public college will cost you anywhere between $8.000 and $21.000 (depending on whether you are an in-state student or not).

A year at a private college will cost you around $14.500-$28.500 and more.

In case you decide to earn a 2-year associate’s degree, you would need to pay around $6.000 in total.

The chances are high that you would have to buy your own professional-grade camera (the prices start from $600).

What is the demand for videographers?

According to BLS (the Bureau of Labor Statistics), careers in photography (camera operators, editors, and videographers included) will continue to grow.

In fact, the expected growth in the industry is above the national average (for all types of careers combined).

There will be a projected 12% increase in photography-related jobs from 2016 to 2026.

However, the competition between videographers is expected to be pretty high.

In case you are able to adapt ever-changing technology, you have nothing to worry about.

How long does it take to become a videographer?

If you have decided to earn a college degree, then it will take you 2 or 4 years to acquire an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

The ones that you could be going for include cinematography, screenwriting, video editing, film theory, broadcasting, and communications.

You might want to look for internships while you are still in college to gain hands-on experience.

Find a way to spend time on film sets or become a videographer’s or cinematographer’s assistant.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *