Video Editor Salary Guide in 2022: How Much Can You Make?

Thu. 19 May. 2022 1721 3 mins

Nowadays some people can’t even live without watching videos online. And thanks to the fast-growing social media like YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, video has become the most popular way for people to express their feelings and communicate with others. Video editing skills are no longer the exclusive competence of those who get a bachelor or master's degree in a field related to film or broadcasting. Instead, even an 8-year-old kid can edit a great video that goes viral to earn big money and fame overnight. So If you like editing videos and consider making money from it, the report can give you a whole vision of how much money you can make as a video editor.

  1. Qualifications Required Before Earning Money

  2. Average Pay of a Video Editor

  3. Salaries According to the Different Video-Editing Industries


Qualifications Required Before Earning Money

Before revealing the specific income, it’s important for you to know the requirements of qualifications when it comes to making money as a video editor. The income of a video editor is usually generated from the profit they get from different projects. The ones with a Bachelor or master’s degree in broadcasting or film are full-time employers in big projects of film, broadcasting and Video-on-Demand platforms. Here are the qualities that can be extremely important for you to go for big projects in the future: creativity, attention to detail, computer skills, and communication skills. Apart from these, a video editor must have a flexible working time to help in working on more projects simultaneously. 

But nowadays the wide use of digital devices and video editing software has lowered the barriers for amateurs and hobbyists to learn how to edit video professionally. Choosing the right video editing app from the start can help you master the basic skill of video editing and make it an easy way for you to learn advanced skills for big projects in the future. 

Average Pay of a Video Editor

How much money can a video editor exactly make? Video editors have seen a boost in their income in the 21st century. Most professionals work on a per-project basis, so with each project, they tend to get a promotion. They earn money through their experiences while working for news, manufacturers, or entertainment companies. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 32,490 full-time video editors were employed in the United States in 2019. Each video editor tends to make almost an average of $59,500 as an annual salary. And the median annual wage for film and video editors was $67,250 in May 2020. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $34,870, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $152,720. 

The average hourly rate of a video editor can be $40 (in the US). However, the hourly rate may fluctuate for freelancers. It can range from $14 an hour up to $80. It depends upon the nature of the editing and the budget of the client. Most freelancers earn an average hourly wage of $25 per hour. The usual hourly rate of a film editor is from $20 to $40.

Video editors play a major role in making the final draft of a video or film. Hence, the companies depend upon them for various tasks such as color corrections, cut scenes, screen film, special effects, and inserting sounds. The main work of a video editor is to make these changes set seamlessly into the movie. 

Salaries According to the Different Video-Editing Industries


An average film editor’s salary is $55,740. As with most film editing jobs, location is everything. In California, the average film editor’s salary is $55,101. However, in New York City, the average film editor’s salary is $70,120. When it comes down to it, a film editor’s salary depends on their particular experience and skill level. The more you work, the more experience you will have for future jobs.

Documentary Features and Music Videos

The video editor of the documentary can expect to get a rate of $2500 a week and $4500/week at the top approximately. It is relatively less beneficial as compared to the other industries. But if a high-end project comes along, then the editor can get a good amount. Music videos are also fun projects to work on in the contemporary world. As a freelancer, one can easily earn up to $1200-$1500 a day.

Commercials and Branded Videos 

In this format, a video editor has to work according to a given script. As of Apr 29, 2022, the average annual pay for a Commercial Video Editor in the United States is $50,439 a year. The annual salaries are as high as $95,500 and as low as $18,500, the majority of Commercial Video Editor salaries currently range between $35,500 (25th percentile) to $58,500 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $77,500 annually across the United States.

TV Show Programs

Editing TV show programs such as television episodes and animated video requires much more experience. For some shows, the editor can earn from $3000 – $3300 per week. The editor must possess exceptionally strong storytelling skills for an episodic content format. As it is a lengthy process, a fresher can be paid $10 per day. 

Weddings and Other Memorial Events

Each video editor can charge starting from $25 per hour to ten times that if he or she reaches the professional level. A video editor can earn anywhere between $800 and $1500 for each big-budget project. 

Social Media Viral Videos

Editing viral videos can be a great way to start your video editing career. Because there is no need for professional qualifications and big expenses on video editing equipment and softwares. But it's difficult to determine how much money video editors make when their videos go viral. Each YouTube video that reaches a million views usually earns money from $3,400 to $40,000. However it’s only a small part of the money a viral video editor can make. If your video goes viral on the internet, there will be many chances to get your videos branded and earn money from big companies.

Wrapping Up

Thus, the video editing job will provide you ample opportunities to try to work in many industries of the entertainment sector. Since the speed at which you can edit the videos greatly determines the income you generate, professional video editors must have knowledge of the best video editing software such as Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro. However the price of these softwares and training courses may be too high for many beginners who are still hesitating. An affordable and easily-mastered video editing software may be a good choice for you. Some easy-to-use video editing softwares like Filmage Editor are equipped with basic features that Adobe Premiere Pro also has. They will help you get the entry-level video editing skill quickly and when you determine to be a professional video editor in the future, the experience you get from them will make you switch to Adobe Premiere Pro easily without too many limits.

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