Starting Sallary Film/Video Editor

Whats a starting salary for a newb film video editor out of college in NYC.

Video editors are a dime a dozen & you're probably looking at 8-15 an hour pretty much anywhere you go.

If you have an excellent reel you can probably push that up a tad.

Cutting film is a speciality market now.

I heard editors make an average of 250 a day.

A good editor can name a price. That's not what you asked, though.

How about a good editor with talent just starting. I'm trying to get a general consensus. Is their a automatic pay raise if your certified for a particular program? Are their any editors that can actually tell me how to make this a career.

just starting? you can expect 0 dollars a day. you have to work for free to prove ur worth to people typically. thats the norm. Internship kinda crap. then expect low low pay and shitty ass hours, like nights.

You don't necessarily have to intern to get started if you have experience & especially a reel; I know a lot of editors that got editing work from their student reels.

but it's not great work & I don't care what you say, you aren't a "good editor just starting." Getting good takes practice, just like anything else.

So expect to make not a whole heck of a lot until you can tangibly prove your skills.

You don't get an automatic raise for a particular software suite, but you can get expect to get the job easier if you're literate in a given company's suite of choice, which is overwhelming Avid & then FinalCut Pro.

Besides the first poster does anyone else have any numbers.

where i'm from you can get an assistant job for like 750-1000/week canadian.

Just starting out = making jack shit

Best bet is to find something (ANYTHING) that a lot of other people can't even fake doing and then at least you'll get some jobs (probably low pay) and then if they like you when they get some money for another project you might get paid, build your reel, make contacts and hope they hire you. Freelancing is a bitch of a career...

i busted my ass in NYC working for free at shitholes like TROMA, but it
paid off in experience and building my resume, less than 4 years later I
was able to buy a house on Long Island, just get your foot in the door and
work hard, you won't go un-noticed if you are good and fresh editor,

Troma is great! They offered my friend a job doing marketing about two years out of college and said "Well, wed need you to sweep up and throw out the garbage too."

: )

starting editor pay around 1800 for cable tv or network, most editors wouldn't go below 2000 a week. can make up to 4 or 5k a week, but rare. most editors between 2300 and 3500 a week.

some low budgy films can go below 1000 a week. depends on the film. usually have to get these low budgys on the resume before making decent wages in film. making good money editing film is very competitive, so in that respect film school could help. but keep in mind, on tv shows you can be working with an editor that didn't go to college. its all about contacts, and making them in film school is a good place, but don't think film school will do it for you, it will only help.


I'm a producer of mid budget films. I have noticed that 99% of people coming out of film schools have been taught that they will make very unrealistic salaries. A grip is paid 300 a day, a boom mic op 400 a day, etc, etc. Those are Hollywood numbers, earned by a few very well connected seasoned pros, maybe. I've dealt with a lot of straight out of film school guys and it takes them six months to a year to realize that they were lied to. The truth is if I put an add on craigslist tonight, looking for an editor for 75 dollars a day, I'd have a 100 replies in the morning. I'd tell you to take every gig you can get, regardless of the pay, to get as much real life experience as possible in hopes of landing better low/mid budget projects one day - or maybe even blockbusters. If you're just looking to make money, team up with a good shooter and do weddings, tv ads, and industrials. It's probably not what you dreamt of, but there's good money in it.

rebel: while the spirit of your post is correct those numbers are low and definitely not hollywood numbers unless we're talking 8 hour days that go into overtime and golden time.

If you want a good Gaffer you better pay him $600 for 10 hours on the low end.

"I work at a news station doing some editing and I make a mere $9 an hour."

Now that sounds like the Tijuana whore house I know tv production to be!


I'm from the midwest. We have two types of films here, cheap no budget films that can't pay anybody, and a few big Hollywood films that bring their own crew from LA. I can pull a good gaffer out of Chicago for 100 a day on the low end to 250 a day tops. 1) most of them are hungry for work 2) They want to work on features, not dull industrials. 3) they want to have gaffer credits, not grip credits like they'd get in bigger films. 4) they want jobs that last 10-45 days, not 1-3 days. 1,000 a week will get you a great gaffer for 6 12 hour days.

my rate is 500 bucks a day.

^ where to you live? How long have you been in working professionaly? How many days a month do you average? 1-2? 30?

I ask because I've had lots of clowns (and I don't mean you) tell me that their rate is X amount per day, normally around the 400 to 800 range. In the three years that they've been out of film school they've worked a grand total of maybe 5 days at that rate - but they act insulted and turn you down if you offer 100 per day. Then they go back to their minimum wage non film job.

500 a day for 20 or so days a month is not at all out of the question if you're in LA and have been working professionaly for a while. I'm sure you'll agree that it takes a lot to build up to that level.

i work with 2 partners at a post facility in burbank.

been editing on the avid since 96.

never went to film school.

just took a 3 day avid 101 class at Video Symphony and spent about a month cutting mock trailers for a demo reel.

from that reel i landed my first editing gig a couple of weeks later at disney for 35 bucks an hour doing animatics. my instructer recomended me to a friend of his there.

2nd job 2 years later was at sony making over 100k a year. then at universal for a little more till i went and bought my own rig.

on my own work was very sporatic the first 2 years. nowadays, i've been turning down jobs due to lack of availabilty. still have to hustle for work from time to time but not as much.

honestly, i'd probably be more successful if i didnt OG so damn much.

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