Video Editing Salary Expectations

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Delve into the industry trends and factors that can impact your annual income as a video editor in 2024.

[Featured Image] A photographer and a video editor, who earns a video editing salary, work together on a photo shoot.

Just as a skilled writer weaves words into a compelling story, a video editor stitches together scenes, adding rhythm and pacing to create a visual masterpiece. Without the adept work of video editors, a significant portion of the daily media we consume, ranging from news clips to YouTube vlogs and Instagram reels, would lack the captivating narrative we’ve come to expect.

Obtaining a bachelor's degree in film production or a related field, such as digital media, is a typical prerequisite for pursuing roles in video editing. Working either independently or alongside producers and directors, video editors dedicate long hours to their craft in post-production studios.

Read on to delve deeper into a video editor's job skills, salary, and career prospects.

What does a video editor do?

A video editor uses digital tools to meticulously arrange and enhance video and sound elements in a multimedia file. Other everyday work duties of a video editor include:

  • Assessing raw video footage to generate shot inventory

  • Incorporating computer-generated images and graphics into videos

  • Digitally adjusting the brightness and contrast of a video

  • Maintaining a comprehensive record of media assets

Video editors are sought after by various industries because they perform varied duties and are engaged in an array of projects spanning films, television shows, and advertisements.

Did you know? Pinkfong's "Baby Shark Dance," a children's song, holds the title for the most-viewed video on YouTube as of January 2024 [1]. The success of this gripping song lies in its catchy dance moves and vibrant animation.


How much does a video editor make?

The average annual pay for a video editor ranges from $51,131 to $62,485, according to multiple job listing sites. The following table lists the salary ranges provided by Zippia, Payscale, Indeed, Glassdoor,, and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as of March 2024.

Zippia [2]Payscale [3]Indeed [4]Glassdoor [5] [6]BLS [7]

Factors impacting video editors' salary

Several factors can affect your salary as a video editor. Below, we’ll explore how these factors, including your education, experience, skills, and location, might influence your yearly income.


Zippia states a bachelor’s degree allows for $54,046 per year, while an associate degree yields $49,756 [8]. The prevailing academic credential for video editors is a bachelor's degree, with 73 percent having secured this qualification [8]. Typical fields of study for video editing include photography, digital media, journalism, and communication.


As your experience grows, so does the potential for increased earnings. The following list outlines the average base pay you can expect based on your accumulated years of experience, according to Glassdoor’s March 2024 data [5]:

  • 0–1 year: $37,000–$63,000

  • 1–3 years: $39,000–$66,000

  • 4–6 years: $42,000–$72,000

  • 7–9 years: $44,000–$77,000

  • 10–14 years: $48,000–$84,000

  • 15 or more years: $52,000–$92,000

Note: Taking on remote, part-time, freelance, or contract roles offers an excellent way to develop your portfolio while gaining valuable work experience.



Proficiency in sought-after skills, such as advanced video editing software, motion graphics, color correction, and special effects, can significantly impact your market value. According to Payscale, in March 2024, the following represent popular video editing skills that can affect your annual wage [3]:

  • Adobe Photoshop: $52,560

  • Adobe After Effects: $55,150

  • Adobe Premiere: $54,219


Your annual income is also influenced by the industry you choose to work in. The following offers a compilation by Glassdoor of top-paying sectors as of March 2024 for video editors [5]:

  • Information technology (IT): $79,985

  • Management and consulting: $65,138

  • Human resources and staffing: $64,743

  • Media and communication: $64,272

  • Education: $62,801


People who live and work in areas with a higher cost of living typically receive higher salaries. Additionally, metropolitan hubs with a high concentration of production companies will likely offer you a competitive salary.

Highest-paying cities for video editors

Below are some top-paying US cities, according to data aggregated by Indeed [4]:

  • Los Angeles, CA: $72,384

  • San Jose: $64,760

  • San Francisco: $64,654

  • Chicago: $60,682

  • Hollywood: $51,158 

  • Vancouver: $45,907

  • Provo: $44,019


Each company has unique policies and financial considerations for creative roles like video editing. Larger corporations, particularly those in the media production industry like the Walt Disney Studios, tend to offer higher salaries, reflecting their financial capacity and involvement in large-scale projects.

Highest-paying companies for video editors

For a closer look at some of the businesses offering the highest salaries to video editors, consult the following list based on March 2024 data from Glassdoor [5]:

  • Microsoft: $143,959

  • Google: $139,953

  • Apple: $127,519

  • LinkedIn: $118,243

  • Yahoo: $105,120

  • Bloomberg: $94,996

Job outlook 

The demand for skillful video editors is steadily rising. Specifically, experts anticipate the surge in online-only platforms, including streaming services, to generate more opportunities for budding film and video editors. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 7 percent increase in employment opportunities for film and video editors between 2022 and 2032. This estimate equates to an average of 8,200 new job openings every year throughout the decade [9].

Get started with Coursera.

Video editing is a dynamic and exciting field. To break into it, you can take many paths, from a formal degree to online courses and other credentials, to demonstrate your skills and knowledge. Get a headstart in video editing with the Fundamentals of Digital Image and Video Processing course, available on Coursera from Northwestern University. This course emphasizes image and video enhancement, recovery, and compression using optimization toolboxes and statistical techniques.

You may choose to complement that beginner-friendly course with The Art of Visual Storytelling Specialization, also available on Coursera. This Specialization’s design aims to help you grasp the intricacies of crafting visual narratives, with components structured around conventional video production stages: pre-production, production, and post-production. Additionally, you will have access to quizzes, discussion posts, and peer-review assignments, guiding you through creating professional videos.

Article sources


Statista. “Most popular YouTube videos based on total global views as of September 2023,” Accessed March 4, 2024.

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