TV Editor Job Description
TV editors work in fast-paced, high-stress, deadline-driven environments. They are typically employed by national network affiliate stations, advertising agencies, major cable and television networks, and independent television stations. Candidates for this position must be tech-savvy and quick learners because the technology editors use to perform their job is constantly changing. Flexibility, adaptability, focus, and drive are other traits that successful TV editors possess. There are two education and training paths that prospective TV editors can take for this position: on-the-job training or a bachelor’s degree in a field such as media or film.
TV Editor Duties and Responsibilities
There are a wide range of outlets that employ TV editors. Regardless of the employing organization, there are duties common to all editors, some of which include:
Film must be reviewed and edited to make sure it provides a high-quality viewing experience for the audience and that it meets program length requirements. TV editors ensure footage is accurate and compelling.
TV editors oversee the camera, lighting, design, and sound crew members in order to produce a polished final product.
For the program to air at its set time, TV editors are responsible for meeting multiple daily production deadlines.
TV editors add music, sound effects, audio, graphics, and special effects to video footage. This helps to increase viewer satisfaction and retention.
To help increase station viewership and ratings, TV editors brainstorm and pitch ideas for new programs and features that the station can produce.
TV Editor Skills and Qualifications
Local TV stations and national networks seek TV editors who have a positive, professional attitude and creative mind. Employers also look for the following skills:
- Computer – TV editors use editing technology to edit video footage and to mix it with audio, music, and special effects
- Interpersonal skills – TV editors communicate and work with publicists, studios, and talent. They must be able to effectively interact with them and develop relationships
- Time management – because they work in a deadline-driven environment on multiple tasks and projects simultaneously, TV editors must prioritize and manage their time wisely
- Problem-solving skills – when something goes wrong with the footage or technical difficulties occur, TV editors must quickly come up with a solution for the show to air
- Writing skills – TV editors are responsible for writing reports and often assist in writing news and reviews
Tools of the Trade
TV editors must be skilled with the following tools:
- Editing software (Avid Pro, Final Cut Pro)
- Computer accessories (high-resolution optical trackballs, trackwheels, displays, and keyboards)
TV Editor Education and Training
Although there are no specific formal education requirements for TV editors, most employers prefer job seekers who have a four-year degree in media, film, journalism, IT, or a related field. On-the-job training can also help candidates land this position, in which case the prospective TV editor starts at an entry-level position (such as a camera operator or assistant) and works through the ranks to TV editor.
TV Editor Salary and Outlook
Experience plays a big role in a TV editor’s salary. While the average salary for this position is $66,000, the pay scale ranges from $29,000 to $151,000. Editors receive a standard benefits package that includes medical, dental, and vision benefits, and a salary supplement in the form of a bonus. Bonuses average $2,500.
Ready to enter the entertainment industry as a TV editor? We’ve compiled a list of resources to help you get started:
National Broadcaster’s Association – as the broadcast industry’s chief advocate, NAB’s education foundation offers several programs that support leadership and professional development
Make the Cut: A Guide to Becoming a Successful Assistant Editor in Film and TV – authors Lori Jane Coleman and Diana Friedberg use their knowledge and experience to teach readers about script breakdowns, sound effects preparation, organizing camera and sound reports, and comparison timings. They also offer tips on interviewing, etiquette, and career planning
Film Editing: Theory and Practice – Christopher Llewellyn Reed teaches film editors how to speak “the inspiring language of images.” He includes structured exercises and video clips to help readers to apply the principles discussed in the book
The Assembly – this interactive magazine explores and promotes nuances in editing. It’s connected to a database that contains over 50,000 videos, articles, and podcasts that provide readers with more comprehensive information on a range of subjects
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