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Pay scale

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Mark Dannunzio
Pay scale
on Jan 28, 2010 at 1:40:19 pm


My question is, would anyone happen to know of the average salary of a FCP editor who mainly edits educational/corporate video? Is there even such a thing? I am thinking of relocating to Wilmington NC, and am having a hard time finding full-time opportunities. Any suggestions?


Thank you

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walter biscardi
Re: Pay scale
on Jan 28, 2010 at 1:42:54 pm

There's no such thing as a pay scale for someone who just does "one type of work" to my knowledge. Your pay scale is wholly based on your abilities and history.

As for the specifics of that area, I'm sure someone will chime in with better knowledge of that.

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Mark Suszko
Re: Pay scale
on Jan 28, 2010 at 3:29:25 pm

ITVA/ now called MCIAOUandsometimesy used to publish an annual salary survey for members that broke down by jobs, including average pay for editors... you have to be a member to get it but perhaps some from a year or two back are now online one way or another. Rates are going to vary by market anyhow, so even the survey is just a rough guide. In a smaller market you will get paid less unless the market is so small you're the only game in town.

You might also try the site for the ACE, the union for movie editors, they might have some guides there. Extrapolate from there.
You could make anything from around $18k a year to six figures, depends on many factors, but I'd say a likely range is between 18 and 65 for an in-house guy. Above that higher number you usually have to also be management, is my sense of it.

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Chris Blair
Re: Pay scale
on Jan 29, 2010 at 2:12:20 am

Mark Suszko : I'd say a likely range is between 18 and 65 for an in-house guy.

18K? No offense but that's $8.65 an hour! McDonald's pays employees with a couple years experience more than that. I would think an experienced (and decent) Final Cut editor would get at least $30,000 even in the smallest of markets...unless you're talking about local TV affiliates, which are notorious for their crappy pay. But even a local affiliate couldn't find experienced editors for 18K. A recent college graduate? Maybe, but even then, it would be pretty tough to live on $18,000 a year almost anywhere in this country.

That said, I agree the scale would vary wildly by market, by the type of production entity (TV stations, Production Houses, In-house corporate marketing, web-based production etc.). A really good editor (regardless of the type of editing system they use) could command close to six figures in a big market. If you can edit on Final Cut, you shouldn't limit your search to Final Cut based jobs. Editing is a craft in my opinion, not a technical skill (although you certainly need to be proficient technically). But if you can master Final Cut, you can certainly master Media Composer, or Premiere CS4, or Edius or Vegas or any other editing platform out there.

As for the salary surveys available, over the years I've found those to be unrealistically high and they often give people impractical expectations. Not to mention that if you heed the numbers, you could price yourself out of a lot of jobs by using them for your salary demands.

Plus, salary shouldn't be the only criteria to judge what's available out there (which is likely "not much"). Work environment, flexibility, opportunity to learn from someone with lots of experience and talent, the quality of the equipment and facility and other factors should also be a huge part of the "compensation" package evaluation.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN

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grinner hester
Re: Pay scale
on Jan 29, 2010 at 7:55:34 pm

You'll find it ranges widely from nada to well into six figures.
If it helps, the natl average salary for a mid-level editor is probably around 50 grand a year, depending on many things.. the place, the market, and of course, the editor.
While there are many industries you could start out making more money in, it'd cost ya enjoyment.

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Mike Cohen
Re: Pay scale
on Jan 30, 2010 at 4:23:53 am

[Mark Dannunzio] "I am thinking of relocating to Wilmington NC, and am having a hard time finding full-time opportunities."

What does pay scale have to do with finding opportunities in a particular area?

Not sure you have heard but now is a bad time to be looking for a job, or so they say - whoever "they" are.

I agree with the others - judge not a job by the salary...judge a salary by the job.

Mike Cohen

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